Girl at Sea

Girl at Sea

by Maureen Johnson


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Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson

Sometimes you have to get lost . . .

The Girl: Clio Ford, seventeen, wants to spend the summer smooching her art-store crush, not stuck on a boat in the Mediterranean. At least she'll get a killer tan.

The Mission: Survive her father's crazy antics. Oh, and also find some missing underwater treasure that could unlock the secrets of civilization.

The Crew: Dad's wacky best friend Martin, his bizarre research partner Julia, her voluptuous daughter Elsa . . . and then there's Aidan, Julia's incredibly attractive, incredibly arrogant assistant.

What's going on behind Aidan's intellectual, intensely green eyes, anyway?

As Clio sails into uncharted territory she unveils secrets that have the power to change history. But her most surprising discovery is that there's something deeper and more cryptic than the sea—her own heart.

. . . to find what you're looking for

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060541460
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/20/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 734,129
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Maureen Johnson is the bestselling author of several novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, the Truly Devious series, the Suite Scarlett series, and the Shades of London series. She has also written collaborative works such as Let It Snow with John Green and Lauren Myracle and The Bane Chronicles with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan. Maureen lives in New York and online on Twitter @maureenjohnson or at 

Read an Excerpt

Girl at Sea AER

Chapter One

The Secret That Dare Not Speak Its Name

Ollie was in aisle five of Galaxy Art Supply stocking oil paints when Clio Ford emerged from the manager's office. From her vantage spot by the modeling clay, she could watch him for a moment, drink it all in.

Ollie Myers. Absurdly tall at six-foot five. His hair was shaggy today. He was wearing a deep navy blue button-down shirt and a wide, seventies-style tie. He looked down over the slots that the little tubes went into, carefully making sure that the right colors went into the right places. He cared about that, and it killed her. It really did. She could watch him putting paints away all day. Sad, but extremely true.

Time for the show.

She was standing straight, so she slumped a little and arranged her face into a mask of minor melancholy. She approached slowly.

"Hey," she said.

Ollie turned. Good reflexes. (He used to do all-terrain skateboarding. Very badly, he said. Very, very badly. Humble as well. Could you ask for more in a man? No. It was impossible. All human wants had been fulfilled in him.)

Which was why this could never work. She had to be dreaming.

"Well?" he said.

"Well . . ." Clio began. "I'm only a junior in high school, and apparently, most Galaxy employees are in college. And I have no retail experience. No job experience at all, actually."

"Oh," Ollie said. His face fell.

"But . . ." Clio went on. "I have this."

She held up her arm, showing the long tattoo that wound around her right forearm: an electric-blue-and-pink zipper with three yellow-and-black stars flying out of the toggle.

"You got the job!" he said.

"You know it!" Clio said, feeling herself beaming.

Clio had prepared for the interview with her typical precision. White jeans, gently streaked with lavender paint from when she repainted her room. A pink short-sleeved T-shirt from a manga publisher. A chunky belt she'd made herself by attaching laminated matchbook covers to a plain old leather belt from a thrift store. Long, honey-brown hair worn up, pinned in place with two green cloisonné chopsticks. And the master stroke, her tattoo boldly on display. No long sleeves, no arm warmers, no sticking her arm behind her back. No excuses. The freak flag was flying at full mast.

Her cell phone buzzed in her bag. It had gone off four times during the interview. She ignored it.

"I'm still amazed," she said. "I didn't think they liked to see tattoos at job interviews. Unless you're applying to work at a meth lab. Or a tattoo parlor. I guess that would make sense. . . ."

"Or an art store," he said. "I told you that tattoo would do it. Daphne loves Masahiro Sato. You were in the second she heard he drew that."

"She did get excited," Clio said, remembering the glow in the store manager's eyes when she said the name of the man who had drawn her tattoo. He was one of Tokyo's most famous manga artists. He had a massive cult following.

"This may be a historical moment," she said. "This is the first time one of my dad's insane impulses actually worked out for me."

"Your dad wanted you to get the tattoo?" he asked.

"Not exactly," Clio said. "It's a long story. A long, boring story."

"I doubt that," he answered. "I guess I'll have to make your name tag. I can even make it now. Want a name tag?"

Ollie was from Texas, and he had a voice that dripped low and slow into Clio's ear. He could draw out the words name tag and make it sound like something you would deeply want and cherish forever. She found herself nodding heavily. He took her to a back corner of the store, where there was a small cabinet and a computer. He reached into the cabinet and produced a little machine.

"Okay," he said. "It's C-l-e-o, right?"


"Is that a family name or something?" he asked.

"Not exactly," Clio said. "I was named after a Muse."

"A Muse? As in the Greek Muses?"

"Yep," Clio said. "Weird parents. What can I tell you?"

"You're a muse," he said. "I've always wanted a muse. Can you help me paint?"

"I'm the muse of history," she said. "Is that any help?"

"A muse is always a help," he said, typing into the label maker.

Muuuuse. How had she never noticed the magical power of the Southern accent before? In the eight months that she had known Ollie, she had realized that it was attractive, but she hadn't heard it much. Their exchanges took place at the counter, when he was telling her how much stuff cost. Even still, he could make things that cost "eight dollars and sixty-four cents" seem worth every penny.

It wasn't until this last month, when he started talking to her as he restocked the shelves, that she got to hear the accent in all its glory. He was a painter and a freshman at Penn. He shared her obsessive love of beautiful, rich inks. He usually wore a vintage pinstripe jacket, rode an old purple bicycle, and smelled like an art studio...a faintly chemical, extremely familiar and homey smell. He missed his sisters in Austin, had no spare cash, and wasn't above attending openings of art exhibitions he didn't like just to get the snacks.

Clio, on the other hand, was a high school junior with a past and yet very little to say about the present. She tended to make her own clothes. (Out of other clothes, so it didn't really count. It wasn't like she was wearing homespun or sweaters she had knitted herself.) She lived in a massive, messy Victorian right near the Penn campus. And once upon a time, her parents had been married, and she and her father had invented a little game . . .

Girl at Sea AER. Copyright © by Maureen Johnson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Girl at Sea 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 87 reviews.
DanceBree17 More than 1 year ago
While I have loved all of Maureen Johnson's other books this one was still entertaining, but not as "Ohmigawd, have to get it" kinda books. I loved the character Clio though. She has a snarky voice and a very colorful tattoo (thanks to her off the wall father) and a true sense of adventure. The first half of the book is slow to get through, but once the pieces start to come together, it really is a good book. There is more than just adventure, there is some romance as well, first with Ollie and later with Aidan, but the romance with Aidan is the only one that has any real substance. The secondary characters are really well formed and they hold the story together, but they dont speed things along either. Its great for a summer fun read, or even a Fall read to make you wish you had this location for your summer vacation.
GirlwiththeBraids More than 1 year ago
Taken away from her chances of winning over a handsome Southern, Clio is pulled into the world of seasickness and tiny spaces. Her father, ambitious and hopeful (and should I say cute), bought a yacht. The yacht isn't huge but it would get them from here to there, right? What about from Sorrento, Italy to the middle of the sea? Stuck on a yacht (which should be exciting) but with five other people, can be tiring. Especially if there is a statuesque archeologist's daughter who Clio envies, a cute research assistant who just might be taken, her father's best friend who suffers from heart problems, her father's new girlfriend, and, of course her father. Clio is annoyed already but the real reason is . what are they doing in the middle of the sea? The first half of this book (pages 166 and earlier) where slow at getting to the point. It was boring to read about the same scenes, setting, characters, and problems. It was really a teenage drama. But when page 167 arrived, I was sucked in. The story behind the main secret (the reason they are on a yacht in the middle of the sea) began to intertwine with Clio's personal life. That, itself, is exciting! Author Maureen Johnson is clever in so many ways. She took unoriginal characters (ex. snobbish, hot, etc.) and made their small qualities seem important through humorous dialogue and vivid descriptions of the whole ordeal. If you are patient enough, which means if you can deal with reading the first half of the book, this is a great story to have on your bookshelf.
BookwormWithMcIntyre6th More than 1 year ago
When I started reading Girl at Sea, I had no idea it was going to go in the direction it did. Seventeen year old Clio's sudden change of summer plans, surprised me just as much as they did her. This is by far one of my favorite books. I have ready it a number of times, and would still read it again. I would definitely say that it's adventure, but a drama as well. It shows a relationship between a father and daughter grow. Also, I think any girl would love to read about the conflicts that occur between the teens in this adventure too. There is never a dull moment in this book, and I think you'll agree.
bkladyatl on LibraryThing 1 days ago
I really enjoyed this book. very different from Johnson's other books. This had adventure, romance and flashbacks to characters who existed a hundred years ago. Clio, the main character, is very likeable and although her was a bit unusual and unrealistic, she experienced things that every teen girl does - boy crushes, the feeling that she never ber kissed.
marnattij on LibraryThing 1 days ago
Clio wants a simple summer at home working in the art shop with Ollie, a potential boyfriend. What she gets instead is a rollicking and dangerous summer adventure on a yacht with her father, his new girl friend, her teenage daughter, and a her cute but infuriating assistant. No sunning on the sea for Clio, instead she is forced to share a bed with her potential step sister, Elsa, and do all the cooking while her father chases some mystery all over the sea.Clio's story is utterly absorbing. Her issues with her father, his girl friend, and her self are well played out and mostly realistically tied up. Clio is a fun character, adventurous, and flawed enough to make her seem real. Great summer read or for anytime the winter blahs get you down.
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I like more romance in my books ,the storyline was good but i wanted more
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