**Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Sea Breeze Academy by Bryant A. Loney from the publishers for review purposes
Sea Breeze Academy by Bryant A. Loney is an interesting story. The basic premise is that it is about these students at a fancy boarding school in California called Sea Breeze Academy. These students are the subject of a television show that gives me a very Zoey 101 vibe. The protagonist of the show is Brooklyn Rivers who is your quintessential main girl: she’s smart, pretty, girly but also tomboyish. Essentially she checks all of the boxes. However, the twist in this story is that the characters are starting to release that they are on a television show.
The book is written in a screenplay-esque format, with bits of description interspersed. It was a pretty quick read on the whole and the intriguing concept made me want to pick it up.
Overall, my rating on this book is 3/5 stars. I will say that I enjoyed the story and I really wanted to know how it ended. That kept me reading. Additionally, I really enjoyed the nostalgic feel it gave me as I reminisced about the television shows I used to watch when I was younger. I was definitely intrigued by the meta-ness of the characters breaking the fourth wall and seemingly understanding the fact that they were in a television show and the episodic nature of their lives. They asked good questions and as you follow along with the characters, Matthew in particular, you really empathize with him and his general confusion about what is going on. You want the other characters to listen to him and agree with him, and you get frustrated when they don’t.
However, there were certain aspects of this story that frustrated me. I could understand the need to get rid of characters who were going against the narrative of the show, such as Liss, but the way that it happened was somewhat ridiculous. It would have made more sense to replace her with another character who was pretending to be her than what she was replaced with. Additionally, there were certain clips of scenes that happened between the ‘episodes’ or chapters, that didn’t really seem to have any sway on the story. I think they were there to further emphasize that it was a television show, but they seemed unnecessary to me.
As I was going through the story, there were a lot of moments where I asked myself WTF. They were usually explained but for me it was a lot. I just don’t think this book was for me. However, I definitely highly recommend it if you are looking for a quick and intriguing read. If the summary at all intrigues you, I definitely think you should read it. Just because this particular story wasn’t for me, doesn’t mean it’s a bad book. It’s just not my type of book.
However, I’d like to thank the publishers for reaching out and offering me the chance to read this book. I am glad that I did. It’s always good to get out of your comfort zone. I will definitely be keeping the author in mind when he puts out other books!