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2.9 21
by Anna Davies

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A mysterious stranger holds the key to Miranda’s fate in this contemporary retelling of “The Little Mermaid.”

Ever since the death of her parents, Miranda has lived on Whym Island, taking comfort in the local folklore, which claims a mysterious sea witch controls the fate of all on the island and in its surrounding waters. Sometimes it&


A mysterious stranger holds the key to Miranda’s fate in this contemporary retelling of “The Little Mermaid.”

Ever since the death of her parents, Miranda has lived on Whym Island, taking comfort in the local folklore, which claims a mysterious sea witch controls the fate of all on the island and in its surrounding waters. Sometimes it’s just easier to believe things are out of your control.

But then a terrible boating accident takes the lives of several of her friends, and Miranda is rescued by a mysterious boy who haunts her dreams. Consumed by guilt from the accident, she finds refuge in late-night swims—and meets Christian, a boy who seems eerily familiar, but who is full of mystery: He won’t tell her where he is from, or why they can only meet at the beach. But Miranda falls for him anyway…and discovers that Christian’s secrets, though meant to protect her, may bring her nothing but harm.

Seductive and compelling, Wrecked brings a contemporary, paranormal twist to a classic enchanting tale.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—High school senior and soccer star Miranda O'Rouke has it all: a large home on a beautiful island, good friends, a devoted boyfriend, and a bright future. But all that changes after a beach party where four of Miranda's friends die in a boating accident and she was the driver. In the aftermath, Miranda must endure self-blame and her community's scorn. She finds solace with Christian, the merman who saved her life that night. However, she doesn't know what he is or that he was sent to claim her soul for Sephie, the "benevolent dictator" of "Down Below." With gaping plot inconsistencies, Wrecked has potential but never delivers. Some readers may relate to the protagonist's survivor guilt, and Christian's perspective every few chapters is a nice addition. However, Miranda comes across as whiny, and her romance with Christian becomes "love" after just a few days. Readers will feel for her-the accident was not her fault-and the way the entire community shuns her is disproportionally cruel and unrealistic. Errors in plot and syntax are confusing and, at times, humorous (e.g., in one scene, Miranda's clothes change mid-conversation-one minute she's in her underwear, but a paragraph later she's wearing a Speedo). For recent books featuring mermen, Anne Greenwood Brown's Lies Beneath (Delacorte, 2012) and Zoraida Cordova's The Vicious Deep (Sourcebooks, 2012) are better choices.—Leigh Collazo, Ed Willkie Middle School, Fort Worth, TX
Children's Literature - Elisabeth Greenberg
Miranda loves her high school friends on Whym Island, but their last summer cookout before the start of school ends in disaster. Her boyfriend Fletch persuades her to take out her 16th birthday present boat, Star Gazer, and drop all her friends at their homes. The boat lurches and stops in the water; lightning, thunder, and rain strike; then the boat explodes in fire. Fletch heroically tosses Miranda into the sea to save her. She kicks hard as she screams Fletch's name, but a force seems to be dragging her into the deep. As she feels death coming for her, she is suddenly forced toward the surface and towed toward the shore. Soon the reader is enmeshed in Miranda's story, the death of her parents when they drove off a pier into the water, the coldness of her grandmother, her closeness to her younger brother Teddy, the mysterious stranger boy who saved her, stories of an island witch under the sea who takes souls. Meanwhile, the stranger, Christian, introduces a parallel world, Down Under, ruled by the witch Sephia who limits the Down Under people from surfacing, even those betwixt men who could become breathers of air. When Miranda recovers from her experience she discovers that four of her friends are lost, including Fletch whose body survives in a coma but whose soul seems to be missing. Miranda tries to make sense of her life; she feels safe with Christian while her high school friends who survived seem to both blame and shun her. She struggles to do what seems right, to visit Fletch, to tell him that she loves him still and wishes he would come back, but feels guilty because she is so drawn to Christian. This book, complete with the evil witch Sephie, a rich and elegant Coral benefactor to the island in order to complete her collection of souls, ends in another disaster, but satisfactorily. Unfortunately, the epilogue, perhaps included in anticipation of a sequel, is heavy with symbolism and cliches. Reviewer: Elisabeth Greenberg
VOYA - Stephanie Petruso
Riding Twilight's coattails, Wrecked tells the story of Miranda, who lives on an exclusive island off South Carolina. One night, a freak accident on Miranda's boat kills three of her friends. Miranda should have drowned, but someone carried her to shore then disappeared. Returning to school, she is blamed for the deaths and ostracized by the other survivors. Miranda knows she could not have prevented the wreck but sinks into deep depression. She manages her pain by endlessly swimming. At the beach she encounters Christian, an exceptional swimmer with a phosphorescent glow, and is inexplicably drawn to him. She has never seen him before and assumes he is camping on the island. They talk night after night until Christian reveals that he is a "betwixtman," living between the worlds of humans and mermaids. He explains that she and the other survivors are in danger from the sea witch Sephie, who feels cheated out of their souls. Wrecked's premise will attract those looking for supernatural romance with a new spin, but Davies does not follow through in creating a believable world teens will want to return to. We see Christian interact with his brother but never how their underwater life operates. We are told Sephie is an evil queen but given no explanation why she wants to kill people and collect souls. The mermaid part of the story line seems like nothing more than a gimmick. Libraries with big teen collections will probably want to order this, but it is by no means an essential purchase. Reviewer: Stephanie Petruso
Kirkus Reviews
A girl runs afoul of the wicked sea witch but finds love with one of her minions in this new take on the mermaid theme. Miranda lives with her wealthy grandmother on a small island off South Carolina. After a beach party, she pilots her boat on a joyride, but a freak storm wrecks the craft, killing four of her friends and putting her boyfriend into a coma. A mysterious boy swims her to safety. Unaccountably, her schoolmates and the adults at her private school all blame her for the accident, despite proof that she wasn't drinking. Miranda takes refuge on a deserted beach where she meets a boy who suddenly appears there. Christian isn't actually a merman but a "betwixtman," living either down below or up above. He is, however, a creature of the sea and, of course, impossibly handsome. The Sea Witch has commanded him to collect Miranda's soul, but, naturally, he falls in love with the girl and plots to kill the witch instead. Meanwhile the witch appears on land with her own plot to collect Miranda's soul. Although the concept here seems an original-enough twist on mermaid stories, the execution doesn't stand above the average, and the resolution seems far too easy. For paranormal-romance addicts only. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

In many ways, Whym Island is like any of the hundreds of tiny islands dotting the South Carolina coast. It’s got year-rounders, plus an infusion of visitors that swells its population to more than five times its off-season size. It has windswept cottages, sprawling resorts, and a coastline that makes visitors catch their breath and immediately do some mental math, desperate to find some way to live there year round. And, like all islands, it has secrets. Everyone knows that, in the 1960s, the mayor ran off with his gardener’s wife, and everyone knows people can occasionally hear an otherworldly keening by the beach on Bloody Point thanks to a nineteenth-century shipwreck.

During the summer, year-rounders will avoid the ferry dock, the Hardware Store bar and restaurant, Burton Park, and the town square commons, because they know these spots will be overrun by tourists. On the beach, the two groups, indistinguishable from each other to outsiders, will barely acknowledge each other with anything besides a chilly nod. Just like all the other islands in the Calibogue Sound.

Except the one thing that Whym has that other nearby islands—like Breton or Johns or Adventure Island—don’t, is an air of mystery. For one thing, Whym has unusual tides, which don’t always conform to the tide chart. This is annoying to fishermen, enchanting to visitors. Called witch tides by locals, low tide can suddenly, in an instant, turn into a relentless rushing high tide. Oceanographers say it’s a natural phenomenon caused by unusual plate tectonic activity. The locals explain that there’s a sunken island beneath the sea, ruled by a sea witch.

