Title: Learning to Swim
Author: Annie Cosby
Genre(s): YA Paranormal, Magical Realism, Romance
Date Published: March 1, 2014 by Write for You Publishing
Series: Book #1 in the Hearts Out of Water series
Synopsis: When Cora’s mother whisks the family away for the summer, Cora must decide between forging her future in the glimmering world of second homes where her parents belong, or getting lost in the bewitching world of the locals and the mystery surrounding a lonely old woman who claims to be a selkie creature—and who probably needs Cora more than anyone else.
Through the fantastical tales and anguished stories of the batty Mrs. O’Leary, as well as the company of a particularly gorgeous local boy called Ronan, Cora finds an escape from the reality of planning her life after high school. But will it come at the cost of alienating Cora’s mother, who struggles with her own tragic memories?
As the summer wanes, it becomes apparent that Ronan just may hold the answer to Mrs. O’Leary’s tragic past—and Cora’s future.
**Thanks to the author for sending me a copy in exchange for a honest review!**
I really enjoyed this. Like a lot. This book was such a breath of fresh air and I thought it was a lot of fun. It’s a light and cute story of self discovery.
The writing was really good, very easy to get into and the setting was drew me in immediately. From the very first time that Cora goes to Mrs. O’Leary’s house I was drawn in.
The family dynamics in this was one of my favorite things because it felt so real. While Cora’s family was nowhere near being a perfect family, they did really love each other despite the issues they went through and I appreciated that. I also loved the Irish folklore that was incorporated into this, it gave the novel a different feel and tone and I thought that was fun. It was unlike anything I’d read and kept me intrigued. The whole thing with Selkies was just really fascinating to me. I also grew to really like our main protagonist, Cora along with the other characters.
Cora started off as someone I just could not stand. She was selfish and whiny and overall just annoying but by the end of the novel she had gone through such a great character development that I found myself rooting for her. I liked that through the people she met she became a better person and also found the courage to tell her parents that she wanted to just live her life her way. Her friendship with Mrs. O’Leary was so wonderful and was the highlight of the novel for me because Mrs. O’Leary was a really great character and was my favorite.
Rory was great. He started off as a bit of a jerk but by the end of the book I had grown to care for him as well. I think my only thing about him is that I feel like there is still so much I don’t know about him and with that ending I’m interested to see what it is.
Overall, this was a lot of fun and I’m really glad that I read it. Plus, that ending was a good cliffhanger. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something a little bit out of the norm.
About the Author:
Annie is a short, dog-obsessed, ketchup-loving romantic who splits her days—and her wardrobe—between her hometown, St. Louis, and her adopted love, Galway, Ireland.
Her first book was the start of the USA Today-recommended Hearts Out of Water series followed by the Amazon chart-soaring novella series, The Hummingbird Saga.
When she’s not writing, she’s usually reading, editing for awesome YA author clients, and walking Lucy, the rottie mix.
Has anyone else read this series? I would love to know!