BREAK THE SURFACE is the type of book that reminds you of a car wreck--you know there's something really, really wrong that you should be looking away from, and yet you're helpless to stop yourself from gawking. From the first pages of the book, you know that there's something very, very wrong with the relationship between Tom and Alice, and yet you can't stop reading.
Thomas J. Sinclair has turned himself into another person. The popular kid who had tons of friends back in Vermont is gone, replaced by Tom, the quiet, unkempt kid who doesn't answer questions unless forced to and spends his free time writing in a journal during school days at Peter Cooper School in New York City. No longer carefree and confident, we know that Tom suffered some sort of tragic incident during his junior year back in Vermont, but it's not until almost the end of the book that we learn what that tragedy was. It doesn't matter, though, because BREAK THE SURFACE is mostly about how Tom comes to be involved with Alice.
Alice Brown is the "it" girl of Peter Cooper School. Former girlfriend (one of those off/on/off/on relationships) of "it" guy Carter Roy, popular, pretty, successful in all she does, she's the last person Tom wants to attract the attention of. But attract it he does, on the very first day, simply by being in her presence. From that day on, Alice spends her time alternately hanging on to Tom and seeming to push him away--and drawing her crowds of admirers with her everywhere she goes.
BREAK THE SURFACE is set up to read as if it were Tom's personal journal, and it works. With every word, you feel yourself pulled deeper and deeper into Tom's world; and, through him, into Alice's world, as well. You know from the very first page that Tom Sinclair isn't the only person with issues--in fact, by the very last page, you might feel, as I do, that Alice is the person you should be scared of in this story, not Tom.
Pick up a copy and read it for yourself. You won't be disappointed in the story, and like that proverbial car wreck, you'll undoubtedly also be looking for the next book in the series, WALK ON WATER, with bated breath.
Alba P. reviewed Break the Surface (Watching Alice, Book 1) on
This is an excellent book. A boy moves to a new school for kids who are near geniuses. Although he is very intelligent, he tries to hide it and shows a fake personality to other students. He has a misterious past with a dark secret. Alice Brown, however, won't leave him alone. Tom Sinclair struggles to understand her while trying to alienate himself. This a book you are sure to love!