I love to read just about anything, as long as it's fiction. I read for me - that means I read what I want, when I want. My reviews tend to mostly be based on how I'm able to personally connect with the story/characters. They are not intended to influence someone to read, or not read, a particular book. I always encourage people to take a chance and make up your own mind.
Oh, and I love chocolate.
Dolphin Girl was a quick read and it kept me engaged. There were some aspects of it I really enjoyed and others that I felt held back the potential of the book. While it's a coming of age novel that captures all the classic drama of high school (cliques, first love, strained relationships, misconceptions, etc.), it did have a unique spin by comparing everything to the way dolphins live -- like instead of calling them cliques, Jane calls them pods.
For the most part, I enjoyed the relationships in this book. They all felt real and I think each brought something unique to the story line.
Jane has this unusual (and probably borderline unhealthy) obsession with dolphins. It also kinda spins toward the supernatural in the sense that she can 'talk' to the dolphins. She believes she might have even once been a dolphin reincarnated. Unique, but it almost got to be a bit too much by the end of the book. I do believe that people can feel connected to animals, but not sure if I buy the whole dolphin-whisperer plot.
The style of the book was also a bit distracting for me. Many of the chapters started with a paragraph in the current time, and then a few paragraphs where Jane 'recaps' the events between that moment and the last chapter. I get that it was probably done for novel pacing and word count, but I guess I would have preferred to experience some of those moments as they happened and then have had other non-essential elements edited out.
Finally, I think the big thing I couldn't get over was the way the author put it out there that Jane had to apologize to Sam, the boy she liked, for certain actions. Sam and Jane have this budding friendship/relationship throughout the entire novel. There are certain things that Jane does that are very acceptable under her given circumstances. And it was very understandable that Sam got upset. The thing is -- neither of them had the full truth. Just rumors and speculations. I can accept that teenagers aren't experienced in relationships and would navigate this particular situation in a sloppy way. But Jane had confided in someone who should have enough experience to know and this person told her she needed to apologize. I just feel that is a wrong message to send to any young girls who might read this book. It's OK to not like all decisions you make in life. That's how you learn. But I just felt as though Jane was led to believe that her actions were inappropriate because they caused pain to someone who wasn't giving her the full truth. There is no way she could have know that it would have hurt Sam, as what he was doing was hurting her. And when Jane finally does realize that she shouldn't accept the way that Sam treats her and she tells him, she instantly feels guilty and apologizes to him for that too! I just think there was an opportunity here for the author to provide insight on a better way to handle this situation (and a few other situations in fact, but I don't want to give spoilers).
Overall, it was a pretty good read with a lot of potential but nothing spectacular.