Author: Becky Wicks
Publisher: 278 pages, (1st May 2015)
From: the Author
Add to: Goodreads
Order a copy: Amazon, Amazon UK
NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+
Synopsis: Isla and Ben were just sixteen when the Boxing Day tsunami tore through their beach resort in Thailand. Just days after forming a life-changing bond, both were missing and presumed dead. Unbeknown to each other and haunted by one of the biggest natural disasters in world history, Isla and Ben are living very different lives, until over a decade later when a chance encounter throws them back together.
Based on real life events, The Day of the Wave is a story of healing, learning to let go, and figuring out when to hold on with everything you have left.
Review: 5 stars - There is no way to put into words what happened on 26th December 2004. Lives were lost, futures destroyed, and people’s whole lives turned upside down. I still remember where I was when I heard the terrible news about the Boxing Day Tsunami.
Becky Wicks has done something brave in writing about such a sensitive subject. Focusing on the people involved their own battles against fears and unshared worries. Although there is a love story- which you think is all going to go well, emotions and fears limit what Ben and Isla ‘Izzy’ can become.
The Day of the Wave is a thought provoking story which was inspired by the real life events of 26th December 2004 and accounts from survivors and witnesses.
“Shark! Shark! Get out of the water!
My head sprang up in utter terror at the voice, I span three-sixty in fear, yanked off my mask and snorkel, looking for a fin. Then I came to my senses and swam as fast as I could back to the shore with my heart pounding and my arms flailing.
Shark! Shark! I screeched at full volume, trying to warn other people in the shallows. My Mom and Dad were there somewhere. I couldn’t see them. I couldn’t see anything much, I was so blinded by fear. Before I could raise any real alarm though, a hand clasped around my ankle and pulled me back. I screamed and lashed out, but two hands clamped on my shoulders and a grinning face forced me to stop in my tracks.”
That was the first time Izzy met Ben. Over the next week they became good friends with the promise of something more.
Ben went out on a diving trip with his Uncle and younger brother Toby; Izzy waved them off and stayed on the beach eagerly awaiting their return. Only, they never did.
The tsunami hit, and many lives were lost. Izzy and Ben searched for their families amongst the rescue mission- sadly with no success.
Izzy went back home to England to live with her Godmother and Ben to America with his Mum and Stepfather.
Years go by and while on a working trip to Thailand, Izzy finds herself face to face with the boy she thought she’d lost 10 years ago.
As with a lot of my reviews I could say more. But I want to let you- the reader experience the feelings yourself.
I think the reason this book made me feel so emotional (I did cry) is because although you know this book is fictional, it is based on an event that had such an impact on so many people’s lives and will do for years to come. You know real people have experienced what Ben, Izzy, Sonthi, Lawan and the other characters in the book did.
The characters grow and I feel in a way they evolve into “new” people during the course of the story.
Izzy is someone who has let the tsunami and what happened openly rule her life. Being back in Thailand and then finding Ben helps with her discover herself in a whole new way. She shows her bravery and courage confronting her fears head on.
Ben on the other hand has closeted away his feelings about the tsunami and the loss of his brother and Uncle. He has taught himself to hide away the bad thoughts and blames himself for what happened He seems to lead a normal life even continuing with his diving.
Only when the two reunite, do barriers come down and locked away secrets are revealed.
Add into the mix Sonthi and his cheekiness to lighten the mood and Mali as proof that there is a future for this once devastated country.
I haven’t read any other books fact or fiction about the tsunami, so I can’t compare The Day of the Wave to anything.
All I can say is prepare yourself for an emotional rollercoaster that will touch your heart, possibly even break it and then slowly put each piece back together.
*Tissues may be required*
Recommended for fans of Becky’s Starstruck series and Mila Gray’s Come Back to Me.