Girl at Sea

Girl at Sea

by Maureen Johnson

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060541460
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/20/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 419,835
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 www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com. 

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?"

"C-l-i-o."

"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. 98 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.
SavvyEscapades on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I am a huge Maureen Johnson fan, and her tweets always make me smile. I love the Suite Scarlet series so far but when I read 13 Little Blue Envelopes¿ I doubted the great Jar Keeper (twitter joke, sorry). I enjoyed the story, but I could never suspend my disbelief enough to believe that the underage main character¿s parents were ok with her going on this crazy overseas mission with no information whatsoever. Maybe I missed the part where she explained about that. I felt uncomfortable having these tiny doubts about MJ, so I have embarked on a goal to read her other books. I read this book in an escapist¿s dream. During the recent snowpocalypse, I was physically nestled in 5 layers of clothes and my puff blanket on our couch. Mentally, however, I was on a yacht in the Mediterranean. I was cruising with Clio and her father, trying to figure out why we were on this ship and what precisely her father was looking for. Clio is an amazing personality, and I loved watching her backstory develop. I¿m sorry¿ there are a LOT of twists in this novel (both plot and character development related), so that¿s why I¿m being kind of cagey. I wouldn¿t want to rob you of the opportunity to discover for yourself exactly how Clio got her tattoo, what exactly is up with Julia, or why Maureen Johnson is so terrified of jellyfish. I mean, I knew MJ was afraid of jellyfish, but after reading this book I may be a little afraid of jellyfish too. Some readers seem to thin that Clio is whiny, which may be a valid opinion. Even she points out that she sounds like a brat for complaining about going to Italy for the summer. However, the main point of the whining and the Main Conflict of the novel is that there is this conflict that develops between parents and late teens if parents don¿t realize their kid¿s need for autonomy. Clio had plans for the summer¿ she was going to work in an art store with her crush. And then out of the blue her parents force her to adjust her schedule and plan her summer out extensively without ever consulting her. If you can¿t remember how annoying that is, please, stop and try for a second. This book is primarily a character development book, but there were still plenty of plot-related points that kept me (a plot reader) interested. Mostly we see how Clio, her father, and Aidan all grow as individuals and improve their relationships. The rest of the characters are fairly complex, but they aren¿t so complex that they clutter the story. The only thing holding me back from giving this book a 9 is¿ my snobbery. When I read the Suite Scarlett series, I read a LOT of the same wit, humor, and random kitsch that I love about Maureen¿s Twitter posts. I think she¿s really found a voice that is completely and uniquely her own, and THAT¿s what I love about Suite Scarlett and her portion of Let It Snow. Don¿t get me wrong¿ she was developing that tone in this book. I just feel she may have been holding it back a little, maybe to be a little more mainstream, whereas now she may know she can wave her Quirk-Flag high. But this book is still a must-read for MJ fans!
hobbitsies on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Girl at Sea is one of my favourite books by Maureen Johnson. There was history, mystery (unintentional rhyme!), scuba diving, and cute boys (which are all of my favourite things) all mixed up into one exciting tale. Clio has an out of the ordinary past with her father, which was interesting to watch it unfold. Maureen Johnson portrayed Clio brilliantly and I was really able to connect with her character, even though we¿re totally different. I felt her frustration with her father like it was my own, as well as many other emotions that Clio felt. It was a great read and I definitely recommend it.
readinggeek451 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Clio has just gotten a job at the local art store where her dream guy works, when she learns that she has to spend the summer with her flaky father in Italy. She is annoyed, to say the least. Being trapped on a yacht with her father's new girlfriend and an annoying college boy, among others, doesn't help her mood. Neither does the extreme secrecy.Despite various implausible misadventures, Clio grows a lot and makes new friends.
