Series: N/A Standalone
Genre: Thriller | Paranormal
Audience: Young Adult
Page Count: 300
Date of Publication: 5th March 2020 by Scholastic
Purchase: Amazon | Waterstones | Book Depository| Wordery
Melinda Salisbury: Website | Goodreads | Twitter
Book is mine and all thoughts are my own.
Synopsis (taken from Goodreads)
Everyone knows what happened to Alva’s mother, all those years ago. But when dark forces begin to stir in Ormscaula, Alva has to face a very different future – and question everything she thought she knew about her past…
Ever since I read the sampler at YALC 2019, I knew Hold Back The Tide was going to be one of my most anticipated books for 2020. However, I didn’t anticipate it would be thrown right into my top 5 list of the most soul-tearing books I’ve ever read.
And no, that is not an understatement!
I was in its thrall from the opening line, instantly thrown into Alva’s mind, living her fears and wanting to escape from Ormscaula before even understanding the full extent of life in that small community. From then onwards, the pace working with the captivating writing pushed you head first through the mystery of the shallowing loch, to whether Alva really was living with a murderer, and what was happening to everyone in the village. It was thrilling, horrifying and exciting all at the same time and I was so caught up in it that I didn’t even care that I’d guessed one of the plot twists.
It is the first time that’s happened in a while and I was here for it!!
Moving that aside, Alva as a main character is someone to root for. She has her hopes and plans about getting out of Ormscaula, but at the same time she is deeply rooted to her ancestry, and I really appreciated that struggle to do what felt right. It was relatable, realistic, and simply well thought out. The same can be said for her relationships with the other characters. She and Murren had each other’s backs, there’s a little bit of animosity between her and some old friends, and there’s the reality of not quite knowing who to trust or whether people see her as trustworthy. I liked that a lot because you see Alva’s mistakes, her desire to learn from them and then build up that trust, not just with the villagers but her father too. And you start to realise pretty quickly who has their fingers in one too many pies.
And up to the very end, all that thrilling pacing and storytelling never stopped. There isn’t much I can say about the ending without spoiling it but I will say this…
I will never get over it.
Just read it and find out for yourself!!!