Though only in year ten, Maggie Paris is a star on the school swimming team. She also has an uncanny, almost magical ability to draw out people’s deepest truths, even when they don’t intend to share them. It’s reached a point where most of her classmates, all except her best friend, now avoid her, and she’s taken to giving herself away every chance she gets to an unavailable – and ungrateful – popular boy from the wrestling team, just to prove she still exists. Even Maggie’s parents seem wary of her as the deep secret at the heart of their devastated family slowly unravels and Maggie learns a further truth about the circumstances surrounding her sister’s death.
A lyrical and deeply moving portrait of grief, blame and forgiveness, and of finding the courage to confront your ghosts – one truth at a time.
I really liked main character Maggie’s journey, she had a lot of tough times to contend with; the death of her big sister, her parents issues and not forgetting boy trouble. I have to say, Maggie’s decisions grated on my nerves and I wanted to shake her, but I suppose we all need to make mistakes in life, to learn from them. I personally think she was so wound up with her big secret that she was a bitter person.
Maggie has this strange ability to make people reveal their deepest, darkest secrets – even though they don’t intend to do so. So, most people tend to avoid her, but she has a best friend and is a swim star – so things don’t completely suck for her. But she carries her own secrets that she has been sitting on for such a long time.
Baskin’s writing style is great and it has a lovely simplistic quality to it that makes it easy to fall into. I really liked how we got flashbacks, it gave a really good look into the back story. Sometimes though the storyline came from Leah’s (Maggie’s sis) point of view and I felt like they were a bit haphazardly thrown into the mix.
The ending is very emotional and I read and re-read the end section again to experience the beauty of it all over again.
Surfacing is a moving high school story with hints of paranormal throughout. It is emotional, heartbreaking and very beautiful in places. The characters show great growth in the end and overall I liked this story a lot!
3 / 5 Stars!
*Special thanks to Walker Books for the review copy*