It's a good thing that the author indicated at the end that she took liberties with the geography/climate/etc. I live in the area that this book was written in, and I kept getting confused by various references. I've been to Pigeon Point Lighthouse, for example, and there's nothing between it and Santa Cruz but thin strips of farmland that are squeezed between the ocean and the mountains. The book makes it sound as if there are many surfers in the area, but... there aren't.
That being said, this book did make me cry. The parts that took place in the ocean were lovely and interesting, and while I expected the ending to go in a particular direction, it did... but wasn't the answer that I expected.
The first half felt more juvenile to me than the second, and I imagine this has more to do with Lena's everyday life and worries. Lena makes a lot of decisions that I absolutely couldn't relate to--she did a lot of lying for what seemed to be pointless reasons. I have always been an advocate of talking things out. She also walked out on people a lot, which is yet another thing I can't fathom.
And unfortunately, while I understand that the chat conversations were supposed to show modern communication, it's really hard to take something seriously when it's written in chatspeak, even if it is between teenagers. I imagine this is my age showing.