Where Sea Meets Sky – Karina Halle
Publisher: Atria Books (March 31, 2015)
Pages: 385 pages
A new adult novel that perfectly captures the existential angst of your early twenties with raw wit, fresh insight, and true feeling from a critically adored USA TODAY bestselling author.
Joshua Miles has spent his early twenties spinning his wheels. Working dead-end jobs and living at home has left him exhausted and uninspired, with little energy to pursue his passion for graphic art. Until he meets Gemma Henare, a vivacious out-of-towner from New Zealand. What begins as a one-night stand soon becomes a turning point for Josh. He can’t get Gemma out of his head, even after she has left for home, and finds himself throwing caution to the wind for the first time in his life.
It’s not long before Josh is headed to New Zealand with only a backpack, some cash, and Gemma’s name to go on. But when he finally tracks her down, he finds his adventure is only just beginning. Equally infatuated, Gemma leads him on a whirlwind tour across the beautiful country, opening Josh up to life, lust, love, and all the messy heartache in between. Because, when love drags you somewhere, it might never let go—even when you know you have to say goodbye
This is by far my favorite book by this author, although I can’t say I’ve been disappointed by any of her books before (they’re all awesome). This one touched me in a very deep way. I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that I really want to go to New Zealand at some point or just being able to take that risk of quitting your responsibilities and just dedicate months to travel, really appeals to me.
Our main character is Josh Miles, a soon to be art student who suddenly decides to take time off before starting school and travel to New Zealand. He chooses this destination after meeting the adventurous Gemma on her last night in North America before travelling back there. You see she was also taking time off and she inspires Josh to not be afraid of travelling alone and to embrace that kind of life changing opportunity.We encounter all of Josh’s self-doubts regarding this trip, especially his mother’s disapproval. Being a 22-year-old myself I can identify with most of these doubts. What am I going to do with my life? Will this be the right career choice? Was this or that a mistake? When you’re starting or finishing college all these questions basically rule your life. However, I feel that sometimes you just have to take the risk and that’s exactly what we experience in Josh’s journey.
Through the author’s detailed account on each scenery you can feel you’re in New Zealand yourself. In my case, I just had to close my eyes for a moment and it was all there, sound and color. That’s the thing about travel stories, you’re literally travelling in your head to that certain place. If it comes to the places I read about, I might as well have travelled the world by now. One of my biggest pleasures is to actually read a story about a city or town and be able to go there and identify every street or monument mentioned in the book. I have to admit that Karina Halle does a tremendous job in all her research, since I get this feeling with almost all of her books.
In addition, we face the evolving relationship between Josh and Gemma. How they both have to forgive, grow and support one another. I mean what is love if not precisely that? Growth is everything in any relationship, especially if you’re able to grow beside that one person that doesn’t mind adapting to your changing personality. We all change in one way or another and the most beautiful thing is to be able to keep falling in love with that same person besides any type of change.
I know this is not Karina Halle’s latest book or close to it, but since it’s my first review on this author (the first of many, I warn you!) I wanted to make it about the book that made me feel like part of story the most. As I told you before, I felt completely empathic with Josh’s struggles and doubts. Plus, the detailed account on this scenery just made me fall in love with a country I haven’t even visited before.
I really want to encourage you guys to give this heartfelt story a try and tell me all about it!