Cover Image: We Run the Tides

We Run the Tides

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A gorgeous book, a window into what it was really like to grow up in San Francisco's Sea Cliff in the 80s. I lived in the Outer Richmond for years, but I dreamed of Sea Cliff. For all of us who walk the cliffs at Land's End, take the concrete stairs down to China Beach, and wonder what goes on inside the fancy homes with the view of the Golden Gate Bridge, this book is a revelation. It's also deeply funny, an un-romanticized look at girlhood, adolescent deception, and the way friendships can turn on a dime. This may be Vendala Vida's best book yet.
Was this review helpful?
This book is pretty much the perfect book for someone my age, who is a Gen-Xer. I know it is a YA novel and is aimed at people who are young enough to be my kids, but let me explain. It is set in the 80s and auther Vendela Vida must have lived through them to write the 80s so well! It brought back a flood of memories that I didn't know I needed/wanted to revisit. It is also a book full of familiar characters and well-developed antagonists who are falling in love despite the odds. Just beautifully written, and a book I will most definitely be going back to re-read often.
Was this review helpful?
Wow. This novel is incredibly weird, and yet I couldn't stop reading it. Author Vendela Vida has a gift for writing complex and eccentric characters. Kooky 13 year-old, Eulabee lives with her family in the Bay Area and attends a private school. She starts to drift away from her magnetic childhood friend, Maria Fabiola after a misunderstanding. Maria Fabiola is a beautiful but troubled young lady who uses and lies to people to gain attention and admiration. Eulabee refuses to go along with a lie that Maria Fabiola tells on their way to school one fateful morning, and their friendship becomes fractured in the process. This is a difficult book to review because I don't want to give away the overall plot points. It's better to go into this not knowing much. I absolutely loved that "We Run the Tides" takes place in the mid-'80s. I felt so nostalgic while reading it. Brought back wonderful memories of my childhood. I didn't grow up in the Bay Area, but I was born and raised in Southern California, and my family and I used to visit San Francisco a lot during summer vacation. Gorgeous descriptive imagery, and historical events about that time period were accurate and tastefully done. My only gripe is the way 13 year-old girls are written in this story. I felt like I was reading about 17-18 year-olds high schoolers rather than middle schoolers. It felt slightly overwrought and unrealistic. Even though the tone had this strange, gothic feel I did enjoy my reading experience. It's one those books where you love and hate it all at the same time. It was uneven, bizarre, and yet utterly intriguing. 

Thank you, Netgalley and Harper Collins for the digital ARC.

Release date: February 9, 2021
Was this review helpful?
What a fantastic book! One of my favorites of this year. Eulabee is a teenager from the Bay Area who has a falling out with her best friends after she tells a different version of an event they all witnessed. But there is so much more than that to the book. She is such a compelling protagonist, smart, observant and dry-humored. And speaking of humor, I loved how funny in an understated and elegant way this book was.
María Fabiola, Eula’s best friend turned foe, was a great character.  She could have easily been a caricature of a popular pretty girl, but I didn’t feel that way at all.
Was this review helpful?
We Run the Tides is a unique story about friendship and growing up. The story takes place in the 1980s in San Francisco and following four of eighth grade girls. The main character is an odd girl named Eulabee, who is isolated from her old friend group. The loneliness she feels is palpable throughout the book, and is heartbreakingly beautiful and relatable. One of Eulabee's ex-friends goes missing, and everything changes. We Run the Tides is a fun, quick read with relatable themes of growing up and dealing with friends, and Vendela Vida's prose is beautiful
Was this review helpful?
It's 1984, and teenage Eulabee and her best friend Maria Fabiola live in the exclusive Sea Cliff neighborhood of San Francisco. After a disagreement, Maria Fabiola shuns Eulabee, leaving our protagonist friendless and confused. What follows is a beautiful coming of age story set in a coastal paradise, accompanied by the poetic writing that Vendela Vida is known for. I love coming of age novels and this one was no exception - light enough to read in one sitting but profound enough to leave an impact. Pre-tech boom San Francisco comes alive in the pages - I loved getting lost in this world while reading.

Thank you to Ecco for providing an ARC on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley and Ecco for allowing me an early read of We Run the Tides. The story follows four female characters who all attend a girls’ only school in San Francisco. One of the girls goes missing and the town as well as Eulabee, the main character, are left to make sense of what happened. This was a very quick-entertaining read that I did not want to put it down (only twice.) The characters were all quirky and eccentric which added to my enjoyment. I wanted more in the end but am very happy to have read this! 

Ecco has easily become one of my favorite publishers as their lineup if full of great authors and fascinating reads.

