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2.71  ·  Rating details ·  190 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
A lyrical and deeply moving portrait of grief, blame, and forgiveness, and of finding the courage to confront your ghosts — one truth at a time.

As soon as she was under, Maggie heard the quiet, though every sound was amplified in her ears and in her brain . . . Sound, like shame, travels four times faster under the water.

Though only a sophomore, Maggie Paris is a star on
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Candlewick
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(showing 1-30)
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Mar 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
First off a teen novel where the teen is thinking about having sex for quite a while and the only thing that crosses her mind to use is the rhythm method... come on. Sex ed classes teach condom use since it offers protection from more than just pregnancy! She is planning on sleeping with a guy she knows sleeps around and yet she does not even mention a condom to him? In addition to this terrible message the book was boring, the characters were completely unrealistic and the book had NO purpose, ...more
Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
Surfacing is a quick read, but I liked it. I liked the premise of her almost magical ability that draws the truth from people and I love the themes of grief and blame that ultimately give way to forgiveness, so I knew that I needed to read this one.
Maggie was an enjoyable character and I saw a lot of character growth in her. I think a part of this is that the story is told partly in flashbacks, which is on the line of middle grade and young adult contemporary. It deals with some pretty hard co
Feb 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
I got this book on the free table at the library. The table is usually where they put old books, or ones that have some kind of damage to th, but when I picked this one up, it looked brand new, and just had a note on it saying it was withdrawn from the library.
... I'm not sure if it was withdrawn for a specific reason or not, but if it was based on the book itself, I totally get it.
I am not one that writes bad reviews, but this book...
Surfacing is about a girl in high school, swim star, named
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am afraid of water, so I started this book and stopped because of its so powerful beginning, but today I read it in one sitting and loved the sister story, the dealing with guilt, and the example of a broken family that is not the fault of any child ever. Nora Baskin can make you care, make you think, and make you want to be kind to the people around you, especially sisters and boyfriends. This book will speak to all ages and is an antidote to the hookup, whatever mentality. Read it.
Demi Rae
Jul 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book was okay..
It was sad through and through all drama with no happy moments to make me feel better about the sadness.
Nothing good actually happened in fact things were worse by the end of the book.
And her power was barely used and was really casual. Barely a power.
May 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
The plot was nonexistent. Literally. The whole book was just her living her life and providing backstory on it. Also, was the 'twist' thrown in at the end meant to be a twist? Because by that point everything kinda went haywire but also got super boring at the same time. Pretty sure the only reason I finished this book was because 1. It is short and 2. I had nothing else to read for fiction.

I mean seriously? This book was super shallow (pun not intended). No feelings, just writing that barely b
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
A mere shadow of what this book could have been. It needed 100 more pages and a good editor.
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Review posted at Amaterasu Reads

Fascination. There was a deep, deep fascination from inside of me that made me want to read this novel. It sounds moving, deep, even sad. But this novel, in the end just left me feeling so conflicted.

Does Maggie really have this uncanny trait of letting people open up to her without her doing anything? Can it even be considered as something special? If she can make people talk, why couldn't she find it in herself to talk as well? It's a little bit unnerving to
Joy (joyous reads)
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
Imagine for a moment that you have the natural ability to bring out the truth in anyone; they can't lie to you. They can tell you their secrets with very little encouragement and most of the time, none at all. You, on the other hand, is a closed lid. You frustrate your best friend because you don't tell her things that are on the list of things you must tell your best friend. Things like, having the boy you like come over to your house and attempts to have sex with you numerous times and failing ...more
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Many thanks to Candlewick Press for giving me the chance to read and review this from the Goodreads First Reads program.

Surfacing caught my eye because of the swimming aspect. See, I am deathly afraid of deep water and drowning. I just taught myself how to swim a year ago, and I'm still not 100% comfortable in the water. Yet the water still fascinates me. People who can swim without fear especially interest me.

This book had a lot of potential, but it fell short for me because of the main charact
May 21, 2014 rated it did not like it
It really felt like this book had no soul. Nobody really feels any feelings.

When Maggie was five, her older sister drowns in a pool. Flash forward, and Maggie is in high school, and does really well on the swim team.

She has an obsession with the wrestling champ of the school, who even though he has a girlfriend, finds in her a willing, or at least a few steps up from corpse-like booty call, where he fumbles around and humps her stomach.

