View from the window seat:
Missy Keiser doesn’t want to return to Anna Maria Island, Florida, where her peers taunted her constantly by calling her “Messy.” After yet another of her mother’s relationships fail, she’s forced to return to a town full of people she hoped never to see again. But life on Anna Maria Island has changed for Missy. A cute boy named Josh now lives next door, her middle school crush Sam King finally notices her, and her status as a social pariah seems to have ended. Soon problems at home threaten her new perfect life and Missy has to find a way to see herself in a better light.
Nicole Quigley tackles some tough issues in this book: bullying, suicide, a troubled home, and faith. The characters’ reactions and emotions are portrayed realistically as they face these issues together. Missy, repeatedly told by her classmates how ugly she is, begins the story with understandably low self esteem. She constantly doubts that anyone will ever see her as beautiful, yet desperately craves to have just one person tell her that she is. The author really excels at making Missy a relatable and sympathetic character.
Faith and God are weaved into the story through Josh, the boy next door who spends his Fridays at a church youth group. The parts where Josh talks to Missy about his faith felt awkward to me. It just didn’t seem like realistic conversation and kind of jolted me out of the story. The ending also threw me a bit when Missy accepts God’s forgiveness and suddenly everything was fine. I think that after dealing with multiple traumatic events, there would be more of an emotional struggle.
Though I was unimpressed with the ending, Like Moonlight on Low Tide is a good contemporary teen novel with realistic and relatable characters.
Note: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher.