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The Painted Ocean

3.04  ·  Rating details ·  229 ratings  ·  99 reviews
When I was a little girl, my dad left me and my mum, and he never came back. And you're supposed to be gutted when that happens. But secretly I preferred it without him, cos it meant I had my mum completely to myself, without having to share her with anyone. And I sort of inherited all the affection she used to give to my dad - like he'd left it behind for me as a gift, to ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published March 3rd 2016 by Corsair Books
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3.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  229 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Feb 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
I don't always think it's helpful to slam a debut...but damn, this book was hard work.

The voice of young Shruti is painful. I think the stream of consciousness style is supposed to reflect the turbulent and emotional thoughts of a teenager, but it feels wrong. I'm not sure the author has connected at all to the gender or age bracket of his main character. Plus, the incredible repetition of 'cos' was grating after the first few pages, never mind chapters. The plot is lost in a realm of fantasy,
Susan Hampson
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this fascinating novel and found it impossible to predict where it was going to go to. The story is told by Shuruti from being a child to woman. All her insecurities, obsessions, need for love and friends. The betrayals from adults she should have been able to trust when she asked for help and the bullying no-one would acknowledge. You are in her mind, know her thoughts and feelings. At times she breaks your heart and at other times you cringe and want to shout at her, "what are y ...more
Hilary Mortz
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is definitely a 'love it or hate it' book and I loved it. I found it genuinely exciting, heart touching, well written and,above all, very entertaining. A fellow member of my online book club said she found it 'far fetched' but I disagree with that point of view - I found the escalating horror of the events in the second half all too possible in the 21st century.

An unexpected treasure in a flooded sea of thrillers-by-numbers.

Many thanks to NetGalley and all others concerned for letting me r
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I absolutely devoured this novel. The first part had me wanting more. My heart went out to Shruti and I couldn't believe what was happening to her. This part would make a good television adaptation. I also enjoyed the second part although completely different this could have been difficult to read for some people but not for me. It had me reading into the early hours of the morning. This would have been a five star read except that I felt the ending was rushed and rather unbelievable hence four ...more
Rosemary Standeven
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
This is a book of two halves. I loved the first half where Shruti is struggling to cope with overt racism and bullying at school and a weak and indecisive mother at home, who is a prisoner of her Asian culture. In her desperation to be loved and to belong, Shruti continually puts her trust in those who are destined to fail her. Her eternal optimism is endearing, but fatally flawed, and she is incapable of learn
Tina Price
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a most extraordinary, imaginative and compelling novel. The central character, Shruti, will break your heart as she describes the provisions of her childhood, trying to cope and support her mother in a hostile world. There were points in the early stages of the novel when her despair and her childish misinterpretations made it almost too painful to read on. Throughout the novel it is her immature, clear eyed narration that carries the reader on, discovering with increasing horror how her ...more
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
When I first picked up this book I had absolutely no idea what it would be about - it's so nice to go in blind occasionally - I was pleasantly surprised.

The first section of the book was about Shruti's turbulent childhood and I actually thought I was reading a YA book. But this was soon to change drastically - murder, rape, slavery etc. soon transformed the book to something else.

Although the result was somewhat unbelievable it was enjoyable, I liked the creative writing references towards the e
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I found the first half of the book quite easy to read and I was able to relate to the main character in some ways, maybe because we would be the same age and growing up as part of a single parent family I found some of the things that happened rang true.

In the second half of the book things become very dark and I don't think I was quite prepared for how horrible some of the situations would be. Well done to the author who did not shy away from exploring the darker parts of human nature.

I did h
Babus Ahmed
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This literary fiction novel tells the unusual story of Shruti, whose father left and whose mother doesn't speak English and is manipulated and controlled by the family elder to remarry. Shruti is bullied at school and feels a total misfit until new girl Meena arrives, giving her hope she can finally have a friend, but things do not go how Shruti hopes and Meena's influence on her life will leave indelible marks.

The first half of this novel won't stretch your imagination too much and seems plausi
Joesph Janela
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's a dark read with a colloquial voice and a bittersweet ending which can be a risk for the author but I appreciate it for what it is. The island sections serve as a deeper metaphor that people don't often want to see. I enjoyed the book for its deeper meaning.
Juli Rahel
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it

The Painted Ocean was a novel that intrigued me from the moment I read the blurb. It seemed to have a very strong voice and the different elements of the story seemed interesting. However, I was unsure of how it would all fit together so I was looking forward to reading it. Thanks to Corsair and to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The plot of this novel is truly a miracle in the sense that if I tried to describe it to someone who hadn't read th
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I think the people who find the protagonist's voice annoying just don't like females. Packard creates a believable character who speaks through a unique voice. There's no use in creating a first person protagonist that just sounds like a third person protagonist but with a different pronouns. Over-all an engrossing read, which seemed like a dream I couldn't wake up from. The worst thing that can happen during a book is that you don't care about the characters at all. I experienced the emotions o ...more
Juliana Barbassa
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really appreciated the voice of this novel though it was difficult to read at some points because you truly felt for the character. I think the author took a daring risk with the second part but I think it fit into the whole story in a deeper way. Something I would recommend, especially for those who see beyond what exactly is written on the page. This is a story of heartbreak, yes.
Alison Bond
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book from last year I will never forget. A rape survivor, a victim of human slavery and parental neglect, who never recovers. All told in a flippant, youthful voice, to misdirect. I have memorised passages from this book and whilst I respect differences of opinion, when somebody tells me that they hated this book I like them a little less.
Susan Duthie
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This book was the strangest story I have ever read! Oddly enough it kept me reading right to the end. Looking at other Amazon reviews they really are quite mixed. This is to be expected. Anyway I really enjoyed the story even though it was simply written and bizarre.
Maddi Heinrich
Mar 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Whilst this story is incredibly far fetched, I actually quite enjoyed it and I think younger readers might be more forgiving with regards to the implausibility. I started off thinking I was reading s book that was going to lead to an honour killing but was surprised by the turn it took leading to a romping 'adventure' of imprisonment, slavery and abuse all taking place on a remote Indian island. There is strong language, rape, torture and gruesome death and because of this content, I feel I woul ...more
Anna Troy
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down, I read it in two sittings over two nights. It's written in quite a strong voice which takes about two or three pages to get into but then you just get sucked into the story and you don't even notice it anymore. Lots of twists in the plot. It really makes you feel for the main character, Shruti, with all her problems with her family to start with and then being kidnapped. It really makes you think about problems in the world like human trafficking and people who are ...more
Jen Parker
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read The Painted Ocean with my book group and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a strange book but beautiful in a haunting kind of way. I don’t want to give the ending away but there are already a lot of reviews that say what happens, so it’s an island novel in which three people get trapped on a desert island and have to work to survive. It shows the drastic things they do, when they’re stuck in such extreme circumstances.
Angel Eduardo
Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I had no idea what to expect, as I knew nothing about the story apart from what I heard the author read at Shakespeare and Co. a while back, which was a more humorous section that takes place a little ways into the story. His reading and the strength of the narrative voice really impressed and intrigued me, and I was immediately excited to read the rest.