The visitors can’t get enough of that story. Which is why, during the summer, there are sea witch tours instead of whale watch tours, sea witch specials at all the seafood restaurants, and, of course, plenty of sea witch souvenirs at the postage-stamp size Souvenir Shoppe, a weather-beaten shack that lies to the right of the Faunterloy Ferry dock. The Souvenir Shoppe, too, is just like any other souvenir shop on any other island. You know the ones: The floors are perpetually gritty with sand, there’s a thin layer of dust on all the shot glasses, ashtrays, and bells that are perched on high shelves, and there’s a line of cheap candy at eye-level for five-year-olds. On Whym, the Souvenir Shoppe also contains handmade puppets of the mermen and mermaids believed to live beneath the sea. They all have slight smiles and hair made out of yarn and are usually only purchased by well-meaning grandmothers. Next to them is a shelf of mermaid food, which is simply multicolored fish pellets that children enjoy throwing into the water as the ferry is departing, as well as mermaid gloss, a sparkly lip gloss popular with visitors under ten.

And then, of course, there’s a shaky rack of postcards. The postcards always show the most beautiful images of the islands. They’ll show the sunset, the line of gorgeous willow trees that hide the row of mansions that regulars live in, a couple walking on the beach, just hazy enough to be unidentifiable.

On all of them, the same tagline: “Whym Island: Some things have to be seen to be believed.”

But that’s not exactly correct. What it should read is: “On Whym Island, some things have to be believed to be seen.”


