Review: Where Sea Meets Sky by Karina Halle

My Thoughts

A spirited, sexy romantic adventure
penned in Halle’s distinctive and edgy style.

4stars

Synopsis

where sea meets sky coverA new adult novel that perfectly captures the existential angst of your early twenties with raw wit, fresh insight, and true feeling from a critically adored USA TODAY bestselling author.

Joshua Miles has spent his early twenties spinning his wheels. Working dead-end jobs and living at home has left him exhausted and uninspired, with little energy to pursue his passion for graphic art. Until he meets Gemma Henare, a vivacious out-of-towner from New Zealand. What begins as a one-night stand soon becomes a turning point for Josh. He can’t get Gemma out of his head, even after she has left for home, and finds himself throwing caution to the wind for the first time in his life.

It’s not long before Josh is headed to New Zealand with only a backpack, some cash, and Gemma’s name to go on. But when he finally tracks her down, he finds his adventure is only just beginning. Equally infatuated, Gemma leads him on a whirlwind tour across the beautiful country, opening Josh up to life, lust, love, and all the messy heartache in between. Because, when love drags you somewhere, it might never let go—even when you know you have to say goodbye.

My Review

Karina Halle takes us on another epic adventure… a journey of self-discovery and love, of taking chances and redefining futures. We first met Josh in Love, In English. He’s Vera’s tatted, artist brother who lives at home. Like Vera, initially, Josh is going through the motions, feeling the need for something more, without knowing what is missing. But one night, Josh meets Gemma and they just click. She’s sexy, she’s fiery, she’s funny, she totally seems to get him and she’s there for just one night before she returns to New Zealand.

“This woman seems to be everything I’m looking for and I only have her for one night, if I even have her at all.”

They have one amazing night, cut too short. When Gemma returns to Auckland, we learn that she is lost too. She has a restlessness, a pent-up desire that begs for a different life, but with a past that has been anything but kind, she sticks to the safe and predictable.

Until Josh unexpectedly shows up across the ocean, looking for her.

“I think he can feel it in me, this wildness. I want to pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist and the rest of my life doesn’t exist and the only thing that’s certain is here and now.”

When Josh takes this leap, takes this risk, and goes in search of the girl he can’t seem to forget, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. But when he sees Gemma again, he realizes things are much different than he expected. More complicated. Gemma pushes Josh away, while at the same time, wanting him desperately.

“I want him to want me. I want him to not want me. I don’t know what I want.”

Gemma takes Josh on a journey through some amazing locations in New Zealand as they both learn about themselves, and each other. Pasts, insecurities, truths and hidden desires all see the light of day in a place that changes everything.

“Before this … I was just going through the motions. Now I am the motion.”

Gemma reminded me of Vera in so many ways, they were both edgy, bold women who seemed trapped within themselves. Their paths were different, but the search for the core of who they were… who they wanted to be… is quite similar. Gemma and Josh are apart for a large part of the story and I wanted to see more moments of connection and intimacy throughout their adventure, allowing us readers to feel them together as a couple. The last quartile or so of the book really gives us more opportunity to see them together and I loved that. In fact, I really enjoyed the volatility and angst that the last portion of the story imparted.

I absolutely loved Halle’s ability to whisk us away and make it seem as if we were in a far away place, where the beautiful sea does meet sky and sunsets burn into thoughts forever. It felt like an adventure. I also loved how vulnerable Josh seemed to be. I didn’t expect that, and I loved seeing his capacity to feel and go after what (and whom) he wanted. This is a great, sexy book in which to escape, and if you were a fan of Love, In English and Love, In Spanish, you are sure to enjoy.

“I love you, I think as my heart seems to expand inside me. And you’ll hurt me. You’ll burn me. You’ll mark me.”

Series and Links

Love, In English and Love, In Spanish should be read together. Where Sea Meets Sky and Racing the Sun are spin-offs and can be read as standalones.

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