Lennie's Reviews > The Tribes of Palos Verdes

The Tribes of Palos Verdes by Joy Nicholson
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Sep 24, 12


Medina Mason is a teenager living in the well-to-do neighborhood of Palos Verdes. Her father is a heart surgeon to the stars in Beverly Hills and her mother is a former model. She has a twin brother named Jim who is her best friend. They all live in a mansion that sits close to the shore in the Lunada Bay area but despite living a privileged life, things aren’t going so well for Medina. She has a hard time being accepted by her peers, her relationship with her mother is strained and her parents are having marital problems. Luckily for her, surfing offers an escape from all her problems. Sometimes surfing can be a religious experience and other times its pure domination like when she catches the perfect wave…the tube wave that is high, fast, and shaped like a cave. If she couldn’t surf she would die. The Tribes of Palos Verdes is a coming-of- age story about a girl who is struggling to find her identity and experiments with sex and drugs while figuring out who she is trying to become.

I live in a beach community not too far from Palos Verdes so it was a thrill for me to read a book in which the setting was close to home. I enjoyed this story and found Medina Mason to be a likeable character. She always presented herself as a strong person but I think deep down inside, she was like all other teenagers, and just wanted to be accepted. Because she never really fit in with the other “cliques”…like the popular” towel” girls who sunbathed on expensive Bill Blass towels or the “Bayboys” who surfed in the Lunada Bay, she formed her own. She considered her and her brother to be their own “tribe” and in a way this strengthens their relationship so they always have each other to lean on when life gets difficult. I give this book four stars.
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