Pub Date: 09 Feb 2021 
Book: 87/101
Star Rating: 4.25
Was this review helpful?
I've been following Vida's work since her debut and have enjoyed all of it. We Run the Tides is no exception! The narrator's voice is consistent and the characters show growth throughout. While the ending was abrupt, I thought it was well-done. Overall a strong addition to her canon!
Was this review helpful?
I loved loved loved this book. It was one of those rare books that immediately upon finishing, I wanted to read again. This is a coming of age story of a teenaged girl in San Francisco in the 1980s. I fell in love with the main character and all of her faults. All of the characters are so well written and they all live in that gray area of complexity that Is too often lacking in novels. The plot is enjoyable and I want to go on more little adventures with Eulabee even if they inevitably end badly.
Was this review helpful?
We Run the Tides takes place in San Francisco in the 1980's. Best friends have a falling out about something they witness. Their perceptions differ and such the whole friend group banishes Eulabee. She feels alone and struggles without her friendships. Vendela Vida's writing is pure poetry.  You are taken on an amazing, coming-of-age novel where you are offered an in-depth, front row seat.  Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
       Dedicating this review to Lisi, Renee, and Barbara.....( best friends since Junior High School).  My friends will understand the dedication. 

***Nostalgia*** felt.....I took a trip down memory lane in “We Run The Tides”.
For many women around my age (I’m 68)....this will be a VERY ENJOYABLE PERSONAL GUT LOVING BOOK CHOICE!!!!
IT’s DREAMY—wonderful, heart-warming- page turning addictive, sad, ( I want to cry and I don’t ‘fully’ know why)....
It’s one of my favorite ‘coming-of-age’ stories about young girls....private elite school, Sea Cliff and the streets of San Francisco that I’ve read.  There is suspense & mystery too.....with a MUST KNOW MORE TALE inside these pages—-but ( sh#T).... I’ll never fully find the words to describe the feelings that’s running through every cell of my body at the moment.... 

Memories of youth - of the 80’s - of innocence - loss innocence- adventures- betrayal- desires to fit in - humor - chaos -  its all here in “We Run The Tides”. 

Tap into.....
Memories of 8th grade- friendships - SF Bay Area memories: ( the small art house theaters, the beaches, skateboards, public bus rides transportation, Ponds moisturizer cold cream, Virginia Slims cigarettes, Dresses with shoulder pads, The  Zodiac killer, Lanz nightgowns, penny loafers, tie-dye T-shirts, bell bottoms,  Chinese grocer corner shops,hippies, school uniforms ( those awful white middy see-through blouses), the Fillmore, ( strong cannabis aromas), the Sony Walkman,
books read, ( JD Salinger, Homer, etc.) music ( Psychedelic Furs, Jerry Garcia, etc ) movies (My Beautiful Laundrette) boys (Keith and Alex, etc. ) jealousy, assumptions, family, thrift shopping on Haight Street, Polo Shirts, teacher influences, and the emotional roller coaster of hurts, confusion, and aspirations into adulthood.   

Having read other books by Vida, “The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty”, “Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name”, and “The Lovers”, .....
I can honestly say...”We Run The Tides” is my all-time favorite!!!

The main character- *Eulabee* was the epitome of a shining example of a quiet champion— she wasn’t without flaws-not a big shot- not particularly an influential kibitzer — but her character traits were honorable—discerning, authentic, trustworthy when it counted most, humble, stood for justice, wise, resilient, and my gosh....ADORABLE & LIKABLE.  

Eulabee’s best friend from Kindergarten: (until 8th grade).....a falling out left a lifetime mark on Eulabee.   
           *Maria Fabiola*- was oldest of three children— The youngest ones are twin boys. She moved to Sea Cliff when Eulabee was in kindergarten. Nobody knew much about her family. Sometimes Maria Fabiola said she’s part Italian. Other times she said she wasn’t. 
Other times she said her grandfather was a prime minister of Italy. 
There were dozens of photos in her home with she and her cousins sitting on top horses, or on the edge of swimming pool’s surrounded by grass. The photos were taken by professionals and displayed in identical silver frames”. 
Maria was physically beautiful and boys noticed her.  Her character- left room to be desired. 

A little drama.....Maria Fabiola was missing.....
      “I ride my bike to the beach. It’s getting dark and the waves are choppy, their crashes a loud staccato. 
What if Maria Fabiola really is missing? I decided to climb up and over the bluff. 
I get to the top and as I’m about to descend to Baker Beach, I look down. From this high-up perspective, I see a figure hunched over, making 
itself into an oval. 
Maria Fabiola! I yell. The waves crash loudly in response”.  
Maria Fabiola was still missing.....( my lips are sealed: no spoilers) to all that follows. 

