One with the Waves
Can surfing change your life? For Ellie, it most certainly does. Vezna Andrews' debut novel is set in 1980s Southern California, where sixteen-year-old Ellie discovers herself through her love of surfing. Born and raised in New York City, Ellie's world is turned upside down when her father unexpectedly dies and her mother sends her to Manhattan Beach, California to live with her Aunt Jen and her Uncle Charlie--both avid surfers.
Ellie's new home is a sharp contrast to the loft in New York City's garment district where she grew up. Heartbroken about her dad, and worried about her mom, who drinks too much, Ellie doesn't fit in with the preppie girls at her new California high school, who eventually gang up on and bully her. Thankfully, with the encouragement of Aunt Jen and Uncle Charlie, Ellie discovers surfing, which becomes her passion and her refuge.
While surfing California's wild coast, Ellie experiences surfing's spiritual, healing qualities, including magical encounters with wild dolphins, whales, and sea lions. Eventually, Ellie finds a group of like-minded souls who show her what true friendship is--and she experiences first love. Though her relationship with her mom grows strained, Ellie becomes close to Aunt Jen, Uncle Charlie, and their community of surfers. Through surfing, Ellie develops the confidence and strength needed to navigate her own path in life--surfing literally saves her.
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"The novel soars to a literary sweet spot in its descriptions of surfing and Ellie's blossoming identity as a surfer, at one with the ocean and its mysteries as each day becomes a limitless adventure. An enchanting coming-of-age story with a lyrical heart."--Kirkus Reviews
"A reflective 1980s-set exploration of loss, friendship, and family. . . . An ode to the healing power of surfing."--Publishers Weekly
"Truly charming and touching, One with the Waves is an exploration of family, friendship, and hope. A tale of life, the sea, and surfing, the novel captures how it felt being 16, surfing at the crack of dawn, getting on my bike with wet hair, and riding up the grueling hills to Mira Costa High School--then racing down the hills to catch the afternoon surf with friends. It brought back so many fun times and good memories, all the while jamming to an awesome playlist of '80s music!"--Liz Benavidez, legendary surfing pioneer
"Early '80s California beach town culture had a very specific flavor, and One with the Waves captures it perfectly--the music, the characters, the lingo, the way it felt to stand on the beach staring out to sea. . . . Experiencing it all again through Ellie's eyes is a trip down memory lane in a story that is equal parts heartache and heartening."--Chris Shiflett, Foo Fighters guitarist and avid surfer
"The ocean is powerful and healing. My dream is for everyone to get a chance to experience its blessings--like Ellie does in One with the Waves."--Sara Kohrogi, pro surfer and star of Disney's Chasing Waves"Andrews captures the true magic of the ocean and wave-riding to provide young people with a refuge from emotional distress, an avenue for building a spiritual connection to nature, and a place to feel their strength and affirm their belonging as they venture out into this wild world. Surfing makes sense when nothing else does."--Captain Liz Clark, author of Swell: A Sailing Surfer's Voyage of Awakening