Cover Image: The Swell

The Swell

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Member Reviews

From the mountains to the deep sea Allie Reynolds is a talent in thrillers that feel claustrophobic in the best way. Thank you to Putnam for the gifted ARC my honest review.
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DNF @ page 56. I absolutely loved the author's previous novel, Shiver, as it was one of my top reads of last year, but I just cannot push myself any further through this one. I'm not engaging with the characters this time around, and the beginning doesn't feel as suspenseful in this one, so maybe I just wasn't hooked initially like I was hoping? I'll definitely be checking out the author's next book though, as I'm hoping it's just a one off for me.
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This book was...  Weird?  But good?  But also weird?  Is there a word for that?  I found myself very confused off and on throughout the book, but also really invested in this unique cast of characters.  I felt like the ending could have been tied up a little neater, but ultimately I ended up enjoying this one.
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I really enjoyed Shiver by Allie Reynolds, so I was excited to read her newest book, The Swell. Ms. Reynolds really knows how to get you to the edge of your seat with her stories! The Swell takes place on a remote and secluded beach in Australia. Our main character, Kenna jets down there to help out her friend Mikki and in the interim, Kenna unknowingly gets involved with a "tribe" of six questionable people. I couldn't put this book down but didn't care much for the ending. Still a great story though!
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Surfer Kenna goes back to surfing after her boyfriend drowned in. She meets up with her best friend Kenna and a part of group on the beach. This coastal paradise has a dark side and people go missing. Kenna realizes that she needs to become one of them or become their victim. How will all this play out? 
Check out the book , great book.
Published July 19th 2022.
Thanks to the author, netgalley, and G.P. Putnam's Sons in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I got this book from #NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This is my first book by this author and it won't be my last. I really enjoyed this  surfing mystery and I liked how it wrapped up.
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I really loved her last book Shover but I just could not get into this one. I DNFd pretty early on.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy
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ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

I’m working through my backlog of ARC’s and found this one really interesting. I liked the idea of people from all different cultures coming together with the common interest of surfing and how the story was set in Australia. The plot kind of reminded me of the movie The Beach, where a group of people is territorial and super selective about who they let join them. The writing kept my intrigued and entertained, unfortunately I suspected the twists long before they were revealed, but I also read a lot!
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I'm clearly a minority here, but this book didn't click with me. First, the main protagonist was annoying and didn't make any good choices. Second, the island was filled with sociopaths and psychopaths, so it was hard to connect with anyone. None of the conversations were entered into normally, and when the convo was with the main protagonist, it seemed mechanical at best. The first 200 pages were dragging, and I almost DNF'd it, but there was a reveal that piqued my interest. It went downhill from there.
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This is pretty much a perfect beach read. I started this one earlier this week and have been doing a read/listen combo thanks to @simonandschuster @bookclubfavorites and @prhaudio

I read the majority of this one, I only did a little bit on audio. I struggled to understand what was going on in this one in the beginning so I decided to switch to reading. I did come back to audio for some of it once I was able to grasp the story better, but I still preferred reading this one than I did the audio portions.

For the most part, I really enjoyed this one! I loved how the chapters were short it kept my attention and was entertained. This story was different than I expected, for some reason I went into this one thinking this was about a shark. No idea where I got that idea, but if you have that idea as well this isn’t really a shark based story. It does revolve a lot around surfing, the beach, a group of friends, and some secrets along the way.

This one just released this week so definitely pick this up for your upcoming beach vacation or for a time you are looking for a thrilling escape!
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This book is great! Would definitely recommend. Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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Unfortunately, I have been locked out of my netgalley account for a few months and was not able to see which books I had on my list, in order to properly read and review.  I do apologize and am doing a 3 for neutral.  Will update once I’m able to obtain a copy and read!
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I read shiver by this author and loved it. I love how Reynolds incorporates sports into all of her books. I was not sure how it would feel about the ocean and beach setting but I adored it! It was so atmospheric and thrilling and I was shocked once again! I think I have it all figured out and then bam I do not. Those are the best kind of books! 5/5 ⭐️!
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Sports thriller, but make it cultish.

I liked the solid debut that was Shiver and was excited for Allie Reynolds' sophomore novel. However, this one wasn't as strong or fulfilling.

The isolated setting and unpredictable waves had more personality than all of the characters. Kenna was intrusive with her non-stop questions and about as subtle as a neon highlighter. I also found it weird that people were always asking for private 1-on-1 chats in front of everyone else but yet no one in the group batted an eyelid when that happened. I get that everyone was meant to come across as a walking red flag while being a tight-knit group but the execution was lacklustre.

The one aspect I enjoyed was learning about surfing and the all-encompassing love that adrenaline junkies have. Still, extreme sports or extreme slow burn? Although I liked the writing and short chapters, the enjoyment level was just somehow lacking.

