Review: Tidal by Emily Snow
by: Emily Snow
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: paperback provided by Courtney Brach at Simon & Schuster
Page Count: 320 pages
Order Links: Amazon| B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars
As you read in the above summary, Willow is just out of rehab and is instantly hit with a new movie deal and has to leave for Hawaii the next day. She is completely blindsided by this and you can't help but feel bad for her. She has no down time or any time to even sort out her life or really be able to figure out what step she wants to take next. The fact is, she needs money and to save her career. And this could be the job that does it. Willow has always craved the approval of others and I love how the prologue of the book is her basically saying screw all that. She may be an actress, but she's made mistakes and she isn't going to hide from them anymore. After coming out of rehab, Willow needs to work on healing herself and getting to a point of stability, not be dragged down constantly by tabloids and media. As much as she really didn't want to go to Hawaii- it ended up being the best possible thing for her.
Hawaii serves as a kind of escape for Willow. For the most part, she is away from the Hollywood scene, bad influences, and overbearing parents. Here she can focus on a new movie and a certain surfing coach that she can't seem to get out of her head. However, Willow doesn't have an easy road ahead of her. She isn't used to the calm, the quiet. And she's definitely not used to this attraction she has to Cooper Taylor, surf coach extraordinaire. Yet, after so long of dulling her emotions with drugs, she's starting to realize just how good he can make her feel.
I loved Cooper. When we first meet him, we think 'oh great, a cocky, gorgeous surfer who's probably a total player'. So NOT the case. Cooper, while oozing cockiness and confidence, is actually a great guy. He is dedicated to Willow and helping her learn how to surf and he won't let her fail. He believes in her and I like that he doesn't play games. He's very straightforward with her and what he wants. He knows he shouldn't get involved with a client, and yet he can't help the attraction between them. He wants her and that's it. And he wants her to want him just as much- he won't let himself be drawn into her when he has any doubts that her mind is not solely focused on him.
"I'm not wishy-washy. I know exactly what I want and who I want, but I'm also smart enough to know when that person isn't ready or willing."
Willow still has quite a few insecurities. The last time she fell hard for a guy, it ended badly. And left her with a ton of emotional baggage. She is afraid of how strongly she feels for Cooper, because she knows he has the power to crush her heart. Willow also carries a secret that haunts her on a daily basis and that is what really caused her to spiral downward into numbing drugs. She is determined not to go back to rehab and I like that even when she is at her lowest and she may want to use, she does have enough strength to say no.
I think one of the things I liked the most was that Tidal was not filled with angst and drama. Sure, we have a few misunderstandings here and there between Willow and Cooper and they definitely find themselves in a few situations, but it wasn't this constant back and forth between them. Both have their own demons they are still fighting, but they learn to trust one another through it all.
"I don't think you have anything to worry about here, but I won't let anything happen to you. Not ever when you're with me." There was a roughness to his voice that made it impossible for me to doubt what he'd said. Not even a bit.
I also really liked Miller, Willow's bodyguard. He is protective, but not suffocating, and he genuinely wants what's best for Willow. She reminds him of his own kid sister and I think his being there with Willow made a world of a difference for her.
"Nope. I'm trying to keep from hugging you for giving a fuck."
Willow's relationship with her parents on the other hand, is a strained one. Her parents are more focused on her career and keeping her secret under wraps, that they don't listen to their daughter. She's hurt they aren't the ones who come and pick her up from rehab. I don't think Willow's parents are bad parents per say, but I think they could have handled things better when it came to Willow and vice versa. Her parents do care about her and are concerned, especially after the media gets wind of her and Cooper's relationship. Her mom is worried she's going to get hurt and then spiral back down into misery.
Overall, I really enjoyed Tidal. I thought it was a great summer read, and while I wish we would have gotten a bit more development at certain points, (I would have liked more interaction with Paige, Cooper's friend, as well as a bit more with Miller) I still felt this was a good read. I do think the relationship with Cooper and Willow came rather fast and there is definitely insta-lust, and while that bothers me in some books, it didn't here. I found their relationship to be a big part of Willow's healing process and I think it played out perfectly. I admit, when I first read the synopsis I was afraid Willow was going to be an unlikeable character- stuck up, whiny, and selfish. She wasn't at all. Instead, you have a girl who is trying to put herself back together and find a way to overcome and deal with the pain of her past. Most of all, she isn't afraid to seek out help when she needs it and I think that made all the difference for her.