MaxBrown on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Seventeen-year-old Clio Ford has just gotten a summer job at an art store working alongside a guy she likes. She's not happy when her father whisks her away for the summer on a ship to Italy for his research. However, she finds herself making friends with the other girl onboard and developing interest in the guy helping with the research.Maureen Johnson does an excellent job of writing the tone of a witty, sarcastic teenager while also keeping it light. The characters are interesting to read, the plot is a perfect balance of discovery and mystery, and Clio's voice is just fun to read. I loved Girl at Sea, and I heartily recommend it.
mhurst7 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This is a good book that has adventure and family conflicts. It's not a quick read... and it's best if you take your time to understand what exactly is going on. But other then that it is a fantastic read! :)
Df6B_ArielB on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I thought this book would be better. Some of the things that happened don't seem to be believable with the storyline. I like the book through. I gald Clio found out more about herself. It just goes to show that we don't really know ourselves sometimes.
GirlwiththeBraids on LibraryThing 3 months 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.
bluesalamanders on LibraryThing 3 months ago
A high school girl gets the summer job of her dreams, just in time to find out that she has to spend the vacation with her father in Italy. On a boat. Sounds great, right? Except her dad has a tendency for wild schemes that seem like a good idea at the time (to him) but never go quite right after all (especially for her). What type of crazy is he cooking up this time?Girl At Sea was a stressful book to read; it never seemed to slow down. From the very beginning, and especially after she gets to Italy, it's just one thing after another - and often it's one near-disaster after another. On the other hand, it really reflects the feeling of the main character, who is resentful and angry at the situation she has been stuck in. It is well written and the plot kept me guessing, but it is not a book I'll read again.
yvonne723 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
The novel, Girl at Sea, encompasses the adventures and conflicts of a father and daughter at sea. In the beginning, Clio, the protagonist struggles with having to leave her home and the guy she likes to go to Italy for the summer with her dad. Throughout the middle, she perseveres through tryig to figure out what is going on when everybody is trying to keep it a secret. By the end, she has learned that being a snooper can lead to finding many things, in this case good.
callmecayce on LibraryThing 3 months ago
A friend of mine asked me to read this so she'd have someone to talk to about it and so I did. My second Maureen Johnson book was far from disappointing, unlike much of the story for Clio, our main character. Clio's parents are divorced and her mom goes to Kansas with her boyfriend, leaving Clio in the care of her father -- the last place she wants to be. Having just purchased a new yacht, Clio's father takes her on a journey she, as the cliche goes, won't soon forget. The story is cute, tense and focuses on, among other things, a mystery Clio's father won't discuss. Johnson's characters are fun, interesting and at times frustrating. But, all in all, I enjoyed the book.
stephxsu on LibraryThing 3 months ago
17-year-old Clio Ford wants to make the summer before her senior year her best yet, starting with a job at the local art supply store alongside her longtime crush Ollie. Then her mother delivers the blow: she¿s going to Kansas on some art grant. She¿s taking her boyfriend with her. And Clio is relegated to spending the summer with her father aboard a boat in Italy. Her father, the man who had made her childhood perfect, but through continuous absentmindedness and impulsiveness had almost ruined them.Things get even worse. Clio¿s shipmates are her dad¿s girlfriend Julia, an intense professor/researcher; Julia¿s daughter Elsa, beautiful and loyal; Martin, Clio¿s dad¿s longtime friend; and Aidan¿s, Julia¿s research assistant with the arrogant attitude. And this motley crew is supposed to live together on a yacht and search for something that nobody has told Clio anything about.Can this summer, which is shaping up to be the worst one ever, actually end with Clio finding true love, a best friend, and a better relationship with the man who had once deserted her?Once again Maureen Johnson delivers a winner. Not much really goes on, and all the mystery surrounding the crew¿s mission is a bit overdone, but Johnson creates remarkably vivid characters, flavored with snappy, smart dialogue and off-handed snort-out-loud remarks. Fans of her previous books should love this one just as much.
bkladyatl on LibraryThing 5 months 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 5 months 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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Lovee
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I like more romance in my books ,the storyline was good but i wanted more
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