Tides by Betsy Cornwell This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

May 5, 2014
Before reading Tides, I had very little knowledge of selkies. I considered them to be the not-as-important cousins of mermaids, and in the hierarchy of mythology, they were many ranks below the literary titans that are vampires and werewolves. Tides completely altered my opinion for the better.

Set on the Isle of Shoals off the New England coast, Tides follows siblings Noah and Lo Gallagher in the summer before Noah's freshman year of college. Staying with their grandmother on tiny White Island is not supposed to be exciting. Noah has landed the marine biology internship of his dreams, and Lo plans to draw and paint while trying to conquer her ­bulimia.

However, things get interesting when Noah encounters Mara, a mysterious naked girl who appears to be drowning. Mara rejects his help and after a brief conversation, they part. The novel grows more riveting from there, as Noah and Lo are drawn into the mysterious world of selkies – half human, half seal – and the dangers they face living so close to humans.

Betsy Cornwell masterfully weaves together selkie folklore with a modern setting, which leaves you utterly spellbound and wanting more. While some stories with multiple narrators flounder, here the drama is heightened through more insight into the characters' thoughts and motivations.

Cornwell's debut novel is a fantastic read that you won't be able to put down. If this story of legends, love, and loss is just Cornwell's beginning, I can't wait to read what she writes next.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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