Meri Miller lives in Soldotna, Alaska. Never heard of it? That's because in Slow dotna the most riveting activities for a teenager are salmon fishing and grabbing a Big Gulp at the local 7-Eleven. More than anything, Meri wants to hop in her VW Bug and head somewhere exciting, like New York or L.A. or any city where going to the theater doesn’t only mean the movies. Everything is so scripted here—don’t have too much fun, date this guy because he’s older and popular, stay put because that's what everyone else does.
But when her senior year should be all boys, SAT prep, and prom drama, Meri feels more and more distance between herself and the people she loves. Her grandma dies, her brother gets hurt, and even her best friend checks out to spend more time with some guy. As she struggles with family, grief, friends, and hormones, Meri must decide if she really is ready for the world beyond her backyard.
Meagan Macvie's debut novel, The Ocean in My Ears , raises questions of love, purpose, and the power to choose your own future even when your future's the thing that scares you the most.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Age Range:||15 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Meagan Macvie was born and raised in Alaska. She received her MFA in fiction from Pacific Lutheran University. Her work has appeared in Narrative , Fugue , and Barrelhouse , as well as the short story anthology, Timberland Writes Together. Meagan lives with her husband and daughter in Washington State.
Table of Contents
The Flesh 1
Bright Like Comets 11
First Time on the Shitter 21
Miracle Beyond Loaves and Fishes 31
Dipnetting Isn't a Spectator Sport 42
Not Solitaire 57
Secret Spot 87
When Being Alive Is Just Being Not-Yet-Dead 114
Lessons in Politics and Trade 122
Bones For Flying 127
Better Than Eternal Suffering 134
If I Leave Immediately 142
The Super Big Bad Thing 147
This Is Worse 156
Tubs N Fun 164
Ugly Truths 190
First Real Hospital Visit 197
The End of 1990 206
This Is Home 210
Stupid Prom 224
First Us 239
Goodbye Ceremony 255
Scared is Okay 262
The Most Important First of My Life So Far 271
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Written with more assurance than one usually finds in a debut novel, the voice is true and the depiction of small-town Alaska is authentic. Meri is a teen who you know, just a little more articulate than most.
I loved this so much! I was a teen in 1990 myself, and this book brought the experience back to life with almost eerie vividness and accuracy. (Had I thought about the clothing store Jay Jacobs in decades? No, I had not. But it all came back to me, the floral printed jeans and the pouf-sleeved formal dresses and everything.) Macvie's writing sings, both in the narration and in the hilarious dialogue. I went from laughing to getting teary within a page, and back again, lots of times. The story is set in Alaska, and features plenty of the local color: salmon, bears, volcanoes, snowmobiles, midnight sun in summer, endless snow and cold the rest of the year. However, it doesn't matter if, like me, you've never been to Alaska, because the real story is about growing up, so we can ALL relate. I liked narrator Meri completely, because I was like her at that age: interested in writing, highly hormonal but more or less virginal but definitely curious but..., not a fan of stupid parties, guilt-ridden about everything, flirting with and getting involved with the wrong guys because it was just nice to be wanted by *someone*, wanting to see more of the world but also being scared to death to leave home. She isn't perfect; she's REAL, and I loved that. And 1990 setting notwithstanding, I bet millennials can relate to all of the above too. Try it. You'll like it. P.S. Joaquin = SO hot.
“I scream. Like I did that day at the bench above the beach. Part release and part battle cry. The sound is strange and echo-y, as if my scream isn’t my voice at all, but is rising from a creature deep i the ocean. I close my eyes, take a breath, and start again.” “In puffy orange flotation gear, I lowered myself into the cold Pacific, pushed away from the aluminum edge of the boat, and floated in my insulated suit atop the vast salty ocean. Deep down, invisible sea creatures were swimming and crawling, but I hovered on the surface of an immense and mysterious world, feeling very small. The way I do now. - Where do I even begin with this book? I adored The Ocean In My Ears by Meagan Macvie. - The location of this story is Soldotna, Alaska. The reader is left feeling the effects of this dichotomous world: cold, sharp, loneliness set against a bright, reflected, tranquility . Among jagged cliffs, lighthouses, and dark gray sand, you will find yourself yearning to read this book in the place that inspired it. The book takes place in the early 1990’s, which I quite enjoyed. In the current world of YA books using text message communications to tell a story, I liked the break from technology to remember what it was like to be a teenager waiting for someone to call you. - It is very tricky to write a young adult novel that captures the voice of a teenager while giving depth to the story, and Macvie pulls that off well here. Meri is a character who is starting to understand that she has a voice that can and should be listened to. This voice is met by Meri’s need for love and attention, a need that seems to define young adulthood. She looks for affection from boys and starts to explore her growing sexuality. (This book includes the best description of an orgasm I have ever read.) What Macvie does so well here is to present the conflict of inner wisdom versus needs and desires. This is the time in teenagers’ lives when their wisdom is just starting to activate. Macvie has said, “Real-life teens often don’t understand their situations and experiences until much later—maybe not until full adulthood. But fiction isn’t real life. It operates differently. Fiction asks us to consider possibility. What if a teen did have a broader and deeper sense of her circumstances? What if this girl was stronger? How would a more empowered girl confront the things I couldn’t?” I’d like to imagine that Meri’s character grew up to do amazing things because of her early self-awareness. Maybe she went on to write a book about the world she was from and the lessons she learned. Maybe it helped teenagers feel less alone in their struggles. I don’t know, just a guess. :) - This book will now be the book from which all other YA books will be compared. I can’t help it. The bar has been raised. (No typical stereotypes, no lack of consequences for making unhealthy choices, and all the other things that usually bother me about YA.)
I read this book in a day. I was instantly transported to my teens from the first page. I really enjoyed this story as Meri navigates her way through the highs and lows of a teenagers life, with very real world adult issues> Meagan Macvie does a spectacular job.
Meagan Macvie quickly reveals her talents as a writer in the opening pages of her debut novel: The Ocean in my Ears. There are moments of lucid prose that gave me pause with their rhythms and beauty and complexity. More often than that, though, I found myself lost in the characters, the dynamics between them, their choices and interactions. The traditions of the stifling Alaskan town threaten to send the high-school-age characters in this story down well-worn, deeply rutted paths. But what happens as the story unfolds is far from predictable. We find as many surprises as there are dangers; as many moments of deep connection as there are moments of betrayal. I was utterly smitten with compassion and concern for the main character, Meri. Her increasing thoughtfulness and desperation in the stark environment around her make for as compelling a characterization as I have read in quite a long while. You should read this book. It is one that sticks with you. You may find yourself, as I did, unable to move quickly on to other reading activities–unwilling to leave these characters and this Alaskan landscape behind.