Thursday, July 27, 2017

Book Love: The Shark Club

I don't know about you, but if I got bit by a shark at a young age, chances are I'd be sticking with swimming pools, staying far away from the ocean.  I've never seen Jaws just in case the fictional version is enough to scare me off the beach forever.

That's not what happens to Maeve.  At the age of 12 she gets her first kiss which was immediately followed by having a shark chomping onto her leg.  (So maybe the lesson should be to stay away from kissing boys, not the ocean?  Not that she does that either.)  The boy, Daniel, is her twin brother's best friend and her friend and he helps gets her out of the water.  It's not the last we see of him. 

Maeve has already had something pretty terrible happen to her, her parents were killed when she was 7 and her and her brother went to live with their Grandmother at the hotel she owns and runs in Florida.  So maybe a little (big) shark bite isn't as traumatizing as it might be for most of the rest of us.  She gets a whole lot of stitches, keeps the shark tooth the doctor pulls out of her leg, and goes onto be fascinated by sharks.

And fascinated is a bit of an understatement.  She studies them, for her job, going on dives, tagging them, learning about them, getting grants to travel the world to study them.  Sharks are her life.  The thing that would have scared most of us out of the ocean is the thing that drives her towards her passion.  She defends the one that bit her and is devastated when it winds up dead, many sharks do, in the aftermath of her attack.  In her opinion, the shark saved her.  It could have killed her.  But it didn't.  It was just being a shark and looking for food.  And she survived.

The Shark Club from the title is one that Maeve joins/is forced into joining with a young girl, Hazel, she meets at the hotel.  Maeve teaches Hazel about sharks, they look for shark teeth together, have a Shark Club pledge, hand shake, and badge, and meetings.  It's rather adorable.

AND on top of all that, there is an investigation into an illegal shark-finning operation that, obviously, Maeve doesn't like.  She becomes a bit of a detective and makes a few foolish decisions.  There is even a shark autopsy which I am 100% sure is the first one of those I've read about.  This is not a mystery novel by any means but it is a nice side plot.
This book isn't just about sharks.  Maeve has a long relationship with Daniel.  She has an, at times, testy relationship with her twin brother, for a variety of reasons.  Her Grandmother, who is still running the hotel she (part-time) lives in is rather quirky in an endearing way.  There is a man she works with on her most recent dive, the one before she goes back to the hotel in Florida and sees Daniel for the first time in 7 (??) years.  A lot has happened in the meantime.  She is heading off to the Indian Ocean at the end of the summer and that is looming over all her relationships: her Grandmother, her twin brother, Hazel, Daniel, and her colleague.   (Also, the Indian Ocean sounds beautiful...adding to my bucket list...)

I found this book rather charming and a perfect summer read.  It wasn't a typical chick-lit beach read, had a little more substance, a little mystery, a little science, some shark blood, and of course, some romance.  I read a decent chunk of it while supervising pool time and it made for a really enjoyable reading experience.  Even if you don't have any inflatable pool supervising in your future, this was a fun read.

Goodreads | Amazon

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