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Distant Waves

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  4,934 Ratings  ·  769 Reviews
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Taylor sisters of Spirit Vale are ready to spread their wings. After growing up in a small town where people are more interested in talking to the dead, the girls are eager to experience a wider, brighter, more exciting world.
Paperback, 314 pages
Published by Scholastic (first published April 15th 2009)
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Jun 15, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I say this with complete sincerity: This is the worst book I've ever read.

If I had written this review last night after finishing it, I'd already be on my 11th curseword. But I've had time to calm down. So let's calmly(ish) discuss why this book sucks so hard.

It has no plot.
It's a jumbled mess of failed messages, kind of like it wanted to say everything but ended up saying nothing at all.
It's a big fat lie.

As for the lack of plot:
Well, it has no plot. There are some people. They do stuff. Nikola
Amy Jacobs
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I will be honest in saying that the cover and the hint of The Titanic is what captured my interest in this book. Before I had even read the summary, the cover sucked me into the deep story of supernatural tales weaved into the historical tale of the Titanic.

Even with warnings of sinking of the famous ship Titanic, the sisters and mother still risk their life on sailing the seas in the hopes that someone will be watching over them. With famous names that you read about in the history books, you
Linda Nguyen
First off, I'm just going to say that the title is VERY MISLEADING! If you are thinking about picking up this book to enjoy a story that takes place on the Titanic, you will be dissapointed. The Titanic does not come into the story until the last hundred or so pages and by then, the story is nearly over.

Now, after I got over being upset with the book because of the lack of involvement with the Titanic, I realized that I actually enjoyed Distant Waves. It turned out to be a very interesting hist
Nov 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book was probably one of the worst I've read. Probably because my expectations were fairly high, but none the less, it was a disappointment.
I was hoping for a good book focusing the the voyage of the Titantic. When I opened the book and skimmed the first view pages, I was a bit intrigued by the spiritualist-aspect part of it. So I made the mistake of buying it.
I am about 115 pages in, but I am close to dropping it into the trash.
The beginning is very jumbled, like the author wanted to creat
Gwen the Librarian
This was a just okay historical novel that centers around a family of spiritualists around 1910. The mother and her five daughters move to Spirit Vale, a village full of mediums after their father dies. The mother becomes a famous medium after an encounter with Tesla, the scientist, inspires her to talk about "spiritual vibrations". The daughter at the center of the story, Jane, is not sure if she believes that her mother and her twin sisters can really contact the spirit world. She is more inte ...more
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW! I really loved this book! It's "A Novel of the Titanic" but the Titanic doesn't happen until near the end of the book. It's a book that's interwoven with history, the paranormal, and a great story of five sisters and the events that lead up to them being on the Titanic on its maiden voyage. I loved the name dropping and the important people that Jane, the main sister heroine, meets. This includes the crazy inventor Nicholas Tesla, who fascinates me, the financier John Jacob Astor, author Si ...more
Doug Beatty
Apr 16, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
This one takes some great liberties with the Titanic story and gets a little bit loopy. It is the story of five sisters, two of whom are clairvoyant, who all end up on the Titanic. There are mentions of almost every person who was every person of the time period, and it makes one wonder how an ordinary person would run into so many celebrities! It seemed like the mention of the celebrities were what set it in this historical period and not much was in the descriptive details which it could have ...more
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
I saw the cover and the tagline of this book and immediately wanted to pick it up. Whilst I haven't read all that much, I have really enjoyed the historical fiction that I have read. The tagline of this book tells us that it's a novel of the Titanic, and so I though that would certainly capture my interest. In fact, the book only partly (and quite briefly) takes part on the Titanic. This didn't actually bother me at all as I did enjoy the rest of the setting of the novel, primarily in a place ca ...more
Jenn Estepp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liya [Semi-Hiatus]
It was an interesting concept, the Titanic and the Spiritualist movement, but it was all kind of bland to me. Jane was likable but a bit dull and her romance with Thad was a bit rushed. I couldn't tell a lot of the characters motivations and they all seemed flat. I stopped around page 200 because I just felt unmotivated to go on and I've checked out a whole bunch of books from the library. It was better in writing than The Diamond Secret, but I don't know much about the time period, so I can't s ...more
May 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: basement
The best book by Weyn - ever.
She's outdone herself completely! Maude, the mother, is such a complex character. She unconditionally loves her children, but she has some things happening in her mind as well :s My favorite character? Besides Jane of couse, was Amelie. I wanted to know why she didn't speak, and once I found out why, I was just so intruiged. I yell out with happiness everytime I think of Thad and Jane - they're perfect. You should read this if you haven't already. It's romance, it's
Jun 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quibble with the subtitle "a novel of the Titanic". It took 200 pages to get the characters ON the Titanic and then boom boom boom the ship sinks and the book wraps up quickly after that. But still - an interesting mix of themes - spiritualism, technology (Nikola Tesla is a character), wealth, poverty, race and class.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Amber Gibson for

