Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 340
Haunting story set in historical Scottish Highlands
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Alva lives with her father in a small town in the Scottish Highlands. Nine years ago, Alva overheard her father killing her mother, and she's been trying to survive ever since. The best way to ensure she lives? Help her father monitor the loch, a duty that has been passed down from generations. Just when Alva is planning to run away from the town that shuns her and the father who scares her, something comes out of the loch. Something that is more dangerous than anything Alva has seen before...

What I Loved:

The setting: Though the exact time period isn't specified, the setting of the historical Highlands in a small remote village is incredible. Salisbury captured daily living in a mysterious town choking on secrets and eager to judge perfectly, while also highlighting the absolute beauty of the mountains, the loch, and the warmth of neighbors who keep open minds.

The tension: There are so many lines of strong tension throughout the story that I felt my muscles tensing as I read more than once. It starts with the tension between Alva and her father, the tension of Alva being so close to escaping but knowing that the slightest misstep could throw her plans off, and moves to the terrifying scare of the creatures from the loch. There's even romantic tension between Alva and her friend, Ren, that, while slow burn, is still fiery.

What Left Me Wanting More:

The plot/pacing: While there is great tension, the trajectory of the plot and pacing felt unbalanced at times. In particular, the resolution left something to be desired. It had a sense of incompletion, of sudden change that lacked a strong falling action downward slope to carry it out. The big twist at the very, very end was a disappointment. This definitely isn't a story of hope or happy endings, though readers who like sorrowful endings will likely enjoy it.

Final Thoughts:

HOLD BACK THE TIDE is a haunting, ethereal tale that echoes long ago legends. This is an excellent pick for readers who like historical horror with surprising endings.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Llama Llama Meets the Babysitter
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
With over 30 million copies in print, Anna Dewdney's New...
City (Wheels at Work)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Delivering, collecting, transporting and recycling! Lift the flap to see...
A Season of Flowers
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Michael Garland (Daddy Played the Blues) displays his impressive illustration...
You Are Fantastic!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Hello!Lucky, the creators of My Mom Is Magical! and...
Early One Morning
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Join a little boy searching the farm for his breakfast...
Little Sap: The Magical Story of a Little Forest Family
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
A little tree, guided by her family circle and forest...
The Little Things: A Story about Acts of Kindness
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
One girl’s simple act of kindness causes ripples in her...
The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison, #2)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this sequel to The Kinder Poison—which People magazine proclaimed...
The City Beautiful
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Death lurks around every corner in this unforgettable Jewish historical...
The Shape of Thunder
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a...
Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lyrical and heartfelt collection by an award-winning writer that...
The Republic of Birds
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A young witch must save her sister from evil birds...

Latest Member Reviews

Simone Breaks All the Rules
 
4.7
"Simone's Haitian immigrant parents are very strict; she and her sister Anne have to go to an all girls school..."
Who Put This Song On?
 
4.7
"In a small, very white town, Morgan is trapped in the expectations and assumptions of everyone around her. She hasn't..."
Love & Olives (Love & Gelato #3)
 
4.0
"Olive Varanakis's father was obsessed with the lost city of Atlantis, and since he was born and raised on the..."
Cracked Up To Be
 
3.7
"Cracked up to be is an unsettling tale of a girl on the cusp of a mental breakdown for over..."
That's Not What Happened
 
4.7
"WHAT I LOVED: There have been countless school shootings in the United States and hundreds if not thousands of..."
Like Sisters on the Homefront
 
4.7
"Top 3 reasons to read LIKE SISTERS ON THE HOMEFRONT: 1.) The characters- Gayle, a NYC girl sent to..."
The New David Espinoza
 
5.0
"David is the skinniest kid at high Florida high school, and he's taken his share of bullying about it. On..."
Long Way Down
 
5.0
"I feel like I've been asleep for the last 31 years and I just woke up. I am woke. ..."
Patron Saints of Nothing
 
4.3
"After learning that his cousin Jun (his best friend and penpal) has died, Jay Reguero heads back to visit his..."
Patron Saints of Nothing
 
4.7
"Reading Patron Saints of Nothing invokes a lot of emotions, especially for someone who’s socially aware of the current political..."
A Monster Calls
 
4.7
"4.5 Stars This low-fantasy middle grade story is at once hefty and heartrending—despite its relative brevity and target audience..."
Maybe This Time
 
4.7
"Sophie is bound and determined to make it out of her small Alabama town and attend design school in New..."
Let Me Hear a Rhyme
 
5.0
"Tiffany D. Jackson has knocked it out of the park yet again with LET ME HEAR A RHYME. When Steph..."
Let Me Hear a Rhyme
 
4.7
"I'm not sure which the character I loved the most. It is one of those heartfelt stories about a group..."
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly
 
3.0
"Told entirely from the first-person perspective of Minnow, beginning from the point she is arrested and placed in a juvenile..."
The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary
 
4.7
"What worked: This is an amazing glimpse into the life of Macy. Others say she's 'disturbed', but she's the kind..."
The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary
 
4.0
"The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary is as disturbing as its name implies. While, in an effort to not trivialize or..."
Fangirl
 
4.0
""Fangirl" was a fun and sweet story, similar in tone to Eleanor & Park. Cath and her twin sister have..."
What If It's Us
 
4.3
"So… here we are. We’ve been blessed by possibly the most anticipated collaboration from two YA authors, so how could..."
What If It's Us
 
4.0
"I’ve read both Becky and Adam books and What If It’s Us is a combination of the very best of..."