Title: The Lifeguard
Author: Deborah Blumentha
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
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 free-spirited aunt, it's a different world. There are long days at the beach and intriguing encounters with him. Pilot. He's the lifeguard with shamanic skills. He both saves her and makes her feel lost at sea. Sirena explores her obsession with Pilot and discovers his mysterious--almost magical--gifts.
It is hard to describe how I feel about this book. I enjoyed the theme and hidden paranormal aspect of this novel. I read this book within a few hours; the first chapter left me wanting more. It was fast pace then it slows down and allows you to enjoy the story with a few twist throughout the story to keep you wanting more. At times Blumenthal did not connect the story. Characters would appear out of nowhere and being important parts of the story, an example is Cody. He appears at the hospital then he soon becomes part of the story but we don’t get the connection to when he first appears to when he is an important character.
I did not like Sierna. I tried to like her as a character or find something I could relate to but I just could not. I found that she was very selfish about everything and was very jealous. I sympathized with her for being separated from her best friend for the summer while her parents were going through their divorce but her irrational and childish behaviour irritated me. I do however see that her parents were also very childish and I can understand where this behaviour could have come from. I feel like I am being harsh on Sierna but when she said I needed his attention on me I lost all hope on her. Pilot just lost a family member and the only thing she was focused on was getting his attention on her and making sure he liked her. It frustrated me a lot.
Pilot was an interesting character. I enjoyed the relationship he had with his grandfather and his closeness to Adriana. It was a relationship that could have gone differently but I liked how the author incorporated her into the story and made her an important element. We see flashes of his ability throughout the story. The back story made me want to know more about what Pilot and his grandfather could do.
Antionio and Edna were my favourite characters. I felt awful for Edna, without Antionio she was not the same. There connection was so sweet.
The research into this story was meticulous. When Sierena looks up the word Shaman, we find get not only the roots of which language this word comes from but also the meaning of the word. Blumenthal also gave back story to where the characters are originally from. Giving this background information gave the characters more depth. This is a new theme that I have not encountered often in book. I have read other books have used Shamans in the story but not as main characters. This is a completely new and innovative theme to use.
If there is a sequel I would read it to find out more exactly what Antonio means when he says Pilot is the keeper of the flame but it is not a book I am dying to read. I think Blumenthal has talent and I am looking forward to reading more of her work.