She decides that she simply must lose her virginity by the
Lovey Dovey Books
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Surfacing is a deeply moving novel that young adults will truly appreciate. Nora Raleigh Baskin strikes the perfect balance between the struggles of a teen and her grieving family and the typical teen experience. Maggie believes she has the ability to draw people to her just to have them reveal their most personal secrets. Her only solace lies in swimming, her one true friend Julie, and her obsessive crush on captain of the wrestling team, Matthew.

With a solemn opening in the voice of Maggie's o
Feb 11, 2013 rated it liked it
This is another ARC I was lucky enough to pick up last month at ALA. I'm always happy when a book I'm reading makes me think about my own writing and why I have my characters do what they do. This is something I'm struggling a bit with now so it's nice to see this addressed so well in a book. This is not the type of book I'm usually drawn to because it is quieter, in my opinion, and more character-driven, but like I said before, I'm so thankful for reading it just for what it has taught me about ...more
Jul 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
Surfacing is a different kind of tale that has a slight paranormal kick to it. I liked a lot about this story but there were some bits that I really didn't.

I really liked main character Maggie's journey, she had a lot of tough times to contend with; the death of her big sister, her parents issues and not forgetting boy trouble. I have to say, Maggie's decisions grated on my nerves and I wanted to shake her, but I suppose we all need to make mistakes in life, to learn from them. I personally thi
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Sophomore Maggie Paris feels most comfortable on the varsity swimming team, even though ten years ago her 9-year-old sister, Leah, drowned in an apartment complex’s swimming pool. This contradiction symbolizes her uncertainty with life around her. Unfortunately, Maggie has an uncanny, burdensome “gift” that results in people telling her secrets they’ve buried deep. Maggie wishes it were not so and does nothing to encourage it, but, somehow, the people she comes into contact with end up spilling ...more
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was ok

When Maggie was just five years old, her nine year old sister drowned. Ever since, Maggie has had an almost magical ability to get people to tell her their deepest secrets, whether they want to or not. She has no control over this strange power, but everyone else has definitely noticed so Maggie has just one friend.

And though her sister drowned, Maggie is like a dolphin in the water. She's fast. She's good. She's the swim team's only hope to get to the fin
Michelle (Much Loved Books)
Just as Maggie is able to draw out other peoples deepest truths, Surfacing had a way of drawing you out of your world and into the world of the book. The beginning of Surfacing was compelling and captivating and I found myself quickly wanting to know more about Maggie and why she has this effect on others.

However as I read further my opinions changed, I felt that Surfacing was a bit disjointed, changing what time frame it was in with no apparent clue or hint to the change, going from present, to
Alex Templeton
Feb 03, 2014 rated it liked it
This was one of the sadder YA books I've read in awhile. It's about a teenage girl named Maggie whose sister drowned when they were both children. Since then, Maggie has developed the mysterious ability to get people to tell her some of their deepest truths (a plot point that is sadly underexplored, although perhaps just meant to present the irony that her family shies away from acknowledging its deepest truths). She also blames herself for her sister's death, resulting in meaningless sexual enc ...more
Nov 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-but-unowned
I didn't finish this novel. Actually, I didn't even get half-way through it and it's only 192 pages. It was about page 40 when I gave up. The character is so disconnected from everything and she is always complaining about something. The guy she likes, Matt, is a jerk and I can't believe Maggie is letting him treat her that way.

Also, the writing. There is a lot of narration instead of dialogue and action.

But the one thing that drove me CRAZY was that the author would go from Maggie's 17 year o
Merrilyn Tucker
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Maggie carries the guilt over her sister's drowning with her every day. She is 16 now and her sister, Leah, died when Maggie was 5. Maggie lives with her parents, who always /argue, and her twin brothers, who speak a twin language. Maggie is the star of the girls' swim team and she does well in school. She has only one friend, Julie, because others steer clear of her due to her innate ability to make people spill their deepest secrets. For some reason, Maggie is fixated on wrestling boy, Matthew ...more
Kayla Eklund
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Surfacing was not one of my favorite books that I read this year. The story was very slow paced. At times, I would even say it was boring. I didn’t care for the way the book was setup. It would randomly go from the present to the past with no forewarning or breaks. It was confusing trying to figure out what was going on. Even though Maggie’s ability was talked about, it wasn’t the main focus of the book. I was hoping her ability would have played a bigger part in Surfacing. I didn’t like Maggie, ...more
Nov 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a quick, but fulfilling read
Recommended to Erika by: Goodreads first reads giveaway
Goodreads first reads win.

