Thursday 29 April 2021

Book Review - On Midnight Beach


Title: On Midnight Beach

Author: Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick 

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Release Date: 2 April 2020 

ISBN-13: 978-0571355594



I kept clear of Dog Cullen. Till the summer we turned seventeen, the summer the dolphin came to Carrig Cove . . .
Donegal, 1976
When a dolphin takes up residence in Carrig Cove, Emer and her best friend, Fee, feel like they have an instant connection with it. Then Dog Cullen and his sidekick, Kit, turn up, and the four friends begin to sneak out at midnight to go down to the beach, daring each other to swim closer and closer to the creature . . .

But the fame and fortune the dolphin brings to their small village builds resentment amongst their neighbours across the bay, and the summer days get longer and hotter . . . There is something wild and intense in the air. Love feels fierce, old hatreds fester, and suddenly everything feels worth fighting for.

My Review

This is the second book I was given as part of the Carnegie award, from the blurb I was quite looking forward to this one - I like Dolphins and books set by the sea so thought I would absorb it and love it.

In a lazy seaside town called Carrig Cove, Emer is forced to work in her dads shop, he's quite strict and doesn't like her going out, but one summer a dolphin arrives in the bay and causes quite a stir with the locals, and soon tourists are arriving too, but Emer seems to have a connection with the dolphin and the four of them sneak out at midnight to swim with the dolphin, and maybe get to know each other better too. Emer and Dog start to get closer and soon a relationship is blooming, but there is rivalry with the other nearest town, soon there are fights and disputes that could endanger the town, the dolphin and the kids.

There are a host of other characters that we meet and follow too, including Gus who used to live in one of the towns but moved to the other and never really fit into either, then theres Maeve who wants to be the center of attention. This was the main part of the book I didn't like, this is a teen book and most of the book reads like it would be aimed at a younger or mid teen, on the Carnegie website it says it is suitable for Year 9 at school and up, but that means students as young as 13 are reading this book, and there is a lot of sex scenes in it. I don't mind the odd sexual reference if it is absolutely necessary and furthers the story and plot line, but this one just seemed to have moments for no reason other than the author felt like it. At one point Maeve comments on the size of his c**k and then they precede to strip each other and go at it. This continues throughout the book, but I couldn't really see a point to any of it. IT just made me feel uncomfortable, especially knowing some of the students who had this book and would be cringing at reading it. I don't think it is necessary or appropriate.

 The thing I did find most interesting about the book though was that it is actually based on an old legend, which made me interested in looking up the legend and discovering more about it. 

Overall I found the book to be a bit of a washout, i didn't care much about any of the main characters, the dolphin is not really the main focus of the book - it's just a catalyst for events and there was far too much sexual references. Just didn't spark anything in me. 

My Rating


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