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4.4 68
by Heidi R. Kling

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


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.

A compelling summer romance, Sea marks the arrival of a stunning new voice in YA.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In debut novelist Kling's somewhat implausible and exotic tale of summer romance, 15-year-old Sienna travels from California with her psychiatrist father and his colleagues to Indonesia to work with children orphaned by the 2004 tsunami. Sienna's mother died years earlier during a similar goodwill trip, and Sienna has yet to come to terms with her loss. She identifies with the orphans, particularly with the nightmares experienced by the handsome Deni, who has lost his family to the tsunami. To her, he is both a kindred spirit and, with his "hite T-shirt sticking to his chest, water dripping from his hair... HOT." Their unlikely dalliance--he is Muslim and there are strict rules about dating--takes her to his hometown after they sneak away from the orphanage, using her father's credit card to fund the excursion (for which there are few repercussions). While the book should appeal to fans of the teen romance genre, the parallels Sienna draws between her mother's (admittedly tragic) death and the catastrophic losses the orphans suffered in the tsunami feel uncomfortable at best. Ages 12-up. (June)
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
On her fifteenth birthday, Sienna receives an unexpected gift—an airplane ticket to Indonesia. Reluctantly, she accompanies her psychiatrist father and his international relief team as they travel to the tsunami-ravaged region where Sienna's mother was lost at sea three years earlier. Shocked by the harsh realities of the place and the traumas suffered by the children around her, Sienna finds herself drawn to the handsome Deni, a boy who leads the drum circle and commands respect and obedience from his peers. Exoticism runs rife in this well-intentioned but uneven debut novel. Primitive living conditions and simplistic renderings of differences between cultures compete for attention with the temple at Borobodur and expositions on Islam and Buddhism. Sienna seems at times a stereotypically clueless American teen: she refuses to do more than glance at the Indonesian guidebook on the long flight, and somehow fails to assimilate the critical fact that there will be no toilet paper at the pesantren, the Islamic boarding school where the orphans are housed. In contrast, images of the seascape, before and after the tsunami, are lyrical and evocative. The final revelation about the mother feels surprising and inevitable, as we see in it shades of Sienna's own impulsiveness. The novel works best as light romantic fare, with Sienna's character growing into new realizations through her relationship with Deni. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
VOYA - Angie Hammond
Kling captures the innocence and heartbreak of first romance superbly in this tender love story. Ever since losing her mother to a plane crash three years ago, Sienna has been hiding from herself and from her friends. On her fifteenth birthday, her father surprises her with plane tickets to join his relief medical team headed for tsunami-wracked Indonesia. Battling her fear, Sienna agrees to go. While there she finds not only healing for her soul but love, in the form of Deni, a beautiful Indo boy who has lost even more than she has. Facing one of the most painful moments of her young life, she must come to terms with giving Deni back to his fiance, whom he had imagined lost in the ocean. Returning home, Sienna finds that sometimes losing something can actually be a step toward finding your own true path. This page turner is evokes the harshness of disaster as well as the beauty of the young soul. The emotions of most of the characters are implicitly portrayed, and some cultural differences are superficially presented. Religion is touched on briefly, but only to emphasize the importance of tolerance. Sure to be a hit with romance readers, this book is perfect to present as a summer beach read. Reviewer: Angie Hammond
VOYA - Bethany Jones
