400p. ebook available. HarperCollins. Aug. 2016. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780008185374.
Gr 10 Up—Fifteen-year-old Sam, his mother, and his younger sister have recently moved back to England's Cornwall coast, where Sam's father lost his life at sea years before. Sam's paternal grandmother still lives there, battling cancer. His mother is attempting to reestablish a family connection, although the relationship between the two women is strained. Sam's mother is also motivated by her desire to raise her children in a wholesome environment, away from the temptations of London. Sam finds his own trouble, however, as he falls in with the teasing, enigmatic Jade and her band of hard-partying surfer friends. Largely to impress Jade, Sam takes up surfing, earning the nickname Kook, slang for a newcomer to the sport. He quickly falls in love with surfing, and the rapturous descriptions of the thrill of riding a great wave are the highlight of the book. As he becomes more involved in the surfing scene, Sam is inevitably drawn into the accompanying drug culture. Armed with his father's charts of the local waters, which he discovered in his grandmother's house, Sam leads the band to a dangerous area called the Devil's Horns, where they surf mammoth waves in treacherous conditions. None of the characters in the novel are likable—and the author perhaps overreaches in his attempt to lend significance to Sam's teen angst.
VERDICT While not a first purchase, this book may have appeal to those interested in exploring the nature of this exciting sport.

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