Review: Waterdancer by Samantha Combs

Waterdancer by Samantha CombsTitle: Waterdancer
Author: Samantha Combs
Publisher: Musa Publishing
ISBN: 9781619372351
Tags: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Hearts: ♥ ♥ ♥

For Bailey Wasserman, being Bailey has recently become an incredible challenge. It’s not enough that she must come to terms with her mother’s new husband, their new life, and a new surfer boyfriend. When she meets her real father for the first time, she discovers a secret family trait that will alter the course of her own life and those she loves…maybe forever.

Bailey and her mom have always met life’s challenges as a team of two, more like best friends than mother and daughter. But her mom’s recent marriage has changed all of that, and having her little brother Landry is the only good Bailey can find in that union. The move to wealthy Del Mar from their humble beginnings has turned Bailey sour, until a chance meeting with surf hottie Jack West. Then Bailey’s father, with his annoying Zen-surfer lingo and a talking turtle he claims is no less than her spirit guardian, reenters her life and threatens the only relationship Bailey thinks is working in her world. She soon finds out that’s not all his arrival will do. His presence and their shared family trait could ultimately force Bailey to make a decision that will alter the course of her own life and those she loves…forever.


When Baily moves to a place close to the beach, together with her mom, stepfather and little brother, she doesn’t know if it’s a good or a bad thing. Okay she could have seen it coming, since her stepfather makes a lot of money and the house they’re living in was a bit small, but to move across the country? 

She only stops sulking after the first day of school, where she meets the cutest boy ever. Who, crazily enough, talks to her and even invites her to go surfing. Bailey can’t be happier, especially when she gets to see the ocean for the first time in her life!

Those feelings of total bliss disappear when she finds out her father, her real father, is there to see her. Turns out his genes were a bit more dominant than her parents thought and so she has inherited something extra. Something that will change her life, drastically. Fortunately she doesn’t have to face everything alone, she has her own spirit guardian in the form of a little turtle named Kumu! So life, bring it on!

Oh! A spirit guardian, palm trees on the cover, mysterious family thing and something that has to do with water… Could this book be about an Hawaiian sea-god and Bailey and her father (who come from a long line of protectors slash priests) have to worship slash protect said sea-god? When I read the blurb and saw the cover, my imagination just ran wild. This could be one very original and intriguing book! And although it was a nice read (3 hearts), I was a bit disappointed that none of my crazy thoughts came true. The great mystery was much more mundane than I thought. I’d really preferred something more original, more inventive, even when there were some nice surprises.

That said, the pacing felt a bit off. Sometimes I got the feeling that I was watching an action movie instead of reading a story. There are a lot of things happening, in a very, very short amount of time, but there was little space to feel and process everything. And there were hardly any feelings involved. Even when her mom tells Bailey about the big secret, we only get moments to read about how she felt. The next day it’s like she didn’t feel anything at all, that the secret won’t have a big impact on her life. So everything felt a little 2D for me, I couldn’t totally emerge myself into the story.

The romance was even more fast paced, so fast paced that I didn’t get to experience any romantic feelings at all. I prefer it much more when two people slowly grow to love each other and describe their feelings every step of the way. I love the little gestures, stares, touches and winks. And I couldn’t find anything of it in this book. Here it’s all about the big guns and making progress, aka the instant attraction. Which made me doubt if they really had feelings for each other.

The main reason I’m still liking this book, even after my initial disappointment, is Bailey. Bailey is an awesome girl who is able to make the most wonderful remarks, which made me laugh every time. Here’s an example:

Okay, take a breath. Try not to scream in his face and make him drive off the road because of the crazy person. Okay, that’s better. Now smile pretty, not like a lifer who just got a day pass from a glitch in the computer system.

And this goes on and on in the book. You’ll understand that I giggled and laughed a lot, don’t you? It’s even better when she’s with her “guardian”. Especially when said guardian tries to “help”. Furthermore, she’s one of the few heroines I’ve read about who managed to keep their head cool when it counts and only become hysterical afterwards ^^ That, in combination with her vivid imagination and remarks, made a very likable person to read about.


3 HEARTS. It’s a nice book to read, although I expected a bit more after reading the cover and blurb. Where are my Hawaiian gods and priests? The pacing was a bit fast for my liking and it was damaging for the romance. I missed my little gestures, stares and touches. However I still liked this book because of Bailey. She’s got the best imagination and remarks and keeps her head cool when it counts. She made me giggle and laugh throughout the book with her antics. I couldn’t do anything else than keep reading to find out what she’d do next ^^

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I'm a student, avid reader and love to read books with shifters in it ;)

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