The Girl the Sea Gave Back, Adrienne Young – Book Review

Hello Humans! Remember back in April 2018 when I reviewed Sky in the Deep?

I’ll be honest…me neither.


Well I’m here, over a year later to review Adrienne Young’s latest book The Girl the Sea Gave Back, which takes place in the same world as Sky in the Deep. This book promised more magic than book one and also had this, frankly stunning, cover – so I was excited! I’m a gal with the sea in her veins after all so this should have been a win.


The Girl the Sea Gave BAck

Goodreads Summary:

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

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I will say this book is a nice quick read, I feel like things have been heading tomewards of late and there’s been a while since we’ve had a good ‘quick read’ published. My paperback edition was finished in just over an hour (I’m a fast reader, I guess it would take someone else a couple of days?  – still not long).

Is my only good point that it wasn’t too long….no come on Judith let’s think of some other positives.

I liked that this book embraced the magical element more than Sky in the Deep did. That was my main criticism of the previous book, it felt as though the magic just wanted to burst through and was being restrained by certain plot elements. In contrast, Tova is a fortune teller and it is generally accepted that is something magical. I liked the details of how she casts the stones and how those prophecies have an impact on events. While rune casting is not a new magic system by any means this felt like a well thought out way of depicting it.

I think my biggest gripe with this book is, arguably, somewhat petty. You give me a stunning sea cover, and a title with ‘sea’ in it – and there isn’t that much sea? I am craving a good ocean book and this just didn’t fill the gap and I’m sad.

But also I found I didn’t get on with any of the characters, this book is dual perspective and I’m not sure either perspective was interesting to me. The plot was a little confusing and I couldn’t keep a clear handle on what was happening at any one time.

Put simply, the reading experience, for me, was not a pleasurable one.

I am perfectly willing to admit that I have not been at my best lately, I’ve been exhausted and easily confused at the best of times – so take my review with a pinch of whatever condiment you like best. I think this will be a book that, if I ever have the brain, I will re-read and attempt to appreciate a little more. For the meantime, I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this book!

My rating: 3/5 stars

I received a free advanced review copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

The Girl the Sea Gave Back is available now!

Find on Goodreads | Amazon (Affiliate)

What say you? Do you factor your own mood into your reviews? Let me know in the comments below!


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