Publisher's Note:  

It's an unsettled summer for Sirena. Back in Texas, her family's splitting apart, but here in Rhode Island, at the cottage of her free-spirited aunt, it's a different world. There are long days at the beach and intriguing encounters with him. Pilot. He's the lifeguard with shamanic skills. He both saves her and makes her feel lost at sea. Sirena explores her obsession with Pilot and discovers his mysterious--almost magical--gifts.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Albert Whitman & Co.

The Lifeguard

by Deborah Blumenthal

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Overall Review:  

After her parents decide to get a divorce, Sirena gets sent off on a plane to stay with her aunt for the summer. She usually spends her summers at camp with her best friend, so along with the sadness that she feels from her parents getting divorced, she’s frustrated with not attending camp this summer. While spending time on the beach, she meets Pilot, an attractive lifeguard whom she seems to bump into everywhere, and her heart begins a rollercoaster ride. Deborah Blumenthal does a nice job of taking a typical situation and adding unique twists to the story. The Lifeguard is an emotional read as Sirena is faced with potential romance, new friendships, fear, death of someone close to her, and new experiences she never anticipated. Serena was a very well developed character while Pilot was a very mysterious character which made for an interesting story.  As a light, yet deeper than expected story, this is a book that is appropriate for and will be enjoyed by those who are ages 18+.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language: 23 religious exclamations; 5 mild obscenities; 1 derogatory name; 5 scatological words.

Violence/Gore: Several (15) brief instances including but not limited to character’s wife’s death; character’s mother and grandfather death; young boy getting in bad bicycle accident and having medical complications; sightings and crying of ghost; character in hospital removing needle from arm and blood getting everywhere. Few (3) extended incidents including one involving a ghost; a character drowning & nearly dying; a character drowning, dying and being brought back to life.

Sex/Nudity:  Many (24) brief instances including but not limited to kissing; hugging; holding hands; cuddling; touching face; touching thigh; character showing cleavage; teenagers thinking about sex; minors discover that the definition of a foreign term is orgasm; character seeing married father leaving hotel room with girlfriend; insinuation of teenagers spending night together (no details).

Mature Subject Matter:  

Parental conflict, divorce, death of spouse, death of family members, stealing.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Adults drinking alcohol; adult offering minor alcohol; character imagining how illegal drugs would make them feel; drunk driving referred to in news; minor with ID considers purchasing alcohol.

Reviewed By Jenny
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