Monday, April 11, 2011

Water Baby by Ross Campbell

Surfer girl Brody loses a leg to a shark attack.  Her best friend Louisa moves in with Brody and her mother to help take care of her.  Things get even more crowded when Brody's ex, Jake, shows up and crashes on her couch.  Brody finally gets fed up and takes Louisa and Jake off on a road trip from Florida to Rochester, NY, to return Jake to his family.

This confused me.  Where was this going?  What was it suppose to be about?  You'd think a large part of this would be about Brody dealing with losing a leg, but it isn't.  Brody seems pretty unaffected by losing a leg actually.  She does have nightmares about getting attacked by the shark, and she doesn't want to go back in the water, but that's all we get.  We see very little of her struggle or conflict.  She's in the hospital, and then it's a year later.  She complains about how her stump hurts sometimes, but otherwise, nothing.

The book was really about relationships.  The relationship between Brody and Jake, and the relationship between Brody and Louisa.  It was a road trip adventure.  Brody still has some feelings for Jake, but mostly he disgusts her.  After puking all over her apartment, she, in a totally not thought out teenager moment, throws him and Louisa in the car and takes off (leaving her mother to clean up the vomit, I guess).  They road trip along, picking up a hitchhiker, Chrissie, who ends up hooking up with Jake and then stealing their car.

But even the relationships were unexplored.  Brody and Louisa had a relationship at some point, but this wasn't expanded on.  It suggests that both Brody and Louisa have dated girls and guys, and that maybe Louisa wants to be with Brody again?  Maybe?  I have no idea what Brody wants.  Jake wants to get with whatever hot girl strolls by.

I enjoyed the art.  I liked seeing the different body types.  I'll forgive everyone wearing short shorts all the times, since they did spend a lot of time on the beach.  But in general, I'm not totally sure what the point of the story was.  And why bother having Brody lose her leg at all?  It was hardly part of the story.

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