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{February 26, 2014}   {ARC Review} Returning to Shore by Corinne Demas

Returning to ShoreFrom Goodreads: Her mother’s third marriage is only hours old when all hope for Clare’s fifteenth summer fades. Before she knows it, Clare is whisked away to some ancient cottage on a tiny marsh island on Cape Cod to spend the summer with her father – a man she hasn’t seen since she was three. Clare’s biological father barely talks, and when he does, he obsesses about endangered turtles. The first teenager Clare meets on the Cape confirms that her father is known as the town crazy person. But there’s something undeniably magical about the marsh and the islanda connection to Clares past that runs deeper than memory. Even her father’s beloved turtles hold unexpected surprises. As Clare’s father begins to reveal more about himself and his own struggle, Clare’s summer becomes less of an exile and more of a return home.

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This is a very short read–I think it took me about two hours to devour, and I liked it, but truth be told, I don’t really feel one way or another about it. The storyline is well written, the characters are believable, and it’s a cute coming of age story, but overall, there just isn’t a whole lot to it. Our main character, Clare, is finding herself while at the same time finding her father, a main she doesn’t remember and doesn’t really know, and in a way, I felt like this aspect of the novel was more so trying to make a statement about homosexuality than anything else. I felt like this part was a little forced, but it worked with the plot and kind of was, just there. I don’t mind it one way or another, but it almost felt like there was an agenda to be had here.

Regardless, it’s a cute enough story and is short enough it can be read in one sitting, though I won’t say I really connected with any of the characters, or turtles.  If you’re looking for a shorter read or love animals, then this is the novel for you. Three stars.

3 stars

Lerner Publishing Group and Carolrhoda Lab have been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on March 1, 2014, in exchange for an honest review.

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