Tossed by the Waves

Tossed by the Waves
Publisher Name
Independently Published
Age Range
Release Date
August 21, 2022
The ocean carries everything that it sees: the aftermath of a date gone haywire, an epic noodle debate, countless late-night bonfires, love at first sight. It holds memories, experiences, picturesque sunsets. For Elliana and Nell, it holds answers.

Elliana is a perfectionist. She attends St. Jane's, a private high school on the coast of North Carolina, where straightened hair and ironed uniforms are the norm. Though she has a knack for basketball, she prefers to remain on the sidelines, a habit that—as her best friend often points out—has made its way into her everyday life.

Nell, on the other hand, has just returned home from her sophomore year of college only to be thrust into her responsibilities as the maid of honor in her brother’s wedding. She’s bent on making sure that everything runs smoothly, though her plans to reunite with an old friend might get in her way.

Elliana often feels nothing, while Nell is certain that she feels far too much. Though they seem like complete opposites, the two of them have one thing in common: they’ve both come to the ocean in search of the same person, but only one can find her.

Editor review

1 review
An Indie Book Traditional Publishing Missed Out On
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TOSSED BY THE WAVES by Erin Reilly is a coming-of-age novel about a close-knit friend group as they grapple with going away to college, life’s hardships, romance, and how they want to show up in the world. Though it’s a feel-good contemporary story, the way it’s structured makes it suspenseful and mysterious, and at the same time, deeply wistful and melancholic. It’s the perfect read for someone who really wants to sit in their feelings, and in many ways, it’s the literary counterpoint to Taylor Swift's music. It evokes the same kind of tone as albums such as Evermore and Folklore.

Major plot twist aside, what I really love about this book are the characters. They may be idealized humans, but they’re people readers will easily want to be friends with, each with a unique personality and reason for being in the story. I often found myself longing for the sense of community and belonging the characters have with each other. It’s certainly a beautiful example of how special and rare it is when you find people you mutually connect with, and is a fantastic example of what found family can mean.

Along those lines, the book in many ways made me nostalgic for experiences I’ve never had, as well as places I’ve never been. That being said, beach towns all share a similar spirit, and I so enjoyed the ocean as a backdrop for the characters’ experiences. I can relate to needing to sit in the sand and listen to the waves in order to process life as it happens. I also always wanted to live right on the beach, so in that aspect, as well as others, I was living vicariously through the characters.

TOSSED BY THE WAVES is a summer bonfire of a read, set at the ocean, surrounded by warmth and loved ones. The message of the book is simple: the best person you can be is yourself.
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