The Girl the Sea Gave Back

the girl mv4Title: The Girl the Sea Gave Back
Author: Adrienne Young (Website)
Source: Amazon
Publish Date: September 3, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Summary: Via Goodreads

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

My take: While I enjoyed Tova’s story, I felt the book started slowly and it took me a few chapters to become invested in the characters. Point-of-views shifted between Tova and Halvard, each written in first-person. However, a few chapters were written in third-person and it proved a bit confusing.


Main Characters:

Tova: In the beginning, I found her annoying. She was found by the Svell after her mother believed her to be dead. Tova’s attachment and dependence upon Jorrund, the tribes Tala, felt codependent. She had great abilities, though she had never learned to hone them correctly. The saving grace for my ability to like her was the ability of the author to show fierce character progression.

Halvard: Strangely enough, I liked him immediately. His character was forced to mature quickly as he would come to lead his people at an early age.


Passages I loved:

          “The All Seer had seen what lay inside the heart of Vigdis and had come in warning. But the Svell didn’t know the language of the future the way I did. They didn’t understand that there was no such thing as a secret. The truth was everywhere. It was in everything. You only had to open your eyes to see it. The Spinners sat beneath the Tree of Uror, watching. Listening. Weaving away at the web of fate.” Zova, page 91

          “‘The stones? You don’t listen to the stones!’ I flung a hand toward the blood-soaked glade, my voice rising. ‘You want to believe that you can carve fate into a river that leads you where you want to go. It doesn’t work that way, Jorrund.'” Zova, Page 96

I love a story involving fate and destiny. I love the way characters embrace their own beliefs. This story is firmly defined by fate and there wasn’t much of a debate between fate and free-will, which I wished to see.

Overall, The Girl the Sea Gave Back interested me and held my attention. The world-building could have been better for a fantasy novel, in my opinion. The author’s writing, while there was a little too much telling, was concise without grammar or spelling errors.


Rating: 3.5


Buy links:     Amazon    Audible    Barnes and Noble     Kobo     GoogleBooks


Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

Proofreading and Editing

As an aspiring writer, it takes some time to get your work in progress ready to submit to publishers, agents, or to self-publish. I can tell you from a perfectionist’s point of view editing is the worst part of the writing process.

You had a blast writing the first draft, felt good about what you wrote, then you have some beta-readers look at it and they start pointing out plot holes, continuity problems, and silly grammar and spelling mistakes.

Now is the time for the hard work. Editing. I want to be your partner, cheerleading squad, and your advocate. I want to be the person who tries to make editing a little easier in the long run.

I have four years of editing experience, I have references, and examples from authors who have given me permission to share. I will also edit a chapter of your choosing free to make sure we are a good fit.

  • Content Editing, also known as substantive or developmental editing, is the process of reading the WIP in its entirety. It is also the first step and the most intensive part of the editing process. I will be looking for continuity, plot holes, dynamic vs. flat characters, unrealistic dialogue, mushy middles, info dumps, and many other things. For the most part, there will be no editing of spelling or grammar mistakes at this point. I will make notes using track changes in Word or Google Docs, and then will write you a detailed report so to point out my thoughts more thoroughly.
  • Line Editing is the next step in editing hell. I will be responsible for looking at every single line of your manuscript. When line editing I will look for passive voice, wordiness, weak words, overused words, overused phrases, redundancy, etc. Again, line editing is looking at content, not spelling or grammar.
  • Finally, we made it to Copy Editing. This is the step where I look for grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Occasionally, a small continuity error or something missed in the other steps and I would jot down a note on track changes.

Honestly, it is usually hard for me to leave spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors alone at any point in the editing process. Typos or small errors can be easily fixed along the way.


  • I price on a flat fee. Once I’ve looked over a chapter or two of your manuscript, know the length, and what type of editing you are looking for, I will send you a quote. Most of my quotes begin at $400 -$6oo, but I am always open to negotiation. I do not believe in charging by the word because that quickly gets into thousands of dollars.
  • What I look at to decide pricing does include the length of the book, but I get a glimpse at how invasive the editing process will be with each project. It also depends if you just want me to do one of the editing processes or a combination.
  • I will set up a payment plan with authors who are serious. I require half upfront and it is non-refundable. After this, you can make payments as you need as long as the final payment is made on the day or before I finish. I cannot send you a finished manuscript without payment in full.