Sea, by Heidi R. Kling, is a very interesting love story that follows a girl named Sienna traveling across the world to help tsunami orphans with her father. While in Indonesia, she meets a boy and things start to happen. This book is very charming and not quite as predictable as one might assume. The main character, Sienna, is somebody you really root for and get emotional for. One of the best qualities about Sea is the character development of Sienna, who the reader just cheers along with on every page. Any pre-teen or teen girl would enjoy this book; not necessarily one of their favorite books, but definitely one that any young girl would want to read. Reviewer: Bethany Jones, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Sienna is afraid—of airplanes, of the ocean, of life. She has had these fears for three years, ever since her mother's plane disappeared over the ocean while on a humanitarian aid trip in Thailand. On her 15th birthday, she gets the worst present she can imagine: a plane ticket to accompany her dad and two other doctors on a two-week trip to an Indonesian orphanage—one housing children and young adults who are survivors of the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Sienna doesn't want to go, and the cultural differences and deprivations do not make her any happier once there. On her first night, during a welcoming program hosted by the orphans, she meets Deni, a 17-year-old from Aceh, the tsunami's epicenter. Their relationship develops quickly and leads to actions and decisions that are ill-considered and dangerous—both in a Muslim culture and during a state of civil unrest. Sienna loses her fears much faster than one would expect, and her return home to a friendship that is evolving into a romance, so soon after she was in love with another boy whose life was filled with tragedy, makes her seem emotionally shallow. Teens who like relationship novels will overlook these flaws, but the book is definitely an additional purchase.—Suanne Roush, Osceola High School, Seminole, FL
Kirkus Reviews
Disaster tourism masquerading as romance. Three years after the disappearance of her mother's plane over the Indian Ocean, California girl Sienna is still barely functional. She's curtailed surfing, friendships and travel. Sienna's psychiatrist father is off to Indonesia to do relief work with tsunami orphans, and he's dragging Sienna along. He claims he needs her help, but he clearly believes in philanthropy as therapy. Once in Indonesia, Sienna is assaulted by difference: Islam, Indonesian culture, race and poverty merge in her perceptions into a sometimes-disgusting mess of exoticism. The exotic becomes appealing when she meets Deni, the super-cute orphanage bad boy. Deni calls her rambat kuning, "yellow hair," and sneaks her out of the orphanage for forbidden tours of town. If only she can help Deni-and squeeze in a few secret alleyway makeout sessions-Sienna will be happy. Convenient resolution brings healing to Sienna and family to Deni, returning each to his and her God-given lot in life. Well-meaning, but ultimately about slumming in disaster zones for a summer's recuperative fun. (Fiction. 12-14)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
HL610L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Heidi R. Kling lives in Palo Alto, California.

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Sea 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 68 reviews.
Tiger_Holland More than 1 year ago
When Sienna goes to Indonesia as part of her father's relief team (helping tsunami orphans suffering from PTSD), she doesn't know what to expect. She's resistant to going, but there's not much to keep her at home: her mother died three years ago in a plane crash over the ocean, and since then Sienna's stopped surfing, flying, or doing much of anything. The one bright spot in her life is the hint of tension with her guy friend Spider, a surfer who still calls her by her old nickname "Sea" (painful irony there, as she's now afraid of the ocean). But once she gets to Indonesia she meets Deni, a 17-year-old orphan who takes care of the other children from his region and has problems with the orphanage leader's authority. The two of them grow closer together as they help each other emotionally overcome their past losses. With this wonderfully unique premise, Sea engages with the trauma of a fairly recent world tragedy and spins a compelling YA romance from it. The Indonesian culture is portrayed in respectful detail, the love story rings true, short chapters keep the pace clicking along nicely, Sienna is a sweetheart and Deni...well, it's easy to see why Sienna falls for him. An observation: though there's plenty of peril in the story (psychological, physical, sanitary), the scariest moment in novel for me was when Sienna rides off into town with Deni on his motorcycle. I was thinking, Girl, you are so lucky you're in a YA romance, because under any other circumstances, driving off with a cute boy you recently met in a country where you don't speak the language, without anyone knowing who you're with, where you're going, or when you're coming back is a baaaad idea. The trip with Deni was fantastic and really advanced the story and the emotional arcs, but my big sister alarms were going crazy anyway. Lastly, when reading Sea, you can look forward to a fantastic and very unexpected ending. Usually, when a book takes an unexpected turn toward the end, I'm upset by the imbalance, and ready throw the book against the wall, but in Sea, the change is totally satisfying. I highly recommend it.