© 2012 Anna Davies and Simon & Schuster


Meet the Author

Anna Davies is a writer who works at Cosmopolitan. Wrecked is her first novel. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Wrecked 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought this book on a whim. I was looking for a good story that was an easy read...I usually lean towards the "teeny bopper" books for this. While the story was ok, the big scene was anticlimatic and if you are looking for a happily ever after (like I was) you don't get it. Little upsetting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Bought this book to try reading a mermaid/merman fiction. I absolutely adored the characters! The story and plot line were perfect! However, the imagery was plain and boring. I dug into a little more research into the book and the author and what i found out was that it was her first time writting her first book! I cut her some slack because it was her first time, but i encourage her to try and practice or in other words write another book. Other than that i enjoyed the romance between Christian and Miranda :)
Nikkayme More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars Mermaids, mermaids, mermaids&hellip;they are everywhere, but I can&rsquo;t complain. Anna Davies&rsquo; new tale with the tagline of &lsquo;some things have to be believed to be seen&rsquo; isn&rsquo;t quite as enchanting as most mermaid stories would seem to be, but that is what makes it stand out and work so well. From the first page, we meet fun-loving, realistic Miranda. She&rsquo;s a girl with a great life, despite losing her parents as a child. She lives on the idyllic island of Whym with a wealthy grandma and a great younger brother. She has great friends and a wonderful boyfriend, but small town superstitions run rampant, and when a tragic &lsquo;accident&rsquo; causes the death of half of her group, Miranda is devastated. This mermaid story never truly feels like it&rsquo;s a mermaid story. Sure, there&rsquo;s some alluring mermaid and betwitxmen (never heard of them before) lore, but it&rsquo;s more about Miranda coping in the aftermath of great loss. I could be a little biased here, but I believe the greatest strength that Wrecked has, is that in light of all the fantastical elements, the story comes across as quite realistic; it seems more like a contemporary read than a fantasy read. All in all, Wrecked has a lot of great things going for it. Miranda is a strong, even though she may see herself as weak; she&rsquo;s easy to relate to, even though she&rsquo;s experienced trauma that few ever will. The other, more minor characters are all presented in a very skewed, one dimensional way, but it still works out. Miranda&rsquo;s savior and the mermaid element in the story, Christian, doesn&rsquo;t have quite the depth that is needed to really connect with him; and he brings in that insta-love aspect that so many YA books have, but I got over that easily. Because when he&rsquo;s around Miranda, he changes her, helping her move past all the terrible things in her life, and I can get behind a guy (or betwixtmen) who can do that. Wrecked was an easy, enjoyable read, with some new (at least to me) mermaid lore. It&rsquo;s not the most inventive tale or something full of constant action, but the emotional punch it packed was surprisingly realistic and effective. Regardless of the fact that I really did enjoy it, I have to say that I hated the ended. It felt far too rushed and anticlimactic. Aside from that though, it&rsquo;s a mermaid story that even fantasy haters will enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It seems like a good book but....$10? Seriously? It must b a good book if ts this much $ but idk.....can i hav some help? Tank u! From reader891
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm that kind of person who gives honest reviews and I didn't think this book was all that great. I felt as if the plot dragged and Miranda whined way too much. When the book finally got interesting it was over. So if you're going to read this book I suggest you leave a lot of time open because it took me quite awhile to finish it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely ate this story up. The ending was so sad though there has to be a sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The ending was so depressing I cried. Ruined my day. Other than that the book was pretty good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a WASTE of money!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why is the book over $26!? On amazon it's about $12. This is a complete and total rip off.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book. I was enraptured from the first chapter. Its actually a very heartbreaking story. Just raw emotion jealousy, anger, betrayal, confusion & love. This story will leave you reeling. My feelings were a jumble by the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book when i was browsing, and i was excited to read this after reading the back. But when i got around to reading it, it was very much like any romance novel for teens. It was disappointing and the pace of the book was scattered. I expected more out of this book then what it gave.
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I borrowed a copy of this book.) &ldquo;Whym Island: some things have to be seen to be believed&rdquo; 17-year-old Miranda is looking forward to chilling out with her friends over the summer before they go their separate ways to college, when disaster strikes. Driving her boat home with her friends on board, (they live on a small island) a storm sets in suddenly, and her boat gets hit by lightning. Thrown overboard by her boyfriend in an effort to save her, Miranda is drowning when she is saved by the mysterious Christian. Unfortunately though her friends aren&rsquo;t as lucky, and with three friends dead, herself and two others injured and her boyfriend in a coma, the small island community where Miranda lives turns on her. Struggling just to get herself out of bed in the morning, Miranda is trying and failing to come to terms with what has happened, until she once again meets Christian. Christian is a &lsquo;Betwixtman&rsquo; &ndash; kind of like a merman, but he has legs. Christian just couldn&rsquo;t let Miranda drown when he saw the accident, and now Sephie &ndash; the witch of the sea is angry. Christian has deprived her of Miranda&rsquo;s soul, and she wants it. If Christian doesn&rsquo;t kill Miranda and bring Sephie her soul within 7 days, then Sephie will take his soul instead. But can Christian really kill Miranda though? Especially when he finds himself falling in love with her. This is my first mermaid-type book, and I really enjoyed it! It kind-of reminded me a little of &lsquo;the little mermaid&rsquo; (the Disney version), with Christian being given a time frame to retrieve what the evil sea-witch wanted. I really liked this storyline though, and it was believable and interesting. I felt so sorry for poor Miranda. She had had such an awful experience. Not only had three of her friends died, two more been injured, and her boyfriend was brain-dead and in a coma, but she had also been the one driving. Even though the accident wasn&rsquo;t her fault, the entire school and island treated her like a murderer. She was treated like a total outcast, repeatedly told not to bother people or even look at people, and it was made clear on a daily basis that she wasn&rsquo;t wanted at her school. This really pushed Miranda to her limits, and her grief, depression, and feeling of helplessness was clearly evident. Christian felt an instant attraction to Miranda, which didn&rsquo;t fade with time. Why he ever agreed to a deal with Sephie I don&rsquo;t know because it was obvious to me that he would never be able to kill Miranda when he previously had been unable to stand back and watch her drown. He did his best to help Miranda rather than anything, and ultimately lost in his dealings with the sea witch. As much as I liked this book ,I did have a couple of niggles with the story, for a start the blurb began with &lsquo;Secrets of the sea have never been sexier than this&rsquo; but in truth there was actually very little romance at all, with the characters only really kissing twice. I also found it quite strange that Miranda claimed she &lsquo;only felt safe whilst swimming&rsquo; when she had nearly drowned, and three of her friends actually had drowned! Ultimately though I enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone who likes young adult paranormal romance. I read this book in one sitting and wanted more! 9 out of 10.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yihk yu Uo