*Received a free copy in exchange for an honest review
If you're a teenager in a small, rural area, how do you exist when your eccentric, free-spirited parents are the town freaks everyone laughs at?
For sixteen-year-old Rainbow Honeywell—or Rain, as she insists on being called—the answer was to become the queen of all pranks. She never wanted to be a troublemaker, but the label quickly stuck when everyone in Huntsville, Kansas, became a target. All she wanted was to deflect the negative attention off her parents, but Rain's plan backfired to the max, landing her in a heap of trouble with the local authorities and expelled from high school.
An unexpected inheritance offers Rain an opportunity for a new beginning when she and her family move across the country to the quaint beach community of Turtle Bay, Florida.
Determined to make the best of her second chance, Rain vows to walk the straight and narrow, hoping her parents will fly under the radar while she soaks up some fun in the sun, sandy beaches, and hot, tanned guys. Unfortunately, she picks the wrong new friends, and a late night party lands her back in the kind of trouble she had been hoping to avoid. As the newbie in town with a record, Rain takes the brunt of the punishment when an unforgiving judge chooses to make an example out of her and slaps her with enough community service hours to keep her busy until she is old and gray.
Facing the harsh reality of paying for the actions of others while atoning for her own past sins, Rain is paired up with Josh Shaw, a judgmental local lifeguard whose love for the beach and the environment is eclipsed only by his distaste for those who trash it. As far as Josh is concerned, Rain is guilty and got what she deserved, regardless of her side of the story. To make matters worse, a tropical storm sits in the Atlantic, threatening to wreak havoc on the small beach community.
Things slowly change as Rain begins to appreciate her surroundings through Josh's eyes, proving she is not the person he thinks she is. Their feelings for one another blossom as the tropical storm grows into a hurricane and bears down on Turtle Bay. With impending danger looming, the small beach community must come together in order to ride out the storm.
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Rain is the town troublemaker. Causing havoc and trouble everywhere she goes. But she doesn't cause trouble to actually be trouble. Her pranks are a way to keep the heat off her overly eccentric parents. Naturally all those pranks were bound to get her in hot water. When she is expelled and her parents inherit a house in Turtle Bay, Florida, Rain decides to use it as an opportunity to turn a new leaf.
But turning a new leaf is harder than she thought and Rain quickly finds herself in the crosshairs of the law and on the hate list of one hot lifeguard. Now she will spend the rest of the summer making amends while trying to build new relationships.
I am a huge fan of all of Tiffany King's books, but her YA books are where my heart lies. So I was more than excited when she announced her return to the genre with her latest release of Turtle Bay.
In typical Tiffany King fashion I quickly found myself falling in love with the characters. She has some great skill in crafting characters you can relate to as well as route for. In Turtle Bay we have the funny main character Rainbow, or Rain as she prefers to be called, who is funny, strong, sweet, and misunderstood. Rain truly loves her parents and will do anything to prevent them from being laughed at. Of course the way she chooses to do it probably isn't the best way, but it definitely makes for a funny story. I really enjoyed hearing about the pranks Rain pulled in her old town. It actually made me think a lot about my High School days. You know a story is great when it connects with something in your life.
Then you have the adorable and straight laced lifeguard Josh, who is sweet, fiesty, law abiding, and cares for everyone. Especially the beach. But he is much more than a hot lifeguard. Underneath his tough exterior he hides scars and pain and a heart worth fighting for. When these two meet you just know there are going to be fireworks. Just not in the way you expect.
Of course Tiffany King doesn't let us down and gives us really great side characters that really help take the story to another level. No matter the role of the characters, each one is as developed as our main character. Naturally, there are some you will love and some you will want to bury in the sand.
Then there is the story. Cute, adorable, sweet, and gut wrenching, just like I hoped it would be. Turtle Bay really has it all. Humor, romance, suspense, amazing characters, and a story that brings in the feelings of memories long forgotten.
Author Tiffany King knows how to craft a story. She plays with emotions, gives us hope, and counters it with pain and life. Turtle Bay is an artful story that will make you laugh, make you wish of sunny days on the beach, and bite your nails as these characters are tested in ways that no one can see coming. It is these tests that show us the truth of these characters and leaves you breathless.