Lately I have been unintentionally reading a lot of debut novels. Usually when I read a debut novel, I don’t let my hopes get too high. The past few I have read have been pretty awesome though and Riptide is no different. Goodreads has recommended it to me several times and I have seen it countless amount of times under the “Readers Also Enjoyed” part of a page. It’s a summer novel that takes place on the beach, so I knew I had to read it.
Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe
How I Acquired This Book: Library Rental
Grace has one summer to prove she’s good enough.
For Grace Parker, surfing is all about the ride and the moment. Everything else disappears. She can forget that her best friend, Ford Watson, has a crush on her that she can’t reciprocate. She can forget how badly she wants to get a surf scholarship to UC San Diego. She can forget the pressure of her parents’ impossibly high expectations.
When Ford enters Grace into a surf competition—the only way she can impress the UCSD surfing scouts—she has one summer to train and prepare. Will she gain everything she’s ever wanted or lose the only things that ever mattered?
(Summary from Goodreads)
I love books that are about summer or take place on the beach. Usually they are light contemporary romance books and that is what I had been expecting Riptide to be as well. In some ways I was right and others I was wrong. Riptide had the romance in it, but it also dealt with a serious topic as well, physical abuse. I was shocked the first time something happened in the book because it was never mentioned in the summary. (Some scenes are more intense and violent than others. Wanted to just put out a warning.) Riptide was amazing though for a debut novel and I finished it in a couple of hours.
I loved the two main characters, Grace and Ford. They frustrated me a lot though. They start out as best friends who each has feelings for the other, but neither one tell the other. They end up bumping heads a lot out of jealousy which leads to one argument after the other. I wanted to just scream at them, “Just tell each other how you feel already!”, but it’s a lot easier for the reader to think it than it would be for two people to actually open up about their feelings like that. I adored Ford’s parents. They seemed like two great people who would help anyone who needed it. Grace’s parents on the other hand, I absolutely hated. Her father for obvious reasons and her mother for just standing around thinking it wasn’t a big deal. I was really happy in the end with the decisions that were made between all of the characters.
Besides the complicated friendship/romance and the abuse, Riptide focuses a lot on surfing. Grace and Ford both surf together and Grace wants to attend UCSD on a surf scholarship. I cannot surf myself, but it is something I have always wanted to learn to do and love sitting on the beach watching all the surfers out in the water. The surfing part of Riptide definitely brought the California vibe to the book as well.
Riptide is also a novel that would go great hand in hand with Laguna Cove by Alyson Noel. They both feature female lead characters and focus on surfing and a budding romance. (Also both are based in California.) They may sound a lot alike which they are, but they are both very different as well. I would say if you enjoyed Riptide you will enjoy Laguna Cove, as well as the other way around. If you’re looking for another book (or two) to fit in before summer is over, I would definitely recommend checking Riptide (and Laguna Cove if you have time) out.