“The moon will be up soon.
It’s time for us to begin.”
I recently started participating in the UKYA Chats hosted by the wonderful Lucy the Reader and that’s where I first heard about Deep Water by Lu Hersey. When I sent out my first tweet on my first ever chat Lu was quick to reply and reassured me that I’d be fine and that there were lots of others who got their fingers in a twist trying to keep up with the rapid chat. Needless to say I bought her book then and there.
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This book was utterly addictive; because I didn’t know all that much about it I dived (pun intentional) right in to the mystery surrounding the protagonist , Danni, and the village of Ancrows. The mystery was done really well, there was enough strange behaviour and family secrets to keep me turning those pages. It was well paced and built up brilliantly for the ending. I was pleased that the ‘secret’ wasn’t the generic thing that I expected. I was honestly surprised by what it was. Lu wove local cornish myths into the story but gave her own unique twist to it which I think was what made this book special.
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Another thing really enjoyable about this book was the characters. They all felt real. It was easy to associate the characters to people I know and to be able to understand their characteristics. This means it’s a lot easier to relate to them which in turn allows the reader to understand the actions of the characters. I think this really adds to the book and the entire reading experience. Danni was a caring and curious teen who stayed level-headed in even the most dire situation. She went through some interesting character developments leading to her becoming fiercely brave as well as unafraid and open-minded to the more magical part of the world. The book would have been very different if she simply did not believe in the ‘crazy legends of Ancrows’. Levi was probably my other favourite character; he was so funny but also really kind-hearted. He never failed to be there for Danni and her family. Their friendship was really lovely to read. All the relationships between the characters in this book were done so well; Lu really understands the way people tick.
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The plot was engaging despite there not always being a big action sequence going on. There’s always something happening and a lot of it is shrouded in secrets. We see Danni try and deal with the disappearance of her mother, having to move out to a small and unfamiliar village, her feelings for Elliot and that’s not the half of it! We’re also treated to some beautifully descriptive writing; the setting is so vivid and all of it has an air of magic. It made me really want to go to Cornwall again!
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This book is a fantastic example of YA and folklore. If you enjoy either of the two then I would recommend it. I’d also suggest this book for the setting alone, if you have ever enjoyed books with an aspect of the sea within the story then you should really have a look at this! It’s quite an easy read and with such relatable characters and evocative setting it really is a pleasure to read!