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Girl at Sea

Published by
Harper Teen,
May 2007

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This is the summer Clio has waited for her whole life. School is out. She’s gotten a great job. And she’s just met the guy of her dreams. Things could not be better.

It’s about time something remotely normal happened to her. Named after the muse of history, quasi-famous at eleven for making a board game with her father, touring the world in questionable style at twelve . . . it’s been an odd journey so far. Some of it sounds good on paper. Lots of things sound good on paper. It doesn’t mean they actually are.

Now, at seventeen, her family is broken up and the money is gone. Her father, once her closest companion, has become a weirdo. Clio often doesn’t even know where he’s living. So, she’s not happy when he reappears to smash her plans for a perfect summer. She ends up with a one-way ticket to Italy to meet him. All he’ll tell her about the plans for the next ten weeks is that there is a boat involved.

It doesn’t help when she arrives in Naples to find that he is even stranger than normal. He’s managed to buy a secondhand yacht, which is stuffed to the roof with high-tech equipment. Also, he’s not alone. There’s an archeologist (whom he appears to be dating), the archeologist’s bouncy Swedish-English daughter, her father’s best friend, and a handsome but ever-so-punchable Yale student named Aidan who handles all the tech toys. These are her new summer companions.

It soon becomes clear that this isn’t just a boat ride. Something is going on on this boat, some kind of search or mission. No one will tell her what it is. But it’s not like Clio to just let things lie.

Before it’s all over, Clio will have to deal with her past, swim for her life, share a bed, get a job, break a heart, find a crème brulee torch, grapple with the mystery of the pyramids, wear a paper hat, and go right to the bottom of the ocean to end a hundred-year old quest.

Also, there are jellyfish.

Book Sense Summer 2007 Children’s Pick
“… full of unforgettable moments and much more complicated than readers may grasp as they turn the pages … An iceberg of a romance in the vein of Sarah Dessen.” - Kirkus Reviews
“The author masterfully weaves together plenty of plot points, from the unresolved tension between Clio and her father, to the strange attraction between Clio and Aidan, which at times ‘practically crackled.’ …Spirited Clio is immensely personable and witty and Johnson (Devilish) paints her summer at sea vividly, including well-crafted descriptions of everything from a scuba dive through a shipwreck to a touching father-daughter reconciliation.” - Publishers Weekly
“Maureen Johnson’s clean, clever writing bestills my heart. If this
blue-skied, starry-nighted sea voyage doesn’t enchant you, you must be
sleeping with the fishes!” - Jodi Anderson, author of the New York Times bestselling Peaches