I have to say I was not disappointed. The book really threw me for a loop. The plot went places I never imagined, and I found myself totally enr
Barbara Lipowski
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read this with our book club. I was captivated by the characters and the immersion in a different culture (Indian/British) in part one of the book. In part two I was swept up by the adventure story, which takes place at sea and then on a desert island. It’s intense but I couldn’t put it down and read the entire book in two days, which to me is one of the signs of a good book.
Mar 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Well what can I say ... This has been the most bizarre book I have had to review .
It started off promising with a young girl pulling out all stops to stay with her mum .. And ended up being something you think must be a dream .. Far fetched and just unbelievably strange .
A book that is truly Marmite. And whilst I certainly wouldn't say I hated it .. I can't unfortunately aay I loved it .
Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the arc
Debbie McBride
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fiction
An unusual book. It reminded me of Lord of the Flies, in its plot, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night Time, for its language. Difficult to think of other comparisons. Maybe Life of Pi for its unusual-ness, if that’s a word. The first half of the book covers the main character’s childhood and adolenscence, growing up with her Indian mother and uncle and then being placed into foster care. The second half takes place on an island, and I won’t spoil the plot about how it plays out, but it ...more
Jun 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
This is definitely among the worst books I have ever read. This book is so bad, I’m astonished it’s even been published. The only reason I dragged myself through the entire thing was because every chapter was some kind of fodder for this review. And I’m glad I finished it because the ending was possibly the worst bit of the whole thing, and I have a whole rant about just the last chapter.

To try and be concise and limit my ranting a little, I’m going to break this review up into some main points.
Louise Wilson
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
I dont quite know where to start with this book. It follows the life of Shruti from a young girl until she is an adult. The overuse of the words 'I'm like' and 'cos' really spoiled this book for me. As it got very annoying after the first few pages. Thanks to Netgalley, Little, Brown book group UK and Gabriel Packard for ARC in exchnage for review
This book intrigued me, it was really fast paced and I found myself staying up to read another chapter. The author had a really unique way of telling the story. I loved the way it was written and it flowed really well! One thing that really annoyed me was the over use of like and there was so many ands!

The main character is called Shruti. From the very beginning I thought she was a little strange but I did feel so bad for her when she was getting bullied.

I didn’t like Meena at all. I thought she
Feb 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Overall an interesting read that has left me with mixed feelings.
We meet the main protagonist, Shruti, as a young girl living with her mother. Unexpected events turn this little girls life around. Shruti's life becomes an amazing rollercoaster of emotions and totally unexpected adventures. I did wonder at one point whether the poor girl had mental issues, although I think it is just a case of innocence and the need to be loved that caused Shruti to stumble into total disaster and despair. Defin
Fran Clark
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced, page turning book. The plot was unexpected and I found myself saying, 'Really? Could that happen?' a few times, but decided to suspend disbelief and go with the flow. It paid off.
At first I wasn't sure why the writer felt qualified to use the voice of Shruti. Sometimes it grated on my nerves and I wasn't sure he was getting her 'language' right from my experience of people I've known like Shruti. Again I was able to overlook this and keep going.
The writer succ
Dec 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
Received this book as a first reads giveaway from goodreads. This review is based entirely on my own thoughts and feelings.

Overall rating : 1*
Characters : 1*
Plot : 0*
Writing : 3*
Believability : 0*

I don't quite know what I've read, and why the heck I completed it. I feel like I've awoken from a dream and I'm trying to put into words what's just happened, but it's so crazy, and disconnected, and it makes completely no sense. But you try explain to someone the storyline and you sound like a crazy p
Matthew Tett
Feb 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting. Packard adopts the vernacular of Shruti, a British Indian girl, and the novel falls into two halves: Shruti's trauma-strewn childhood, with the awful bullying, rejection by her mother and her vile uncle - and the meeting of Meena; then, her time in NZ and the bizarre entrapment on the island, with Meena and Steve. The voice is distinct (but the 'I go', 'I'm like' explanations are really annoying - Why not 'I said'?). In many ways the book is completely implausible - but perhaps that ...more
Bettina Mangiaracina
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was given a copy of The Painted Ocean by a friend and didn't know what to expect at first, but the novel is a real page-turner. The main character, Shruti, has a voice that carries the reader throughout. Her voice sticks with you, making you feel like you are living inside her head throughout the duration of reading.

Packard has an intriguing way of describing a young girl's coming-of-age. Shruti's thoughts, insecurities, fears, and dreams are written in stream of consciousness, a style that c
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