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The Tribes Of Palos Verdes

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  798 ratings  ·  91 reviews
As her parents' marriage disintegrates and her beloved brother falls prey to the temptations of drugs and the lunacy of their mother, 14-year-old Medina Mason surfs to survive, finding a bitter solace in the rough comfort of the waves.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 29th 1999 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1997)
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  798 ratings  ·  91 reviews

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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
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“Surfers live by the rules of the wind and moon, because the wind controls how big the waves are, while the moon pulls the tide back and forth like a puppet on a string.”

This might have possibly earned its fifth star for being a “right place at the right time” kind of read, but I can’t imagine a universe where it would have scored less than four from me. If you know me (and Mitchell), you are aware that we enjoy a little . . . okay
Alisha Marie
If you look at cover of the hardcover version of The Tribes of Palos Verdes you would probably think that it's about a girl who surfs with guys. Yes, there are guys in this book and yes, the main character, Medina, does surf, it goes much more deeper than that. Medina uses surfing as an outlet to escape the pain she feels and the horror of her home life.

Throughout the book, you see Medina painfully coming of age while dealing with drugs, sex, and being the only female surfer in her town. The dys
Jun 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up from a free shelf in a doctor's office. From the cover, and the jacket description, it seemed like it would be an easy beach read. How pleasantly surprised i was to discover a beautiful coming of age novel to rival the likes of 'the outsiders' or 'the heart is a lonely hunter.' That is to say, quality, lasting and moving.

The protagonist uses surfing as a coping mechanism for her tumultuous surroundings, and i had just taken my first surfing lesson when i read this book. You cou
Shannon Valdes
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised to read some of the negative reviews on here because although it was a terribly sad book, I believe it was very beautifully written. "The water under my house shimmered like blood and glitter." I already want to read this book again.
Sep 10, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, mg-ya
I have been recommending this to a lot of people lately, so I decided to give it another read to make sure it merits my praise. I have demoted it a star and now feel too hesitant to actually RECOMMEND it to anyone. It is well written, to be sure, but it is hardly tame in its presentation of this girl's sexual life.

An insightful book reflecting some interesting struggles that teen girls are facing, especially in the materialistic climate of coastal Southern California. The heroine of this novel,
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Megan Mcewen
Not as trashy as I was hoping it would be, but not as deep as she probably hoped it would be.
Jul 19, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Is it possible to give a book 0 stars? I honestly wish I had never read this stupid book. It was such a time-waster, all of the characters were so freaking dumb and I hated all of them, every single one. Not any of them had any redeeming qualities. I didn't get inside the heads of any of the characters, I feel like their feelings weren't described, only the outside of them. Or if they were I just couldn't relate because the story was just so crazy. I can't understand why (view spoiler) ...more
Helena Miller
I received this from a student. Female surfer--what's not to love!?!?!

Now that I've finished it, this is actually a much darker novel than I expected when I heard the protagonist was a female surfer. A theme of the book, sadly, is that a person cannot save anyone but themselves, no matter how much they may love or want to save another. The protagonist values her independence, and as a result she is willing to save herself even if the choices she makes are not popular with her family, her communi
Jun 30, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: very-favorites
I remember that summer by this book...vicariously living the life of a surfer girl.
Scott Duffin
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm looking forward to reading the book. I grew up in Palos Verdes and actually knew some of people which this book is based on.
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Tribes of Palos Verdes, screenplay by Karen Croner, based on book by Joy Nicholson

The Tribes of Palos Verdes is an entertaining motion picture, although the viewers and the critics are right when they do not rate this offering very highly, for most of the story is familiar and it seems little- if anything- is new in this narrative.

The Masons move from- was it Minnesota?- to the beautiful, sunny, resplendent, splendid, radiant, luminous Palos Verdes, that seems as close as a land can get to a
2.5 stars. I've put off writing a review about this, because I like literally didn't feel anything while reading it lol. Usually I either really like a book or I have reasons why I didn't like it, but I couldn't have felt either of those emotions any less than I did!

I wanted to really like this book, because it was one of the first books I ever checked out from the new library I am working at. Also, I had never even heard of it before browsing the shelf and being intrigued by it's cover. Then I
Shae Petersen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A depressing coming-of-age story about a young girl who is an outlier in her affluent LA suburb, and her efforts to survive when her family melts down around her. I'll add that Palos Verdes is my home town, and the editor of this book really should have hired a fact-checker. I found it hard to believe the author had actually lived there bc there were so many errors in geography etc. For me, this was highly distracting from the storyline, which was actually quite good.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been trying to read out of my comfort zone out of YA category. But this book caught my eye and it’s written by parts not by chapters which is clever. It was an incredible book, there were times I wanted to throttle Mrs. Mason and a few of the other characters. It was RAW throughout the entire novel. I was crying by the end.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
It was a quick read, and something I picked up on a whim, but also because the audiobook was read by Jorjeana Marie, my absolute favorite narrator for audiobooks. Coming of age story that is emotional, sweet, but also sometimes painful to listen, in the end I loved the character, her strength and determination to do what she loves.
I loved the writing. It was very fun to listen to. I don't know why I waited so long to hear it! It was awesome. The family was very entertaining. She had weird and funny descriptions like the main character had 'long blonde hair that hung down like a plastic sheet' and she had a flat chest. Pretty hilarious!! :D
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After 3 attempts, I finally got through the book. Sorry I wasted the time. Unlikeable characters, glossing over of anything that could be of import, inconsistent writing, and an overall lack of commitment to a theme or idea. There is one l word that pops into mind each time I think of the book: shallow. Shallow in all aspects and definitions.
Fernanda Méndez
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I watched the movie first and I cried. But once I read this, It was even more heartbreaking. Jim's development is one of the most important things I've seen during this book and I think the author gets to make the reader feel the constant pain that's keeping the family in that moment. I liked it a lot.
Wendy Ledger
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I lived in Palos Verdes when I was a teenager, so I was intrigued to read this book. I thought the writing was beautiful, and I was surprised by the intensity of the story. (This is not a bad thing; I just wasn't expecting it.) I thought the surfing moments felt real and vivid.
This book was a very fast read for me. I liked how I could relate to some parts of the book since I used to live in California. I didn't really like though how drugs were talked about for a good portion of the story.
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book seems like a mainly young adult book. At first that didn’t make me want to read it, but this book is worth it. I really enjoyed the ending. I really appreciated the surprising character development in Jim. With this book bring just around 200 pages, it’s a cool short read.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grim view of life and death in Southern California

Coming of age tale of outsider adolescence against the backdrop of fiercely territorial Palisades Verdes surf spots. Written in a clean and honest manner, lacks pretension.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a tragic family story and how the teens in the family are affected by their parents. Although it is written from the sisters point of view, it is the brother’s character that dominates the story. I recommend this book.
Jesse Jentzen
Well written and unconventional, but rather too short to fully enjoy.
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Curious to see how this translate to film.
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Haunting, tragic story that I couldn’t put down. I really enjoyed this book.
Mélanie D.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I know my brother will forget about fire, once he remembers about water."
Feb 11, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
How this book ever got published is beyond me. Hated it.
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