Wavehouse is the story of sixteen-year-old Anna Dugan, a surfer who feels most at home when taking off on a ten-foot wave or paddling through a dicey churn-fest of white water. Anna loves to surf, but surf culture bores her big time. While other surfers follow trends and speak the lingo, Anna dreams of houses, not waves. She harbors a secret desire to be an architect or an artist, not the most practical dream for the daughter of a single mom living in a beach town where most kids her age are so surf-centric that they think ‘Current Events’ have something to do with ocean tides.
When a professional surf scout comes to town to gauge her talent, Anna freaks out and refuses to let him watch her. The idea of professional surfing causes her major anxiety and she hasn’t a clue why her reaction is so extreme. On the other hand Anna’s mother Sara, an avid surfer herself, is totally psyched by the idea of Anna going pro. But Sara is a perpetual thorn in Anna’s side. She’s a former party girl, and a constant flirt while Anna is a bookish loner who has never been on a date.
To protect herself from the pressure and the panic, Anna decides to only surf at a private break called Secretspot for the rest of the summer. But Secretspot becomes treacherous in ways Anna never imagined, and the danger has nothing to do with waves. When a stranger named Crazy paddles his way over from a distant break and befriends Anna, a series of events are set in motion that will change both their lives forever, events that raise difficult questions about honesty, betrayal and family ties.
Dive in to Wavehouse (life-preserver recommended and the decision is yours).
Advance Reviews for Wavehouse:
Wavehouse captures the twists and turns of growing up with sensitivity, humor, and heart-pounding surfing adventures. Fans of Sarah Dessen’s beachside novels will enjoy Kaltman’s seaside setting peppered with quirky and unforgettable characters. Warning: you may be tempted to grab a board and paddle out to Kendall’s Watch once you’ve finished.
– Diana Gallagher, author of Lessons in Falling.
Wavehouse is a much-needed addition to young adult fiction as it centers on a powerful yet painfully shy female athlete holding her own in the male-dominated sport of surfing. Alice Kaltman is able to put readers alongside Anna on her surfboard in a way that only an author who is a surfer herself could. In her descriptions, I can feel the wind through my wet hair, the acceleration of the surfboard beneath me, and the ecstatic terror of entering the shimmering barrel of a wave twice my height.
Delightedly, Wavehouse also contains a heart-melting love story and readers will fall hard for the thoughtful and mysterious Men’s Junior World Surf Champion Chris Kahimbe. I especially liked how this budding relationship forces Anna to face her disapproval of her mother’s over-dependence on men and find her own balance in the feeling of being in love without losing herself to it.
– Megan Westfield, author of Leaving Everest
A super shy teen surfer braves ten foot waves, a stormy relationship with her single mom and the tumultuous tides of first love in this poignant debut YA coming-of-age story. I cheered for Anna aka The Surfing Siren and readers will too as she faces down her inner demons and overcomes her fears to let her gifts as an athlete and artist shine. A stirring exploration of the sustaining power of a young girl’s growing trust in herself, her friendships, and her unconventional family portrayed with honesty, wit and true grit. Bravo!
– Laura Geringer Bass, author of The Girl With More Than One Heart
Filled with complex characters and summer romance, Wavehouse was the vicarious trip to the beach I didn’t realize I needed. I loved this empowering story about shyness, surfing, and self-discovery. Great for fans of Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series.
– Paula Stokes, author of Girl Against the Universe
Check out recent accolades for Wavehouse:
One of 18 YA Top Summer Reads for Women (2Paragraphs)
YA New Reads for this summer! (PureWow)