I bought this book from Amazon for free yesterday. Broken Wings and Salt Water Waves by Olivia Krajl is about a woman, Ava, and a man she meets called Danny. For years, Ava has dreamed about being a famous writer and journalist. She manages to get a job at a firm. However, she doesn't enjoy it there. She finds an email, one day, from a childhood friend who has invited her to come and stay. After visiting, she makes the decision to move there because it will help fulfil her writing dreams. She gets a job as a waitress and, soon enough, meets Danny. He's in the military and only has a little bit more time before he gets reassigned. Will their relationship stand the tests of time?
The only real reason I bought this was because it was free, admittedly. I read it today and my overall feeling after going through it is that it's super depressing. I don't know whether others might feel the same way about this book or whether it was just me. I think it's difficult to explain, but I'll try my best. You see, Ava has been trying to be a writer for quite some time now. She went to course in university specifically for it, held out for a writing job because she thought it might help follow that dream. Yet, she gave up. She then moved away to another place where she thought there might be writing options for her. Yet, she even says in the book that she didn't want to start writing for a few more weeks while she got settled into her new home. This just confuses me... What kind of writer doesn't even bother to write? To me, it doesn't even sound like she's interested in it, that she's simply going around to jobs or places and pretending there are no writing options for her. There are heaps of writing options wherever anyone goes. There's things like writing novels/ short stories. She could try poetry. I'm sure there would be some sort of local magazines or newspapers that she could have tried writing articles for. I'm sure businesses would need the occasional writer. She complains about having no writing job and, when she finally can be bothered to write, she complains that she can't because she doesn't know what to write. Being a writer myself, I can understand writers' block. I can understand that there are just times when you have no words. However, the problem I have with Ava is that she doesn't ever seem to want to write, she just keeps making excuses so that she doesn't have to.
The overall plot line, other than the writing thing above, is kind of cliche. It's a typical girl meets boy scenerio, set in a small town. She has a job as a waitress and he has a job as a construction worker. I'll merge my thoughts about characters here as well. You see, none of the characters are particularly interesting. One might think that Ava would be interesting because she's come all this way to a town to accomplish her dreams, but nothing about her inspires me. Her story is cliche and, I'll say it again, she doesn't even seem like she wants to accomplish them. Rosie seemed too fake at first. She was the friend convincing Ava to move to the town. I originally thought that she might be trying to scam Ava or something, just by how dodgy she seems; like some sort of con artist pretending that the place is better than it is. Danny is dull. Clearly we're meant to think ill of him because he leaves town without properly saying goodbye to Ava. However, to me, it was pretty clear that he didn't really love her. After their first night of love making, he falls asleep and Ava quotes Dr. Seuss, "You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." That was it; she knew it in her heart. She was in love.
Yet, from this, it's clear that he doesn't love her because he's fallen asleep. Other than that, their overall relationship does seem kind of one sided. He did try and seek her out first, visiting her at the diner, but from then on, it seems like she cares more for him than he does for her.
Just going by the Amazon.com.au and Goodreads pages for this book that I have open, I'm the first one to review it on either site. I feel kind of bad about that because my review is mostly negative (sorry Ms. Krajl, the book just wasn't for me!). I've read books or watched television and movies with similar plot lines, so it's hardly original. If we forget the plot and I consider books with similar themes, a person trying to find some sort of new beginning, than I can honestly say that I've read better things in the same type of concept. While others I've read on that topic are generally uplifting and inspirational, Broken Wings and Salt Water Waves is just somewhat depressing. There's just something about the story that seems really sad. She just gives up multiple times in the book because following her dreams/ desires is too hard or because she doesn't enjoy it as much as she wishes she did.
I wish that I had liked this book, but it just leaves me kind of sad. I would mark it with only one star, but I have to admit that the author has a reasonable style of writing and that the work is easy to follow.