Dark family secrets, town legends, Celtic myths, curses, and monsters that prey on Selkies who dwell too long on land—all the ingredients of a haunting tale. Fathom is the second Merrie Destefano book I’ve read, and the first of her young adult novels. Part of what originally attracted me to Destefano was her attention to dark, surreal, gritty stories—modern legends or modernized myths—and Fathom didn’t disappoint me. Once again, she develops rich prose, history, and characterization. Don’t let the YA tag deter you; Destefano didn’t skimp and her young adult carried the same weight and atmosphere as her adult novel.
The story begins with a tomboyish swimmer named Kira and her best guy friend, Sean, who’s haunted by her mother—and the memory of her mother killing her sister before taking her own life. Kira soon meets Caleb, one of a group of strange, somewhat dangerous teenagers who comes to her beachfront hometown. She doesn’t know, though, that Caleb’s come specifically looking for her, and the group’s arrival compounds the bizarre changes in her own life. Kira begins hunting for answers that put her in danger while Caleb works harder behind the scenes to protect her.
The funny thing about love is that it doesn’t come in the neat packages you might expect.
I thought this was a great beginning to what I hope will be a series of stories about Kira and her friends.
Rated PG-13: some underage drinking, some violence, some skinny-dipping, some sensuality – nothing out of place for teenagers falling in love for the first time, but since you asked.
Review copy provided by the author. Thank you