The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
 Young Adult Fantasy

Publisher: Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: 
September 3, 2019
Rating: 3 Stars ⭐️


For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again―a home.

Disclaimer: First and foremost I would like to thank Adrienne Young, Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for providing me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way sways my opinions, all thoughts expressed are my own.

Regardless of my review, I believe that we should gives books that interest us a chance! Reviews are important but not every book is for every person and we need to keep that in mind when we decide what books we want to read!

I went into this book with the understanding that this book is not Sky in the Deep, however because it is in the same world, I had a hard time separating that expectation from my thoughts. I cannot fault this book for not being Sky. To me, this book has way less Viking action and hardly any romance but that’s okay because it is a story of its own!

There were many parts of this YA fantasy that I enjoyed. I really loved the idea of how relying on fate can rule the way a group of people live. I love the expansion of the different clans, their ways of life, and how they view the world. I liked the idea of multiple points of view to get the story from a different angle. The fighting scenes were intense, had me on the edge of my seat, reading as fast as I could!

With that being said, I had a hard time connecting to the characters and the story, I would have an even harder time connecting if I hadn’t read Sky. Adrienne Young sets up a very unique world in the first but I felt like it wasn’t expanded much in this novel. The voices felt flat, even the POVs read the same in tone and structure. I felt lost, not knowing where I was in the story/world, and kept having to reread passages to figure out who was talking and where I was. Sometimes I would be reading a chapter and forget who’s point of view it was.

I felt that there wasn’t much of a buildup to the climax. There was a lot of telling and not showing, which packed less of an emotional punch. I felt somewhat lost on the characters motivates, and confused as to why they were doing what they were doing. I didn’t understand why they were at war, which is actually part of the issue I had with Sky. The plots seemed similar and had the same issues with pacing.

Overall, I feel like this book is very bingeable; while it had it’s issues, I still get myself compelled to keep reading it and to find out the fate of the people in this story. I think that there’s a lot that can be expanded on and more to explore! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves Viking lore, action, and for people who read and enjoyed Sky in the Deep but keep in mind that they are different stories!

You can pre-order this book at Amazon, or search any retailer online or book store closest to you! Available September 3, 2019!

IG: @rqdavis_


Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
 Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: 
April 24, 2018
Rating: 4 Stars



Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield―her brother, fighting with the enemy―the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Disclaimer: This book was purchased by me, all thoughts are my own.

Note to self: Read the synopsis before reading the book 😂

I started reading this book last week because I was approved for The Girl the Sea Gave Back. I actually had zero idea what Sky in the Deep was, besides being about Vikings and potentially flying around because of the title? Needless to say, I wasn’t enjoying the first 30% of the book. I kept thinking that this was not at all what I thought it was going to be, and then I read the synopsis and felt like an idiot.

After I read the synopsis, I started enjoying the story more. I really loved Eelyn’s growth as a person and her relationship she has with her family, her dedication to her friends, and to her home. There were lots of characters that I loved and felt connected to! The plot developed in a quick and intriguing way. I stayed up until 2am binge reading the last 40%!

Oh and it has zero flying Viking ships 😂

Things that worked for me (could be considered slightly spoilery):

  • Eelyn and her characterization. She is a strong and fierce Viking Warrior!
  • Eelyn and Fiske’s developing relationship, I loved both of their vulnerabilities with each other – although did anyone else ship Iri and Fiske, AT ALL? 😂
  • The descriptions of battles and their common goal of defeating the Helja even though the peace between Aska and Riki was forced.
  • I loved the Fiske POV bonus chapter!! Ahh!!

Things that didn’t work for me (could be considered slightly spoilery):

  • Her dad was a total pushover. I appreciate women having a voice in this world but damn… her dad would say “no,” Eelyn would say, “please,” and her dad would say “okay fine.” Like ? There’s no tension there considering he’s the toughest chieftain guy in their clan.
  • Eelyn cried non-stop. The descriptions of her tears drove me insane.
  • I wanted more information as to what happened with Iri when he was found by Fiske!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! I think it serves as a wonderful standalone. I was satisfied with the ending and am looking forward to the companion novel, which apparently is another standalone set in the same world!

You can order this book at AMAZON, or search any retailer online or book store closest to you! Available now!

IG: @rqdavis_