While the book was suspenseful enough, I'm not sure what was the point in revealing the whodunit so early on because it greatly altered the reading experience (and not for the better). I also have mixed feelings about the ending. Overall, a lot of the book felt forced.

The Swell is actually very similar to Shiver in terms of the atmospheric setting, complex female friendships and all-or-nothing love for extreme sports. However, this felt like it had less high stakes and tension so I liked the latter better.
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Thank you Netgalley for this ARC of The Swell by Allie Reynolds.

Kenna is anxious to meet this new mystery man that her best friend Mikki has gotten quickly engaged to.  Feeling suspicious, she's ready to sus out anything sinister about this guy.  But before long, Mikki and her fiance are sweeping her off to a remote, and unknown beach for some serious surfing. Kenna hasn't been able to surf ever since a tragic accident, but she's way too keen to learn more about Mikki's beloved to pass up the chance. But no one seems to want to reveal exactly where this beach is, and Mikki's friends are none too happy to see that Kenna has tagged along.  What exactly goes on at this beach, and why so many secrets?

Strong start, I was all in, but the end felt like a pull.  I love a good Christie-esque thriller, but I just couldn't get into the pace of this one.
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I was excited about the premise of the The Swell, but had a hard time connecting with the story and its characters. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book! 

Three years ago, passionate surfer Kenna Ward lost her two great loves—after her boyfriend drowned, she hung up her surfboard and swore off the water for good. But she is drawn back to the beach when her best friend, Mikki, announces her sudden engagement to a man Kenna has never met—a member of a tight-knit group of surfers. Kenna travels to a remote Australian beach, entering a dangerous world far from civilization where the waves, weather, and tides are all that matter. Kenna is tempted back into the surf, and drawn into the dazzling group and the beach they call their own.
 
But this coastal paradise has a dark side, and members of the group begin to go missing. Kenna realizes that in order to protect Mikki and learn more about the surfers, she must become one of them…without becoming one of their victims. What follows is an adrenaline-fueled thriller packed with twists and turns, exploring the dangerous edge between passion and obsession.
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I enjoyed reading this book, however I wasn't as invested as I was with the authors first novel. The story was very slow burning and while I sometimes really love stories like that, it really didn't work for me in this case.  At least not enough to push it to a 4 or 5 star read. It was just an ok read. 

Many thanks to @netgalley and the publisher for an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review!
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A little bit of and then there were none meets lord of the flies set on the beach in Austrailia where surfing is life.  Everyone has a secret is this cult like group.  Kenna goes to be at the wedding of an old friend and meets up with the group she’s living with on the beach.  Something seems off as Kenna tries to rescue her friend.  Things slowly unravel as we deal with deaths and survival of the fittest.

I was up in the air trying to figure out what happened and why and this is always a plus in my book.

This one is a little bit of a slow burn.
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The Swell by Allie Reynolds has all the elements to make for a great mystery, but unfortunately this one fell flat for me. It was drawn out and hard to follow with all the various timelines and characters. I was able to listen to this thanks to Penguin Random House Audio and read it courtesy of Putnam. I found the audiobook easier to follow thanks to the narrator. 

The premise had me interested when a Kenna goes to visit her friend Mikki after she announces her rather surprising engagement, Kenna hasn't seen her in three years after the devastating loss of her own boyfriend and her passion for surfing fizzled and morphed into fear. Her reunion with Nikki is awkward and stilted. Kenna is thrown for a further loop when her friend's fiancé invites her for a getaway with them to a secret surf spot.

As Kenna falls deeper into the Mikki's mysterious  life, she is confronted with her past and the flicker of her passion reigniting has Kenna scared and thrilled to be feeling so alive again. 

I think the pacing is ultimately what left me feeling unsatisfied. I had to re-read the last few chapters a few times to really feel like I understood what took place so rapidly at the end. Thank you NetGalley, Putnam, and Penguin Random House Audio for the opportunity to read and listen to The Swell!  I also struggled with Shiver, but I found the story to be much more memorable and haunting.

Read if you enjoyed Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins.
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This one was a slow read for me, but it did pick up in a huge way at the end and everything was explained, the ending was actually quiet shocking for me.

Kenna decided to take a trip and surprise her childhood best friend, but she is the one who gets surprised. Kenna was getting bad vibes immediately and then she goes along with Mikki out in a deserted forest/beach to camp and surf but there are so many characters and alot of secrets, drugs, bodies, weird fear rituals, people disappearing and a cyclone.  

I didnt like it as much as her first one but it did all make sense at the end plus that big reveal and all reasons why were just creepy, there could definetly be a 2nd book just to finish things off-there is just too many possibilities. 

A huge thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC.
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