When Oceans Rise

When Oceans Rise by Robin Alvarez, Can be read in a few days depending on your speed, Young Adult

(Thanks to BookFunnel and Robin Alvarez for the eARC!)

If you could make a deal with a sea witch to change your life completely, would you take it? Would you risk everything for your one shot at happiness? For a different you? A better you? These are the questions Malaya has to answer and she doesn’t have a lot of time to do it. 

But what, you ask, could possibly drive someone to be in this position in the first place? A family curse that dooms every girl’s first love to be evil and end in death. A toxic and abusive relationship. And an impulsive act hoping to change it all. This all leads to a meeting with a sea witch who offers Malaya a better life in exchange for her voice. Desperate for something better, Malaya accepts only to learn that to accomplish this, she swapped places with another her and gave the witch the opening she needed to regain her power. The pact also unleashed a slew of Filipino mythological creatures that she and her alternate timeline family must now fight. The battle to set things right and save both versions of herself will not be easy but must be fought.

When Oceans Rise is an engrossing and darker version of The Little Mermaid with more gut-wrenching stakes. Alvarez cleverly uses different writing styles to emulate what Malaya is feeling in each world. The writing style in the timeline with the abusive boyfriend is rough, sometimes painful, while the writing when she is in the alternate timeline is lighter and faster paced. The use of different writing styles to highlight the different in realities was an unexpected but wonderful addition to an already fascinating story.

This is the rare book that I wish was longer, especially in the opening chapters. Because I teach about this topic, I could see the nuances, but I’m not sure everyone will catch them and more details would have helped flesh it out. Also, I really need to know how ____ made it to ______. I’m really hoping the final version doesn’t leave readers hanging because even though I read this in February, not knowing this is still bugging me!When Oceans Rise is available for pre-order and releases 23 May 2023.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: