C.G. Drews's Reviews > Only the Ocean

Only the Ocean by Natasha Carthew
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bookshelves: dystopian, young-adult, read-2019

ok I have a lot of feelings about this book. I got sent it for review and picked it up with zero idea what it was about. The cover seems like a soft contemporary, maybe?? But it's actually dystopian, and it reads a lot like an adventure/survival novel. Lots of being on the sea, shipwrecks and terrifying survival escapades. And it's GAY. Omg ok. 😌 Every time I say I'm tired of dystopian, that gets thrown out of the window when it's #ownvoices queer girls. Bless forever.

// the world
so the world-building is super sparse and you get only a basic feel for this universe set in Cornwell where everything is swampy and guns are currency. The poor live in the muck and the rich in towers. Now our narrator, Kel Crow, is uneducated and abused and on the run. So she doesn't know much. So I got why we didn't get a lot of world explanations. You really just have to go with it.

most of the story takes place in boats and on the sea! It reminded me of like Castaway and such. It's a really small book, so it keeps the pacing tight and the plot moving forward.

i do admit it was hard to read. Kel is uneducated so she speaks in slang, the run on sentences were intense, and the commas just seemed thrown everywhere. I think it was all a stylistic choice, so I appreciate that, but it was...uh, very hard to read at times.

// Kel Crow & Rose
ok I loved them and will cry forever. They both are wildly fire and ice. Kel is rough and cold, a feral child of 15 who carries around this mysterious baby. She's barbed wire and teeth. Her plan? To kidnap Rose (this rich person's daughter) and trade her to a contact for drugs, then run away to the Americas where she'll get an operation for her weak heart. But of course she and Rose get stuck together, lost in a storm. Rose is stuck up and privileged. But...they slowly begin to understand each other and...look, I realise we're on a ship already BUT I SHIP IT SO MUCH.

Also feral girls x posh rich girls = absolutely incredible dynamics.

It was hard reading about the baby...Kel is, uh, rather horrible to it and like my heart bleeds for abused children. I get that Kel is also an abused child, but I just...it was super hard to read the horror the baby went through. (view spoiler) I do appreciate how Kel + the baby's relationship unwound though...will die for this baby ok.

// overall
Look it got so feelsy at the end, I was SO worried. The last 50pgs were a blur of needing things to work out. Of being heartbroken and rebuilt. It was a very very different book to what I'm used to and, yes, the style was really hard to read and often confusing. But I enjoyed this one a lot!
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Reading Progress

August 21, 2019 – Started Reading
August 21, 2019 – Shelved
August 22, 2019 – Shelved as: dystopian
August 22, 2019 – Shelved as: young-adult
August 22, 2019 – Shelved as: read-2019
August 22, 2019 – Finished Reading

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