Seventeen-year-old Meri Miller is way past ready to leave her tiny town of Soldotna, Alaska. She’s not sure what she wants to do but she knows she wants to do it elsewhere. All Meri wants to do is spend her senior year applying to colleges, hanging out with her best friend Taylor, and planning her future. Life, however, has different plans. Soon Meri is dealing with multiple family crises and has her own personal conflict between two boys – one who her family approves of and one who makes her heart sing. Meri must figure out what she wants and find the courage to stand up for herself if she ever wants to leave Soldotna.
The Ocean in My Ears is a lovely, funny, and heart-wrenching coming-of-age novel by author Meagan Macvie. Meri is relatable in a lot of ways: overly sheltered from her parents, struggling to break free and be her own person, but not being entirely sure who she is or what she really wants. Her choices and decisions throughout the whole book echo as real and genuine, particularly her struggle between what she thinks she should want and what she actually does want from her life. The book is told from Meri’s point of view and her narration is at times agonizing, anxiety-provoking, and downright hilarious. The other characters in the novel are equally well written and complex. No one is there to fill space. Overall, The Ocean in My Ears is a wonderful novel that will resonate both with adults and teens. It’s a must read for fans of YA fiction.
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