Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Properties of Water

"...I want to jump off at Turtle Rock!," she adds. "Come with me!"

My stomach turns. Marni knows I am afraid to jump off Turtle Rock, and yet each time they go she begs me to jump with her. I don't think Marni has ever been afraid of anything."

This book caught me by surprise. The cover looks dark, and Alysa told me early on she thought I would like it. She told me she thought the cover implied a dark tale, where someone gets hurt. She couldn't have hit the nail on the head any closer.

The Properties of Water is a story about a young teen whose teen sister is involved in a serious accident and spends most of the story in a rehabilitation center for spinal injuries. Water surrounds the characters in the story and serves a particularly important role in both injury and healing. This debut novel for teens by Hannah Roberts McKinnon really engaged my senses of water and the potential fears involved with peer pressure and families journeying in the aftermath of accidents. I most enjoyed the interaction of time in this novel; it seemed at times as if I could hear the second hand on the clock while other moments sped by, making me want to slow down the words on the page. Family members fill out the cirlce of characters nicely, with actively engaged parents and grandparents showing up in meaningful scenes throughout the book. This book is set back East near Portland, Maine, where houses on lakes seem to be more of a norm than here in the Pacific Northwest. The main character lives on a lovely lake and I ahve a solid mental image of that lake from an expansive back deck off of the house.

I liked reading this book, and I look forward to reading more from this new author.

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