BookMac More than 1 year ago
I wasted no time reading the book from the moment I got it. This book is a tragically real story, one that makes you reconsider the life you have and the things you take for granted yet also yearn for the love that builds this novel. Sea starts with main character Sienna Jones receiving a plane ticket to Indonesia on her fifteenth birthday. Still affected from her mother's death years ago, Sienna remains closed off and hostile, refusing to go on the plane, mainly for her fear of them. After talking with her father, Sienna eventually agrees to go on the trip, which is turns out to be the best thing that could have ever happened to her. Not only does Sienna find love, she finds herself. Sienna is probably one of them most developed characters I have read in a long time, by the end of the novel she is practically a different person. She matures so much, and learns to accept the past and embrace the future. The writing was well suited for the novel, and I loved how Heidi ended Sea. There were many themes and symbols in Sea, ones that only made the novel stronger. Overall, Sea was a refreshing debut with a painstakingly real message and a close look on what it means to love.
Zoealea More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book. I am blown away. Heidi Kling wrote one of my favorite novels. Sea was thrilling, sweet, adventurous, while still having that feel where everything seems like it's going to be ok. I fell in love with these characters, they were written wonderfully. Some people think that the author chooses the book and some people think that the book chooses the author, in this case, Sea definitely chose Heidi. While reading it, I couldn't help but think that this book was mad...more I just finished this book. I am blown away. Heidi Kling wrote one of my favorite novels. Sea was thrilling, sweet, adventurous, while still having that feel where everything seems like it's going to be ok. I fell in love with these characters, they were written wonderfully. Some people think that the author chooses the book and some people think that the book chooses the author, in this case, Sea definitely chose Heidi. While reading it, I couldn't help but think that this book was made for her to write. The love story in this book is unbelievable, it is short, yes. But you get so involved in it. Every page left me hanging, thinking to myself "What will happen next !?" Every few pages I would talk to the book. No, I'm not crazy. but that shows just how much you will get pulled in when reading. I know this review involves a lot of fangirling. But, I am being completely honest. Sea will take you through an amazing, heartfelt story. You will laugh, you may cry, but one thing I am almost positive. you will love it
sweeterica0712 More than 1 year ago
Heidi R Kling has written a breath-taking debut with Sea! Readers are plunged head first into a heartbreaking story of loss, hope, and new experiences. Sea is a book that speaks to everyone, but everyone can take something a little different away. Sea is a touching story that helps a person connect with themselves. It is a book to make you think, and think deep. You look at the situation these characters are in, and it makes you look at the world around you in an entirely different way. The characters were wonderfully written. I fell in love with Elli - I wanted to pull her off the page and just give her a hug. She was a little ball of sunshine even after all the horrors she had been through. Sienna was a wonderful main character. She was compassionate, and had drive - she had experienced horrors in her past and wanted to help others work through their horrors. She fit no cliches and was her own person. One of my favorite things about Sea was there were so many characters you may have only heard from once or twice, and they stuck with you throughout the entire book. And with all the characters, it almost seemed like you could hear their voices in your head. When I first read this description of Sea and heard there was this relationship between Deni and Sienna I was excited. As I read, I found out Sienna would be in India only 2 weeks, and for a moment I remember thinking, "Oh no! Will that connection be real? I mean, can something that awesome believably build in that short of a time?" I was worried for a minute that that connection they had would fall flat, and not live up to my expectations, but Heidi R Kling left no room for doubts or anything with the strong connection Sea and Deni had. It was so intense and beautiful, you were simply drawn to it. Their relationship was so involved, and blew you away. As you read, you get this feel of Indonesian culture. You saw the characters' struggles, and that presence of culture just intensified the reality of them. I also loved the setting - it was unique. I had never read a story in this setting, and everything was new. That made Sea a hundred times better, as you didn't just feel like you were along side the main character discovering this new world to them. In Sea you literally were along side Sienna discovering Indonesia and its culture. When you are reading Sea, you would by no means guess that it is a debut novel. The story leaps off the page and speaks to you. It's a journey of the heart and emotions. Once I started reading, I had troubles putting it down. Sea is a book for all types of people, it is one you don't want to miss
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Drops a rabbit in front of them when they areb't looking and sneaks back to camp.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Delete our location post!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Frankenstein res one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poppy i cant find it. She yawned
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Wat was i saying it was to
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Scart is in res two. --The messengers at mailbox.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Med cat.
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Who is the lea der?
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks boredly at frostfall and goes ino the forest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi Tawnystar! Windshields speaking. Yo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Look out... danger is near the sea
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Friend me.
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(F) go to dead result 2
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I is back!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We heard you the first time.