Release Date: June 10, 2010
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Genre: YA Fiction
The Story: Still haunted by nightmares of her mother’s death, fifteen-year-old Sienna Jones reluctantly travels to Indonesia with her father’s relief team to help tsunami orphans with their post traumatic stress disorder—something Sienna knows a lot about. Since her mother’s plane went missing over the Indian Ocean three years before, Sienna doesn’t do anything if it involves the ocean or planes, so this trip is a big step forward.
But the last thing she expects is to fall for Deni, a brooding Indonesian boy who lives at the orphanage, and just so happens to be HOT. When Deni hears a rumor that his father may be alive, Sienna doesn’t think twice about running away with him to the epicenter of the disaster. Unfortunately, what they find there could break both their hearts.
My Review: Sea is a beautiful story about a young girl's journey to healing after the loss of her mother and finding a love of her own in the most unexpected place. Sienna hasn't been the same since her mother presumably died in a plane crash and she isn't really making any efforts to get out of the rut she's in. She never spends time with her friends any more and she's blind to the adoration Spider (her best friend's brother) has for her. Her father surprises Sienna with the plane ticket to Indonesia and asks her to go with him to help the orphaned children who are suffering from PTSD. She doesn't want to go and the thought of being on a plane is terrifying to her but she faces her fear and agrees to go.
Once in Indonesia, it doesn't take Sienna long to identify and connect with the leader and sometimes trouble maker, Deni. Even though they both know their relationship can't last forever and that Sienna is only there for two weeks, the two of them begin to sneak away to be alone together. When Deni gets word that someone is looking for him, he is convinced it is his father and Sienna stops at nothing to help him get back home, to the site of the disaster, in the hopes of finding him. They run away together and just when it seems there will be nothing good to come of the trip, an amazing story of survival will both touch and break your heart.
Sea gives the readers a compassionate look at what life may be like for those who were orphaned by the tsunami. The bond that Sienna forms with the girls in her bunk room feels real and I especially loved how each character had a face and how they all worked together in a time of crisis. There were a few things that made me think a bit more about how easily my own family wastes things, just because we can, when there are people all over the world who have so little and preserve so much.
The ending of Sea is emotional and while I thought it was necessary and that the author did a great job of closing the story, I had a hard time accepting it. I want more of this story and I'm really hoping there will be a sequel one day. I just feel like there are so many unanswered questions and since Sienna is still so young there is plenty of time to let her story continue.