26 March 2015

Review #172: Where Sea Meets Sky by Karina Halle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“I love this place, too, it’s imprinted on me as much as you are. But in the end, it’s still for you. I love you. I’m in love with you. I’m not going home. You are my home. I’m staying with you.”

----Karina Halle

Karina Halle, a Canadian USA TODAY bestselling author, pens her new novel, Where Sea Meets Sky that revolves around a young man and his wild infatuated trip through New Zealand to win over the heart of a girl whom he met in his town.


Joshua Miles has spent his early twenties spinning his wheels. Working dead-end jobs and living at home has left him exhausted and uninspired, with little energy to pursue his passion for graphic art. Until he meets Gemma Henare, a vivacious out-of-towner from New Zealand. What begins as a one-night stand soon becomes a turning point for Josh. He can't get Gemma out of his head, even after she has left for home, and finds himself throwing caution to the wind for the first time in his life.

It's not long before Josh is headed to New Zealand with only a backpack, some cash, and Gemma's name to go on. But when he finally tracks her down, he finds his adventure is only just beginning. Equally infatuated, Gemma leads him on a whirlwind tour across the beautiful country, opening Josh up to life, lust, love, and all the messy heartache in between. Because, when love drags you somewhere, it might never let go even when you know you have to say goodbye.

This was my second Karina Halle book. I read Sins & Needles from The Artists Trilogy, and unfortunately that book failed to create any impression upon my mind and so I didn't bother to finish reading the rest of the books from the trilogy. One thing that impressed me about the author, last time when I read Sins & Needles, was her ability to write so flawlessly and turn the plot into something breath-taking. So when I received an ARC of this book to review I was bit doubtful yet happy to read about a romantic road trip story. And after reading it, my expression went from Huh! to Oh Wow!

The characters may not appeal to you that much, but the one thing that will make you fall for the book so deeply is the visual impact. Halle is a former travel writer, and maybe that's what made it easy for her to turn the plot into something enchanting and lively. One thing I know for certain is that New Zealand is next on my must-see-places list. And in this ICC Cricket World Cup fever and with New Zealand being one of the finalist, it's a good time to read a book about the Kiwis.

Josh is so stuck up with his odd jobs in a small town and it seems to be him like he has been stuck up with his life forever, until one night! Josh has been accepted to an art school and before leaving for his school, he wants to live his life for once, to explore the unknown. Gemma is a globe-trotter/backpacker who is on a journey to find herself, until one night. For Josh, this "one night" changes him and his exceptions and everything- let's just say, it changed his vision since it became such an unexpected turn in his life. For Gemma, this "one night" gave her hope and new determination to live life like on her own terms. Since on this "one night", Josh met Gemma at a party for the first time ever and soon their burning desire for each other led them to take the road to one-night stand.

But after returning back to New Zealand, Gemma falls back into her old pattern, whereas Josh is completely smitten with his nameless one night stand partner, thus leading him to take a chance by heading down to New Zealand with some few quids and Gemma's name. Upon reaching, He finds Gemma and he gets invited along on a trek across New Zealand with some other backpackers among whom Gemma's cousin was also a part of.

The story is so smooth that it takes hardly a moment to lose yourself into it's charm. The eloquent prose makes it easy for it's pace to be fast enough. There is nothing so elegant or expressive about the writing, yet it's very simple and riveting that captivates our soul completely. The narrative is free-flowing and catchy with the right emotions with the right amount.

Like I said, there is only one flaw and if it had been some other romance novel, I'd have criticized that flaw, instead, Halle makes up for this flaw with her descriptions about New Zealand. The characters are not easy to contemplate or connect with, in fact, it was really difficult for me to understand all the mind-games played by Gemma, at times, I wanted to slap her hard across her face to wake up and register what's happening around her. Josh, on the other hand, is a honest and funny guy, whose infatuation with Gemma is the one thing that at times turned the whole narration into something bit erotic. Yes, the chemistry, oh my, I could feel the heat right through the pages of the book. Their lust/passion-driven relationship soon falls flat once they realize that their attraction isn't something physical.

I would request and ask you all to read this book just for one thing- a breath-taking view of New Zealand. Halle captured it, transformed it, and finally breathed life into it with her words. I never read about any such author who can transform and capture the beauty, which can only be accounted and registered with our eyes, of a location so strikingly. I was not transported to the land of Kiwis, instead, when I looked up, I found New Zealand inside my room. Yes, that's the visual impact, I was talking about. I felt along with Josh and Gemma, I too was a part of that backpackers touring across New Zealand. With this gorgeous backdrop, Josh and Gemma's relationship started to evolve.

This is a book that will provoke your thoughts about taking risks and chances without thinking about the results. Moreover, it will enlighten you to try out new things in life along with letting go. This is an adventurous love story which is funny, emotional and have some oh-so-beautiful moments that will steal away your heart.

I never comment about any book's cover while reviewing, but this book forced me to comment something about it. The cover is heart-stirring that captures Josh and Gemma in one of their moments.

Verdict: This dramatic and apprehensive new adult road-trip book is a must read for everyone.

Courtesy: Thanks to the author's publicist, for providing me with an ARC, in return for an honest review. 

Author Info:
Karina Halle is a former travel writer and rock music journalist and the USA TODAY bestselling author of Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Experiment in Terror and other wild and romantic reads. She lives in a 1920's farmhouse on a bucolic island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails, and devours a lot of books.
Visit her here 

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  1. Great review, thank you so much for sharing. It sounds as though New Zealand is the big character in this book!

  2. Thank you TripFiction, glad you liked the review:-) Yes indeed it is!


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