The 1980’s was a great decade for San Francisco.....especially for teenagers.
Life seemed a lot less complicated before the explosion of the Internet and mobile phones. Going through a flooded email inbox wasn’t part of your daily routine and life wasn’t repeatedly interrupted by text messages. Social media didn’t even exist. 
Kids owned the streets—racing through the suburbs on bikes with banana seats—
Sweatshirts with the Esprit logo was a popular fashion clothing.  
          (I still remember taking our daughters shopping at the Esprit factory - located in S.F).
Huey Lewis was playing on the radio.....and it was the era the Sony Walkman—
A popular TV shows was ‘Punky Brewster’. 
Films: E.T., the Extra Terrestrial, Poltergeist, and The Goonies. 

Sea Cliff is a neighborhood in Northwestern San Francisco that is known for its large houses of ocean views. Many of the homes offer great views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin County, a small public beach called China Beach and the national park Land’s End are located in the neighborhood.  Sea Cliff contains the residences for the consul generals of Switzerland,South Korea, and The Netherlands. 
While growing up as a kid in Oakland/ aunt, uncle, and cousins lived on the top floor of the largest high rise on Sacramento Street- in Pacific Heights- in the incredible ‘two’- pent-houses connected together giving off the most spectacular view of the entire city.   
I enjoyed the storytelling & writing from Vendela Vida very much....
and was enamored with my own memories —
Soooo.....this book was a perfect delightful fit.

Other excerpts:
 “I run past palm trees and I run past gardeners with their trucks and loud leaf blowers and grating rakes.  
My body is sweating and cold by the fog as I approach China Beach. My feet make a galloping sound as they race down the ninety-three steps. 
The beach is empty this gloomy morning. On the sand, I hastily remove my shoes and socks. I run to the waters edge and the cold ocean licks my toes. 
Without touching my face I can feel that it’s wet with fog and tears and sweat. I stand there, on the cusp of the ocean and listen to it loud inhale. And then it recedes and takes everything from my childhood with it—the porcelain dolls, the tap-dancing shoes, the concert ticket stubs, the tiny trophies, and the long, long swing”. 

“We are almost 50 years old and the streets of Sea Cliff are no longer ours”.......
The venture capitalists have taken over Pacific Heights. The young tech workers have claimed Hayes Valley, Mission Bay, and Portola Hill— neighbors close to the freeway so they have an easier commute to Silicon Valley.  But the CEOs and the names behind the companies live in Sea Cliff where there is privacy and unobstructed views of the Golden gate. Seacliff is for solitude, for when you want to protect yourself from people. Of course, everything is extra fortified now— there are more gates, more cameras”. 

As to Eulabee, Maria Fabiola, Julia and Faith ( two other friends from school) .....we learn about the girls lives in 2019.  

Whip Smart...easy & elegant prose....and a little bit of spunky-moxie.

Thank you Ecco, Netgalley, and Vendela Vida.

This book will be released in February 2021
Was this review helpful?
Teenage girls are likely easier as main characters because everything they do is unbelievable.  All the feelings, betrayals, false love, chaos and misunderstanding.  Somehow that age of 15-17 young women  believe the world revolves around them and they are the first to discover everything.  It's like being in the middle of a play and you are the main character, every single scene.  

We Run the Tides was a quick read, with it's chaotic plot and adventurous spirit.  It was written in a fast-paced, sing-song way that made you stop and catch your breath at the end of a chapter.  I do love how it all came together in the end.  Or did it?
Was this review helpful?
I always enjoy her books. The main character in this one was an articulate girl I  could actually almost relate to—she tried hard to do the right thing and be truthful even when there was fallout from her peers. 

The prose and setting was lovely as was the early ‘80s setting.
Was this review helpful?
4.5 Stars

’We are thirteen, almost fourteen, and these streets of Sea Cliff are ours. We walk these streets to our school perched high over the Pacific and we run these streets to the beaches, which are cold, windswept, full of fishermen and freaks. We know these wide streets and how they slope, how they curve toward the short, and we know their houses.’

Living in a somewhat close knit community of houses in San Francisco, where such notables as Paul Kantner from Jefferson Airplane / Starship lived with his daughter China - born the same year as these girls – these girls who grew up surrounded by the stories that echoed through the streets, stories of the lives of other famous people, as well as less famous doctors and lawyers lived, or those families who had inherited homes passed down through the generations.

’And most important, because we are thirteen and attend an all-girls’ school, we know where the boys live.’