What would you do if you had foreseen the sinking of the Titanic?

DISTANT WAVES is one of many re-tellings of the mysterious happenings surrounding the greatest shipwreck of all time, but Suzanne Weyn's version stands out with its breadth of historical research and, most importantly, with its allusions to the paranormal.

Maude Oneida Taylor is a famed psychic, one of the most respected clairvoyants in Spirit Vale, a small liberal town teeming with spiri
Feb 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kate by: Teen Book Club selection
Jane and her sisters have lived in Spirit Dale most of their lives, with their mother who makes a living as a psychic. While Mimi and Blythe believe their mother is a fraud, twins Emma and Amelie seem to have some psychic powers of their own. Jane isn't sure what to believe. Through the years Jane meets a number of famous people, including the inventor Tesla (she falls in love with his assistant, Thad), and during a visit to London for a psychic conference, she meets skeptic-turned-believer Sir ...more
Lauren Kester
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the book "Distant Waves". At first I wasn't too sure about it because of the spirits and mediums. However the story was good because it had romance and history in it.

Jane Taylor is a sixteen year old girl who was born in 1894. She has four sisters named Mimi, Amelie, Emma, and Blythe. The Taylor family lives in a town called Spirit Vale. Jane's mother is a medium. A medium is a person who speaks to the dead. Jane grows up to believe that mediums are real. When she realizes they ar
Check out my review at my blog.

I was a little frustrated by this book because all it seemed to do was name drop. Every turn of the page these girls were running into the Guggenheims, Molly Brown, Nikola Tesla and John Jacob Astor. I understand that Scholastic likes to educate the younger readers, but really, Houdini? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? It was a bit too much. That and the Titanic doesn't even come into play until the last third of the book which I suppose is reasonable since how much time ca
Oct 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who's a sucker for love stories... like me!
What do you get when you cross stories of love, science, heroism, mediums, and the worst martine tradgety of all time--the story of the "Titanic"?

You get "Distant Waves".

"Distant Waves" is quite unlike anything I've read before. Sure, I've heard the story of the "Titanic" many times--but this book focuses on more than just the tradgedy. The book is narrated by the main character Jane, a young, aspiring journalist who had survived the "Titanic" two years before. Her mother and twin sisters are me
Sarah Evans
Aug 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: washyarg
A more accurate subtitle would be A Novel of the Victorian and Edwardian Struggle Between Science and the Supernatural. Readers looking for a shipboard romance ala Jack and Rose will be disappointed. But those looking for historical fiction or a slightly skeptical dip into the paranormal will enjoy this brisk read. Our narrator is Jane, the second of five daughters of a potential clairvoyant, telling her life story two years after the fateful sinking. Suddenly widowed in 1898, her mother uses th ...more
Mar 11, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, titanic
Hmm so I don't really know how I feel about this book. I would give it 2.5 stars, kinda wanted to give it 3 stars but the beginning of the book was soooo boring. It was such a weird premise for a book and I didn't realize it was going to be about mediums and fake spiritual stuff. The characters were so one-dimensional and so it was really hard to care about the story. I feel like the idea of a fiction novel about sisters on the Titanic could have been so good and this was just eh. I did like the ...more
Justin Maupin
The main characters are Jane Taylor, : Mimi Taylor, Amelie Taylor, Maude Taylor, and Blythe Taylo. It is about these girls life's on the titanic and the struggle of life in general.. I assume that the people that died would of had a full fun life.
It was a very touching and powerful story. Still the best book i have read!
Sarah Enchanted
It was a really great book!
Emma Albertz
May 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was really interesting and is a great book to read for people who like history, romance, and adventure. Suzanne Weyn, the author of Distant Waves: A Novel of The Titanic, is the oldest of four siblings from Long Island, New York. Which might have inspired her to write a story about five sisters. Suzanne is a bestselling author of multiple young adult novels such as, "The Invisible World: A Novel of Salem witch Trials," "Reincarnation," "Diamond Secret," "The Night Dance," and many more ...more
Five sisters, daughters of the famed psychic Maude Taylor, grow up in unusual circumstances. They make their home in Spirit Vale, a small and unique town in which a high concentration of clairvoyants and those with the “gift” also reside. Despite their shared last name, the five sisters are quite different. Beautiful Mimi, the oldest, yearns to claim a place in high society while also internally struggling with the truth of her heritage. She, along with her youngest sister Blythe, believes their ...more
Ashley W
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about five sisters' and their mother's lives get tangled together in this one book that goes through the US, Europe, and the Titanic. As the journey continues the family met many men, but one most important, Nikola Tesla. After they reach Europe for the spiritual convection and want to go home to the US they pick the one boat with a cursed ending, the Titanic. This book describes how one of Tesla's inventions causes the Titanic's crash that one faithful night, and how his invention ...more
Ciera Lazott
Everyone's heard the story about what happened to the Titanic...but no ones ever heard it quite like this.
In the novel Distant Waves, Suzanne Weyn tells the story of five sisters whose journey leads them abourd the Titanic. The story is centered around Jane (the second of the five sisters) whose father had died when she was four years old. Her mother, Maude Taylor, has a gift for talking to the dead. She works as a medium in the little town of Spirit Vale, a community for people wanting to ma
I had very high hopes for Distant Waves. The sinking of the Titanic is one of those historical event that has always fascinated me. I’m very sad to report that Distant Waves did even come close to living up to my expectations.

The thing that most annoyed me about Distant Waves is that the Titanic doesn’t even make an appearance until 200 pages into the book! The first 200 pages or so instead focus on Janet, her mother, and her four sisters. I found none of these characters to be particularly ende
Ms. Ramsborg
Distant Waves
Lexile: 790
I liked this book because I enjoy historical fiction and am curious about the Titanic. This book included many characters who were actually real people on the Titanic; for example, W.T. Stead, John Jacob Astor and Madeline Force, Molly Brown, and Benjamin Guggenheim and his girlfriend. Although the author imagined the actions and dialogue for her invented characterizations of these real people, it was still fascinating to imagine what they may have been like. On the other
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 17, 2015 12:58PM  
MORE 1 2 Mar 06, 2015 06:20PM  
Did anybody else feel that this book could have gotten more to the point? 17 50 Jan 09, 2015 09:16AM  
Do YOU believe in spiritualism? 1 3 Jul 24, 2012 08:40AM  
  • Ghosts of the Titanic
  • Destined
  • Titanic: The Long Night
  • Through Glass, Episode Four (Through Glass, #4)
  • The Lost Sister (Sisters of Misery, #2)
  • POD's
  • No Moon
  • That Fatal Night: The Titanic Diary of Dorothy Wilton (Dear Canada)
  • Moments of Reckoning
  • Holocaust Scream
  • The Camp
  • Dangerous Waters: An Adventure on the Titanic
  • Unsinkable (Titanic, #1)
  • Relativity (Sage Hannigan Time Warper, #2)
  • Titanicat
  • The Plague
  • Everlasting (Everlasting, #1)
  • In Mozart's Shadow: His Sister's Story
Suzanne Weyn grew up in Williston Park, Long Island, New York. She has three sisters and a brother. As a girl she was very interested in theater and in reading. Louisa May Alcott was her favorite author, but she also read every Sherlock Holmes story. Suzanne lived pretty close to the ocean and going to Jones Beach was one of her favorite activities Even today, if she goes too long without seeing t ...more
More about Suzanne Weyn...

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