To Hear The Ocean Sigh is a new YA Contemporary that packs a big punch. This book revolves around a lot of heavy life experiences, like love, friendship and suicide. The way that this book was written was absolutely beautiful, and it made it fun to read despite all of the hard to hear words. I thought it was original, and entertaining, though I felt at some points it was a little melodramatic.
A boy named Jake from a small town in Oklahoma, who isn’t very popular, and doesn’t have much else to do besides go home and prowl around on the newest social networking site CoffeeFolder (hate the name btw), gets a new cell phone for his birthday. Jake soon finds himself waiting all day for someone to call him, or text him, and when he finally receives a text, it was meant for someone else. The girl on the other end was actually looking for her ex-boyfriend, but instead she and Jake strike up an unlikely friendship. Saphnie is from North Carolina, and she seems to be pretty clever and outgoing. Her and Jake talk about everything from God, to books, to the meaning of life and love. Their friendship starts to mean a lot to Jake, and he begins to look forward to their texts. Even if he has other things going on in his real life, he still wants to talk to Saphnie.
Then Jake starts to get friends in his real life, and this is when the book does a complete 180. It was as if I was reading a completely different book. Though I felt like it dragged on a little bit at this point, it wasn’t too bad. I was actually getting bored with the back and forth between Jake and Saphnie, so when the whole new twist came about, it was a breath of fresh air. I can’t spoil it because it’s too good, so if you wanna know what it is, you gotta read the book!
One of the things that I really liked about this book was how the use of different formats played into the story. For example, all of the correspondence between Saphnie and Jake was through text messages, and that made it fun and easy to read. There were also social media posts, that created the feeling of actually being in the story.
On the flip side, of the things that I didn’t like about this book were the characters. At times, I felt like they seemed to be one dimensional. Plus, some of their actions kind of contradicted their personalities. I feel like both Saphnie and Jake could have been so much more, so very real, yet they ended up being shells of a real person. Even though the characters weren’t that easy to connect with, the story was still pretty good. This wasn’t one of my favorite books I have read this year, but the twist in the book made it more enjoyable for me. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review, so thank you Wes Florentine and everyone at Verona Booksellers.