Release Date: July 21st, 2011
Buy It: Book Depository
Lexi has a dark secret: she's a siren, a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. Each night she must swim, or the pain is unbearable. Trying to keep others safe, Lexi has no friends and no boyfriend because the last time she fell in love, he ended up dead. But now there's a new boy at school...After loving Lost Voices by Sarah Porter I decided to dive* headfirst into the mermaid craze and picked up Ripple, another novel with a dark twist on sirens in which the main character is a teenage girl who was involved in the death of her first love. From the first page it is obvious how heavy Lexi's guilt is, and although we all aren't capable of killing men with our voices, the burden she feels over something she had no way of knowing is incredibly relateable. Everyone makes mistakes, but Lexi is still a young girl and the pain and emotion Hubbard captures in her is absolutely heart-breaking at times.
My major problem with Ripple is although it appears to contain a love triangle- not my favourite to begin with- one of the boys catching Lexi's eye was completely unlikable and not even slightly desirable. I realize he had something Lexi craved deeply and could change her life forever, but it is hard to imagine she could even consider picking him. I loved the shocking ending but I wish that up til that point there had been a little more to catch the reader's interest so that I felt more than simply 'good riddance' when the book was over.
What's incredibly refreshing about Ripple is that it is a standalone novel. Yup, you heard me right. It seems like every book these days, especially those with a touch of paranormal in them, is part of a series and I am so glad Hubbard limited herself to one book to tell this story. The result is that although short, Ripple is completely satisfying story-wise and full of twists and turns you won't see coming with an ending that is quite rewarding. I really enjoyed Hubbard's writing and was disappointed when I checked out the synopses for her first two novels- You Wish and Prada and Prejudice- neither of which really caught my eye. Luckily, it turns out she also publishes YA on serious issues under the name Amanda Grace including But I Love Him and the upcoming release In Too Deep, both of which I will definitely be checking out.
Hubbard's writing is smooth, flows nicely and is easy to read and I loved her unique spin on the mythology involved in the story. This is a great book to just devour in a lazy afternoon. In the midst of a sea* of paranormal, Ripple is a book that still manages to stand out because of the strong connection the reader forms with Lexi, a flawed and believable protagonist that Hubbard takes on an emotional journey.
*These puns were completely and totally on purpose. Sorry, I couldn't help myself.