Published by e-penguin on April 26 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Gothic, Horror, Paranormal, Thriller, Young Adult
Source: I Bought It
Imagine there is someone you like so much that just thinking about them leaves you desperate and reckless. You crave them in a way that's not rational, not right, and you're becoming somebody you don't recognise, and certainly don't respect, but you don't even care. And this person you like is unattainable. Except for one thing... He lives downstairs.
Abbie has three obsessions. Art. The ocean. And Kane.
But since Kane's been back, he's changed. There's a darkness shadowing him that only Abbie can see. And it wants her in its world.
A gothic story about the very dark things that feed the creative process.
Night Beach is a very intense book, unsettling and creepy at times. I was pulled into the story but found the main character a bit hard to take. Abbie, a 17 year old girl on the verge of leaving adolescence, is the protagonist of the story. She has a crush on her step-cousin Kane, who has been living with her family. Calling it a crush is pretty mild actually, she is obsessed, bordering on stalker territory.
Kane comes back from a surfing holiday and Abbie can sense something is different about him. It is apparent quite early in the book that Abbie, who is a gifted artist, has the ability to ‘see’ things that most other people cannot. When things start to take a turn towards the strange and terrifying, Abbie starts to feel more and more alone. The only other characters who really seem aware of the strange things going on are Kane and his buddies who may have brought something truly terrifying back with them from their trip. There is also Joey, the little girl who Abbie regularly babysits (who is as cute as a button but who also seems to have an ‘imaginary friend’ who knows exactly what is going on and what is going to happen). Abbie is also a keen surfer, as with Eagar’s earlier novel ‘Raw Blue’ surfing plays a huge part in the story.
I was on edge throughout most of this book. Abbie is a sad, lonely, haunted character. I liked her and certainly sympathised with her situation, but her obsession with Kane was grating, not the least because he was a total plank who was really not worth getting so hung-up on. I could see why she was drawn to him though. Her parents are divorced and she does not seem to get much attention from either of them so it makes sense she would go for someone so completely unattainable and seemingly uninterested.
I would also have liked to see more of her friends Hollywood and Max. They were very appealing characters, more interesting to me than Kane certainly. I would have liked to spend more time with them.
All-in-all, I did really enjoy this book though not quite as much as ‘Raw Blue’ Kirsty Eagar’s debut novel. I found the setting interesting and it had some genuine chills.