{Review} SEVEN TEARS INTO THE SEA by Terri Farley

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Today, I'm going to spotlight a book I've been dying to read for a long time. 
Because SELKIES!!!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

   THIS IS WHAT IT'S LIKE to be crazy.
   All alone on the beach in the middle of the night, I'm facing huge black waves. My insides vibrate at their thunder. Even a ten-year-old knows better than to be standing here.
   The soles of my feet are rock bruised from the cottage driveway that leads down to the dunes, through the sea grass, and finally to the shore.
   Wind blows in my face and whips my nightgown out behind me. A storm is lurking off the coast. Hunched down, it tries to hide but clouds cluster on its back.
    Even though I see it waiting, something's making me walk through the flying sand and wind-spun fog./Using both hands, I hold my hair away from my face. I sense someone watching me.
   Part of me wants to go home, but the voice that told me to leave my bed still echoes around me. The thing it belongs to keeps me here, but I'm not afraid.
(Pages 1~2, US e-book edition)

After seven years, Gwen is finally returning to Mirage Beach, where's she's forced to reunite with people who think she's crazy. When Gwennie was ten, she was sleepwalking on the beach when a Gypsy saves her. Vicious rumors spread about what actually happened that night, and Gwen has been forced to relive the night in visits with a psychologist. Now, she must return to that world and once again be the source of gossip. She spends her summer working for her Nana as the woman recovers from an injury, and in her free time, she meets a mysterious guy named Jesse and discovers the meaning of love.

I have heard such amazing things about SEVEN TEARS INTO THE SEA! It's always been highly recommended to me, and people get so excited when they hear I plan to read it. That just makes me even more excited. I've had the book sitting on my shelf for a couple of years now, and decided that this for year for Splash, I'd finally treat myself. Perhaps because my expectations were so high, I didn't love SEVEN TEARS INTO THE SEA the way I hoped to. I think there's definitely a market for this book, and fans who will embrace all that it is, but it's not a book necessarily meant for me.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed all of the Celtic and Scottish lore. I loved the mystery of discovering whether selkies actually existed, or if they were just fantastic stories, and the way stories bled into the real world until you didn't know up versus down. The title itself, SEVEN TEARS INTO THE SEA, is pulled straight from selkie lore. If a woman sheds seven tears into the sea, it will bring her a selkie man to love and cherish. But, if that woman doesn't hide his pelt, he'll return to the sea and only return once every seven years. Terri Farley gives nods to the lore as she builds her own world and creates a modern-day story, and I loved seeing all of these aspects.

What I personally didn't care for was all of the drama. I'm not a person who loves drama. It's one reason I never got into watching soaps or reading most of the new adult novels that are currently so crazy popular. I'm just not a fan when the drama-llama comes to visit. There's drama with Gwen's friends from back home, drama with boys she grew up with who are Bad Boys now, drama with her past, drama with her love life. Drama, drama, drama.

So while it wasn't my favorite book featuring selkies, it was still engaging enough for me to finish as I inhaled all the moments with selkie lore and felt the way the reverberate in today's culture. I'm hoping you'll love this one more than I did, because I feel alone in my opinion after seeing that the book has garned 3.8 stars on Goodreads and 4.5 stars on both Amazon and B&N. If you're not into drama, you may not love this one, but otherwise, it may be the next book you'll fall in love with, especially if you like selkies!

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG ( Mild kidding; innuendo )
Language: PG13 ( There isn't anything strong, but there's speculation that Gwen was molested as child, and there are rude sexual gestures from unsavory characters )
Violence: PG13 ( A character is killed by a shark, though the moment is very blink-and-you-miss-it; memories of a boy attacking a sea lion )
Other: PG13 ( Insinuates that Gwen may have been attacked by a child predator. Bullying from local boys; allusion to parental child abuse. )

*This book is taming enough to be read by tweens due to the lack of physical romance, but some of the topics mentioned or alluded to are more mature.
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

Billowing gown, stormy sea, girl on the rocks...this cover immediately caught my attention! This, combined with the title, made me snatch it up to look into immediately. Definitely a good cover perfect for its market!

There's also something sad about the cover, not because of the word "Tear" in the title, but because there's a very pensive mood. Can you feel it when you look, too?
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Terri Farley
Release Date: April 1, 2005
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Received: Purchased

Beckon the sea,
I'll come to thee....
Shed seven tears,
perchance seven years....

At the age of ten, Gwen Cooke had a strange encounter with a boy with dark, slightly tilted eyes. He came to her on the beach, whispered strange words in her ear, and then disappeared. Shortly thereafter, her family moved away from their seaside home and Gwen never saw the boy again.

Now seventeen, Gwen is returning to her childhood home. Her nana asked her to come. But Gwen knows it's time to go back for another reason: She yearns for the sea. Perhaps the sea itself is calling to her. Perhaps the memory of the boy and his haunting words are drawing her back to the place they met. Perhaps it's time for her to face her destiny.


  1. I started this book years ago before I really got into YA because it was written by the author who wrote the Phantom Stallion series. I recently met Terri Farley (she was super nice :) ) and I've thought about picking this up again, but it kinda slipped my mind until now. It sounds like a fantastic book, but I'm not sure I'll handle the drama any better than you did. I guess there's only one way to find out.
    Great review! Thanks for bringing this book to my attention again.


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