These four girls, Eulabee, Maria Fabiola – who Eulabee considers her best friend since kindergarten – and Julia and Faith. Julia has a rebellious older half-sister named Gentle who dabbles in scandalous behavior. Faith was adopted, and renamed after her parents’ first child – also named Faith – died when she was seven. The four of them consider the streets of Sea Cliff to be their own, but it’s Eulabee and Maria Fabiola that know the ins and outs of the ins and outs of the beaches.

Their daring, audacious approach as a group is unlike their more compliant, good-girl behavior when they’re not together. And teenage girls can be fickle, sometimes requiring unquestioning loyalty – backing up lies told to parents, teachers, and adults in authority. And when a lie is told, and one doesn’t back up that lie, then hell hath no fury like a teenage queen bee that feels betrayed.
Looking back years later, as this story draws to a close, we see the changes brought about over the years of their lives, as well as the changes in Pacific Heights, and other neighborhoods now in the hands of Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists. But those are not the only changes that have come to pass.

Life, circumstances change people, sometimes childhood friends remain lifelong friends, and sometimes they lose touch and when they reunite through circumstance or happenstance, we barely recognize who they’ve become. And yet, our memories remain seemingly untouched.

Pub Date: 09 Feb 2021

Many thanks for the ARC provided by Ecco

#WeRuntheTides #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
The Sea Cliff area in San Francisco is very posh and Eulabee knows it like the back of her hand.  She and her three best friends walk around Sea Cliff as if they own it, talking about what famous person used to live where and who died when.  Though Eulabee has four good friends there is one stand-out and that is Maria Fabiola, a name always spoken together with first and last, never just Maria.  Maria's laugh transports Eulabee and everyone around her.  She is like a wind chime on a breezy day.

Eulabee is very popular until she and Maria Fabiola have a falling out about something they see.  Their perceptions differ and the whole group banishes Eulabee.  She feels alone and struggles without her friendships.  She is 13 years old and has gone through Spragg, a private all girl's school, with her friends since kindergarten.  Yes, they are privileged white girls, many of them Swedish in origin.

As the term progresses, the reader cries and laughs with Eulabee.  We are granted entrance to the world of 1980's San Francisco as seen from the eyes of a young teenage girl on the cusp on adolescence.  Eulabee is funny, has a dark/noir sense of humor and is highly intelligent.  

The adventures in this book are hair raising and stomach turning.  Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down.  I finished it overnight which is rare for me as I'm not that fast a reader.  Normally, I'm not drawn to child or teenage protagonists but this novel is different.  Vendela Vida gets it, and it was a rare gift for me.
Was this review helpful?
Eulabee’s childhood at a San Francisco private school is shaped by numerous friendships, but the particulars of one relationship will have lasting impacts.  Maria Fabiola’s behaviors go unchecked while altering Eulabee’s life forever.
Was this review helpful?
I have to confess, I’m always excited for a Vendela Vida book and We Run the Tides did not disappoint. It is the story of teenager Eulabee and her best friend, Maria Fabiola who live in Sea Cliff, a seaside community in San Francisco. Eulabee is vulnerable, smart and endearing and the two girls attend an affluent all girls school. As close as they are, their relationship splinters after an argument about an incident they witnessed one morning on the way to school. Then, Maria Fabiola disappears, and the alleged kidnapping reverberates throughout their community. This is a beautifully written novel that contains a mystery, but it is also incredibly funny. It’s a story about the complexities of female friendships that takes place in a quieter pre-tech boom San Francisco. I absolutely loved this reading experience and I did not want this book to end!
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely loved this book. It is a wise, hilarious look at a group of girls growing up in mid-'80s San Francisco. Vendela Vida' s writing is so engaging. I was highlighting passages every couple of pages. 

The book is narrated by Eulabee and you'll really enjoy the pleasure of being in her company for 270 pages. She gives you a tour of the people and places around her with acerbic asides and insights. 

Tremendous. I look forward to diving into Vida's other work. Netgalley provided me with an e-copy of this book in return for a review.
Was this review helpful?
Oh, the imaginations, deviousness, and drama of young girls as they become young women.  Vendela Vida nails it all
Was this review helpful?
The writing was amazing, almost as if it’s poetry. The story revolves around Eulabee and her friends, roaming around their privileged community in Sea Cliff. What struck me about this book was how young friendships really can be ruined for 1 small thing such as a disagreement. When one of Eulabees friends ostracizes her it, so do her other friends and the entire school. Once Eulabees best friend Maria Fabiola goes missing and oddly returns, Eulabee hopes they can return to friendship but Maria Fabiola’s idea of friendship is one that shows how unaware they are about the privilege they have. So ensues Eulabees growth.
Was this review helpful?