Claudia Scheinecker's Reviews > Night Beach

Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar
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Apr 15, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: from-publisher
Read from March 05 to 10, 2012

Night beach sounded really interesting, I had high hopes for it.
First of all I want to say thank you to the publisher and NetGally for giving me the opportunity to read this.

This is an Australian book and let me say you can tell. There was a lot of Aussie jargon and slang used that even I didn’t understand, and I think maybe there was too much of that. it was very Australian, almost stereotypical, the beach the suffers, the writing doesn’t help their image, the term ‘beach bums’ is what these characters are.
The blurb says that:
‘Abbie has three obsessions. Art. The ocean. And Kane.’

Intriguing right? I mean im not into surfing but the way Eagar wrote about Abbie and the ocean was really great, I no problems with that.
Abbie also has a unique ability to produce art, throughout the book she works tirelessly on an artwork for school and she also uses photography in, which I thought, was a very different, almost therapeutic way.

Now the blurb says this:
‘But since Kane's been back, he's changed. There's a darkness shadowing him that only Abbie can see. And it wants her in its world.’

Once again, sounds good right?
I think this book is another case of great blurb, but the book didn’t turn out that way.
I think some people will love this, but for me I couldn’t engage with it, it was just…too weird.
This part in the blurb makes you expect a change in a personality, an obsession Kane has acquired. It’s nothing like that, nothing, nothing, nothing.
I started out actually liking this book, but things got very weird very quickly, I struggled to finish. I was pulling faces as I was reading and thinking “Really? What is this, I don’t get it”

This brings me to my main problem with this book. The characters.
Abby was ok, no big issues with her, she was obsessed with Kane, but what girl doesn’t have a guy they do slightly stalkerish things to?? Especially when he lives downstairs! The fact he lived so close could’ve have given more excitement to the story, except, Kane was never there. He was always out! He was either surfing or just generally missing, and if he was there he was sleeping!
Besides this Kane was an idiot. There’s no other way to put it. I never got the feeling that he cared for Abbie at all, he only really wanted to have sex with her, that’s all. His character could’ve been SO much better, more likeable to help the crazy story along, but he was so unlikeable that I didn’t care about the story at all in the end, I was glad to be rid of him.
I also think Abby could have appreciated her friends more. Her male friends were also a little weird, but she pushed them away and in the end she had nothing. Yes she hints at fixing relationships but she makes it sound like a chore, I just founds that she was a little selfish.

I think this is one of those books where you’ll love it or you’ll hate it. Im not used to reading something so Australian, and I think if you’re from overseas you might not understand it, because I know I missed some of it, and I am Australian.
But my main issues were the twisted storyline. If the book turned out to be like the blurb, I may have taken quite well to it, but it was so twisted and unreal that I just couldn’t like it. So it was that and the unappealing characters, mainly Kane, he was just so disappointing, he really let me down.
I can’t fault the author’s descriptive writing though, she wrote about everything so well, I had no issues with her writing.

I think my expectation of it being something simple, not paranormal, threw me, I expected something completely different to what I got, and that was probably my fault for letting my mind get away from me.

So if you plan on reading this don’t expect something in particular, just go with it, loose yourself in it, you’ll probably enjoy it better.

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Alice Claudia,

I have to say I agree with almost every single one of your argument.
I was first appealed by her writing style. I had read the first chapter on Penguin's blog and was hooked by her description of the ocean and the emotions going with surfing.
However, like you, I had a bit of trouble to loose myself into the story. It was just always a bit too much, or not enough at times. I did not have any issue to finish the book though. It was flowing enough and even when I was a bit lost in the dark "meaning", I quite enjoyed its reading.
I'll do my own review of it, but I wanted to comment on your perception of the Australian life pictured throughout the book. I am an expat living in Australia and I have to say I did not have the issue you mentioned with the Aussie slang. I did not understand every single word but I was still more than ok with it all. Besides, I agree that this picture of Australia is not everywhere but it does fit what I have lived in some parts. I have also met boys like Kane.
All in all, I have mixed feelings about the book, but I liked the author's description of an Australian way of life. One among many others.

Any reading suggestions? I am currently finishing teacher training to teach English and I am looking for good teenage reads that I could use in class.

Claudia Scheinecker Thanks for your comments!
As for reading suggestions I usually read y/a, paranormal and the odd chick lit. Using one for class or choosing one I think would be good is hard. If its the y/a paranormal you're after, or would possible consider, I think 'shiver' by Maggie Stiefvater could be a good one. Have you read that? I lost my passion for the series because the following books just didn't seem as good (in my opinion). But shiver is a great book, lots of songwriting and poetry, and parental authority and relationship issues. It's not too fluffy, it doesn't glamorize anything, which I think could go well if used in a classroom.
Anyway I've said way too much. I hope this helps!

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