Friday, June 29, 2018

Surfside Girls: The secret of danger point by Kim Dwinell

The cover of this, and the description, sounded really attractive. But nobody in my entire consortium bought it when it came out last year so I couldn't preview it. I finally decided to bite the bullet and get it myself.

Samantha has always loved summer, being a lifeguard, hanging out with her best friend Jade. But this summer is different. Jade gets all giggly and silly around boys and there's something suspicious going on out at Danger Point. When Sam encounters ghosts, who insist that she has to help them save their home, things get even more complicated and she starts getting into trouble.

Can Sam save her friendship and her home? Will she ever understand how Jade feels about boys? What is the mystery of the ghost of Mr. Wu?

Soft pastels, fading to white in the ghost scenes, show an idyllic seaside scene with palm trees, a softly blue ocean, sandy beach, and spots of soft color in bathing suits, surf boards, and tourist stops.

The main character is white, her friend Jade is Asian-American. The ghosts include a variety of prior inhabitants, from Chinese immigrants to the indigenous inhabitants. It's troublesome that many of the ghosts, especially the Native Americans, are shown only as dead people - and cultures. It's also problematic that Mr. Wu chooses a young white girl to be the new "savior".


There is a lot of wish fulfillment in the end; dolphins saving Sam's life (they talk to her as a friend), the mayor turning out to be a con man who is arrested by the FBI, the discovery of treasure, etc. I also have questions about Sam's first "boyfriend" being a ghost. How, exactly, is that going to work?

Verdict: This is a light and frothy beach read, a fun graphic novel to skim through and set aside. I'll be interested in seeing how future volumes handle diversity. An additional purchase.

ISBN: 9781603094115; Published 2017 by Top Shelf; Purchased for the library

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