There was a very strong theme of water in this story. (view spoiler) Maggie's on the swim team, and feels more in control of her life when she's in the water. Even the writing style was very fluid.

Maggie's a sympathetic character but makes some destructive choices. Sometimes I wanted to hug her and sometimes I wanted to shake her.

I'm not sure if her "almost magical ability to draw out people's deepest truths" puts this book in
Miss Literati
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
SURFACING by Nora Raleigh Baskin is a quick read with some heavy topics. It touches upon everything from high school boy drama to deep-rooted family issues. Sorrow, blame and forgiveness are powerful themes in the novel.

Maggie Paris is a star swimmer on her school’s varsity team. Nothing makes more sense to her than when she’s in the water. After all, it’s the only place that’s quiet and let’s her be alone with her thoughts.

Life above water hasn’t been all so great for Maggie. Besides the fact t
Feb 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Sometimes I read a book that is just hard to quantify. Surfacing by Nora Raleigh Baskin is one of those books. It deals with a lot of big issues, grief, forgiveness, and teen sexuality.

Sophomore Maggie Paris is a bit of an enigma. She's a star on the swim team, but she doesn't always seem to like it. She has one loyal friend in Julie. Everyone else keeps their distance from Maggie. Why? Maggie's mere presence has the ability to bring out the best and the worst in people. When Maggie is around, f
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Maggie has overcome her fear of the water, after seeing her younger sister drown, to become a member of her high school swim team. She is one of their top swimmers. Swimming is her one escape from her bickering parents at home and her guilt about not doing anything to save her sister. When she meets and falls in love with a nice guy her life seems to be improving. However, she can't stop thinking about what happened to her sister. This book was a bit disappointing in that the characters never se ...more
Kim Heimbuch
Apr 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Reviewed by Avery, age 9
Maggie is a great swimmer and on the high school swim team and loves swimming even though her little sister Leah drowned 10 years ago. Maggie has a secret gift, but not a good one. People tend to want to tell Maggie their deepest darkest secrets and once they realize they have spilled their guts, they get mad and embarrassed and it causes her to have a hard time making and keeping friends. It also makes her make poor choices, as she has a difficult time with peer pressure
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it
This book real reeled me in, but god was it depressing! Although it was a depressing novel I really felt Maggie's anguish and confusion, and went along on her journey with her. Probably my main reason that I can't give SURFACING more stars is because I felt that we only really got to know Maggie and every other character was just back-round noise to her pain. I also did not like the flashbacks when Maggie's sister, Leah gave her input on Maggie's life in present day. Not only did I think this to ...more
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written exploration of how past grief continues to impact a young woman's actions. Maggie is smart, excels at swimming, has one good friend, and keeps her deepest feelings hidden from everyone, including herself. Without preaching, Baskin shows Maggie's self-destructive actions and consequences.

I found a tinge of hope in the ending, but some readers may find the end ambiguous or sad..
Jul 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
This was not a book that I enjoyed. After seeing that the author of Anything But Typical, a book I remember fondly, had other books, I was very intrigued. However, Surfacing disappointed me. I think it was the plot, which is overused, and the altogether wispiness of the main heroine. She grated on my nerves so much that I didn't even finish the book.
Jul 22, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the kind of book that you finish, and wonder if you should go back and read it again, cause you feel like there's a big gap you missed...
Maggie's older sister Leah drowned years ago when Maggie was very little. The book jumps between Maggie and Leah, past and present, and at times I had to re-read areas because I hadnt realised it changed.
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I am seriously an open book. I've been writing semi-autiobiographical fiction since I was in 6th grade (1972) then, in 2001, Little, Brown published my first middle grade novel, about my life in 6th grade! titled "What Every Girl (except me) Knows." Sixteen years and thirteen books later, that still, pretty much sums things up.
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“The most peaceful memory I have is of when I drown.” 0 likes
“She would take control of her dreaming and make it work for her, like a film director, creating a movie in which she was both the scriptwriter and the leading actor.” 0 likes
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