I love when a book transports me to a completely different world than the one I live in. Twice now Allie Reynolds has plopped me right into settings that, if I’m being honest, I would be found dead on the first day.
THE SWELL sends us to a dangerous outdoor world in which a mini-cult has the mindset of living day-to-day with no real jobs and facing your freaking fears, even if that includes a load of mental and physical pain.
The swell – aka Mother Nature’s hidden cove in Australia – may be the true villain in the story. Imagine heat and waves upon waves featuring jagged rocks and cliffs. Maybe you could survive surfing. However, if you jumped from one of these cliffs would it be fun or would it be the equivalent to dying on cement? Who the heck knows? Just go with it, mate! Ahhhh, this is the antagonist that would kill me on the first day.
However, I’m so naïve and trusting, the merry band of “the tribe” would do me in before supper.
Kenna is out to save Mikki. Convinced that her best friend since childhood is in an abusive relationship she jet sets from London to Australia to save her. To Allie’s relief, it appears Mikki’s boyfriend is a somewhat okay dude. But when he takes them both on a trip to The Swell, all hell breaks loose.
Last year I went from freezing on the sofa imagining being locked on a snowy ski mountain while reading Allie’s debut, “Shiver,” to this summer pretending I’m sunburned and sun-drained on the sofa reading THE SWELL.
Allie has the ability to make you feel like you are one of these nomad characters. I kept picturing myself with this group of people. They are just a bunch of surfers, living off adrenalin (with not much food) and are in great physical shape just doing their best to keep the swell a secret. They want the place to themselves and will do anything to make that happen.
I can’t wait to see what setting Allie takes us next. Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group Putnam for providing me an e-copy of THE SWELL to review.
I rate THE SWELL five out of five stars.