It's an unsettled summer for Sirena. Back in Texas, her family's splitting apart, but here in Rhode Island, at the cottage of her aunt, it's a different world. There are long days at the beach and intriguing encounters with Pilot, the lifeguard with shamanic skills. Sirena explores her obsession with Pilot and discovers his mysterious--almost magical--gifts.
Sirena's parents are divorcing and as a result she must spend the summer at her aunt's house in another state. Confused and upset over the divorce and her future, she spends lots of time at the beach sketching and drawing.
Soon she meets Pilot, a gorgeous lifeguard, and is drawn to him, curious and smitten. She sees him all the time; at the beach, and even at the hospital where she is volunteering. When he seemingly brings a man back from the dead, she is all the more fascinated.
Will she uncover the mysteries behind Pilot and his power? Does Antonio, a wise, elderly artist have anything to do with it? And does Pilot have feelings for Sirena like she does for him?
This book was slow at first. Near the beginning, I had to push myself to read the first few chapters. It got better and better as I read, and the ending was fantastic.
I liked the mix of contemporary with a bit of fantasy or paranormal. While the book had a very contemporary, real-world vibe overall, Pilot's powers and small paranormal occurrences throughout gave it a unique twist.
Sirena was a fairly likeable character. I felt empathy towards her and her situation, however sometimes I wanted to smack her! She made some extremely questionable choices, some of which were not at all necessary and made me face-palm. While this was very annoying, I was grateful that she wasn't whiny or incredibly over dramatic as some YA female protagonists I've come across have been.
Pilot was a super nice guy, he was a hero, and he looked perfect..... This irritated me a bit. He was very cliché in this sense, the flawless, noble love interest. With his mysterious demeanor, the way he avoided Sirena.....he was very 'typical-YA-love-interest'. However, he was a genuinely nice person, he wasn't a jerk, and he honestly cared about others, which I found redeemed his character.
Overall, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It wasn't perfect but it was emotional and sweet.
I recommend this book to YA readers, especially those who like books set on beaches, summer romance reads, and emotional stories.
This review can also be found at : http://fortheloveofbooksreviews.blogspot.ca/2015/07/the-lifeguard-by-deborah-blumenthal.html
A nice mix of contemporary and the paranormal
The Lifeguard has a hot, beachy cover that suggests at a summer setting, and a sizzling romance. With a lifeguard. And it’s kind of right. The Lifeguard does take place during the summer, and there is romance between Sienna – the main character – and the lifeguard, Pilot. We have a lonely girl, a mysterious guy, a beach, and some paranormal elements. But I just feel that these elements weren’t combined as smoothly as they could’ve been.
Sienna’s family problems could’ve been interesting, but instead, it worked against the story and only annoyed me as she just kept whining and whining “Why me?” as if the whole world was working against her. Over and over again. Every chapter. Seemingly every page. Gah.
The paranormal elements seemed to be awfully convenient, and appeared just in time to save someone from danger. But we’re never really properly told how one gets these abilities, or how exactly it all works out. It just pops in, then disappears when everyone’s okay. No explanation. And I don’t really get the whole problem with the haunted house and the ghosts, either. I mean, why don’t they do something about it – try to chase away the ghosts? Wouldn’t you be at least a little scared if there were really ghosts in your house?
And, of course, there’s the superficial obsession Sienna feels for Pilot. Sienna’s immediately attracted to Pilot because he looks hot. Golden skin, blonde hair, and a great physical build. She follows him around, and gets jealous of girls whom she think he’s going out with, even when she doesn’t have the right to do so. But Pilot, on the other hand, is reserved. Maybe the author did it to build mystery around him – I don’t know – but he felt too cool and aloof, and it didn’t seem like he felt anything for Sienna at all. He seemed more connected with his sister-like friend, whom he was caught in way too many very compromising situations with for me to really believe that their relationship was a “just friends” one.
The plot was rather scattered between a vague paranormal-ish plot (the healing ability) and a high-school, beachy romance. But the two plots didn’t really seem to fit together, and Sienna’s obsession with Pilot seemed to take the front seat in all this. I think I would’ve enjoyed it more if the author just chose one – the contemporary or the paranormal – side of the book to write, as at times it seemed as if I was reading two books crammed into the space of one.
Overall, The Lifeguard just wasn’t the book for me.