Monday, 13 April 2015

A Song and A Seashell by Susan K Flach


Bethany Kuiper is drawn to the ocean. She is also 17 and never tasted love. But like the fluctuating tide, things are about to change. Summer in Rhode Island is just a vacation...until she meets Tristan Alexander...who completely takes her breath away...leading her to answers...explanations for the silent beckoning that has been pulling her toward the reckless waves of the sea.

Everything seems perfect. Until two murders are committed in town, upsetting the quaint summertime community. Disturbingly, much of the evidence points to Tristan. Now Bethany is shaken and confused. And distraught by the knowledge that she is still desperately in love. But will she be able to tread the water? Or will she eventually drown?


Unexpectedly, I can’t move.

I have to remind myself to keep stepping forward. The others turn to look at me as I approach.

“Oh, hey, Bethany.”  I hear Kate say.  But all I can see is him.

As he hears my name, he too glances my way and we make eye contact for the first time. I feel myself flush as I try to look away, but what I see in his face catches me off guard.  For just a moment, he stares hard at me as if in shock or as if he recognizes me in some way. Not wanting to appear awkward or insecure, I resist the urge to look over my shoulder to see if his reaction is meant for someone else. But almost instantaneously, his initial expression is replaced with his former, more casual one, and I am left to wonder whether I imagined the whole thing.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Susan K. Flach has a bachelor’s degree in English and works as an RN at the hospital.  She lives with her husband and two children in Michigan. Reading, exercising, camping, and spending time with her family are some of her favorite things to do. A Song and a Seashell is the first book in her debut young adult romance series. 


There is so much to love about this story. It begins with a sweet little prologue about a little boy and girl making sandcastles on the beach, then slips easily into a story about one eventful summer in the life of seventeen–year–old Bethany.

Struggling with the breakdown of her parents’ relationship, Bethany hopes that a summer by the sea will be just what the whole family needs to recover the closeness they once had, and that seems to be 
slipping away like sand through her fingers.

She picks up new friends along with a collection of seashells, and falls in love with the enigmatic, Tristan Alexander.

At its very base level this is a gentle love story that moves us from one situation, one day, to the next with a smooth, natural flow. 

I was very impressed by the breadth of knowledge about marine life and ecology. There were lessons to be learned, but in such a natural way it doesn’t ever sound like preaching.

If I have any complaints about that part of the story it’s a seeming pre–occupation with the way people look. There are lots of descriptions, not only on initial meeting but down to what outfits people are wearing at various times.

Half way through things start to change. There are unexplained murders, which Bethany is terrified Tristan might have had something to do with, especially as he’s told Bethany a shocking secret, which I feel she accepted a little too easily. Although the secret helps her understand Tristan much better, it raises complications Bethany could never have dreamed of.

It takes a near tragedy to open everyone’s eyes and I thought things were eventually being resolved…until a real tear jerker jumped out at me, and I thought it was all over.

Thank heaven for the Epilogue! Although I have to admit I didn’t quite understand it, there was definitely a happy ending – whether it was intended or not.

Overall the flaws in the story simply made it more charming and more ‘real’. I loved the whole ‘feel’ of the story and the delicate way all the strands are woven together, and I can highly recommend it for teenager and teenagers at heart.


  1. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

  2. Thank you for hosting ~A Song and a Seashell~ and for the review.

    1. You're welcome. I really enjoyed the story. It was refreshingly simple while hiding a whole host of information in a sweet story. I learned all kinds of things with no pain at all :)

  3. I am commenting to the above post as the reply button would not work. I would like to meet Paulina Simons, author of The Bronze Horseman series, & talk to her at length about the characters in her books.

  4. What a great and honest review. This sounds like a fascinating book.

    1. Thank you. There's no denying that the book has some flaws, but I didn't care at all when reading it. It's a really smooth read, while cramming in a whole load of information about a lot of things. It most certainly is a fascinating book and I loved it.

  5. I really like the cover to the novel.

  6. Enjoyed reading your excellent review, thank you!

    1. Thank you. I'm not the best at giving reviews as I don't do it very often. I know I should do it more, but it's a bit daunting. I tend to either gush or not do a review if I didn't like the book. It's hard to be balanced, and i'm trying hard