This is coming from Disney Hyperion July 9th – complete with a waterproof cover! – and I was given this copy for review via netgalley.com. I am a huge fan of films like ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and ‘National Treasure’, so the idea of a YA book along these lines captured my imagination.
“It turns out that sunken treasure and an unrequited crush have a lot in common, starting with that fact that it makes no real sense to chase either of them.”
The story is narrated by Annie Fleet, a scholarship student who attends a Los Angeles school where everyone else’s bank account is bigger than hers and most of the students have their own wikipedia entry. When Annie joins a class trip to Mexico she considers it to be her one chance to impress Josh, her long time crush, whose mum is a massive movie star – making him massively out of her league. Unbeknownst to Annie however, their teacher intends to turn their visit into an impromptu treasure hunt for Cortez’s long lost treasure: the Golden Jaguar.
Annie was a cute character, she loves the ocean, diving and she’s more comfortable in a one piece than the bikini her friends keep urging her to wear. I liked the fact that the author made her the hero of this story, empowering her. In contrast cocky, confident Josh gets to learn what the term ‘sidekick’ looks like up close and personal – and play the role of ‘damsel in distress’. His character could have been given more page time; I wanted to know more about Josh’s reasons for helping Annie and about his home life. As regards romance, their relationship transformed slowly… there’s a sense of patience in these prose and I liked that.
Annie’s treasure hunt is fun to follow and her friends – Garcia and Mimi – provided lots of humorous, dialogue filled passages. I won’t say my imagination wasn’t stretched: apparently Garcia is a master computer hacker and Mimi has a black credit card with an unlimited spending limited (from her grandfather, for emergencies) – and yes, I mean, unlimited. Oh and Josh’s family has a private jet. But if you can skate past these flights of fancy and minor conveniences then you’ll enjoy this light hearted summer adventure story.
This is the perfect beach book for fans of Ally Carter and a great read for younger teens.
My Favourite Moment:
When Annie asks her friend why she joined her on their dangerous and expensive treasure hunt, her answer is that she wants to live in the now and I loved that – it’s so simple, so obvious, so real. Whether you’re fifteen or twenty-five, I suspect all of us can relate.
“…day after day, class after class, test after test, everything we do is geared toward positioning ourselves for the future, which means that even the parts of our lives that aren’t built on fantasy [PR] have nothing to do with today – with right now.”
My Rating: ☼☼☼☼