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5+ stars for The Ocean in His Veins: A Novel (The Ocean Series) #literaryfiction #litfic #bookreview

Title: The Ocean in His Veins: A Novel (The Ocean Series)

Author: AR Hadley

Genre: Literary Fiction

Book Blurb:

He’s a surfer. A loner. A man on a quest to rid himself of pesky feelings. After his grandfather passes away, Cal Prescott begins to see life differently. Money wants his attention, women beckon, and the pursuit of success becomes a cycle he can’t seem to break. Follow Cal from age sixteen to forty-five, from 1985 to 2014, from the tangerine fields of Ojai to the neon streets of Miami Beach — from being ready to take on the world to hitting the bottom of the sea. Cal spends half his life waiting for the perfect wave to break over the horizon, looking for comfort, searching for peace — and he’ll chase every last drop of water ... until he finds release. Author Note: Part of the two-book series: The Ocean Series. The Ocean in His Veins may be read as a companion to Where the Ocean Meets the Sky or as a standalone. Please be advised that reading this story first may change the way Cal is initially perceived in the latter book. This can be good or bad, depending on the reader. Literary fiction, not romance. The characters and their intense and realistic actions drive the plot. 76,000-words. The Ocean in His Veins details Cal’s life from age sixteen to forty-five. The story ends the night he meets Annie in 2014. Contains graphic content that may trigger some readers.

My Review:

Life is defined by searching for what eludes us. It’s the journey for a surfer’s dream which drives Cal from one ocean to the next. The Ocean in His Veins is literary fiction at its best. It redefines what readers clamor for, an emotional story of one man’s search for meaning in a world of distraction. It’s a long story yet it’s the perfect length. AR Hadley has penned an insightful and thought-provoking story that’ll move you.

Let’s start with the characters. The main character is Cal, and his complexity is what makes him such a riveting hero. Most would say he’s morally grey yet he’s very relatable. I connected with him from page one. His story became my story and the more I read, the deeper I dove into the heart and soul of Cal. The rest of the characters add depth and solidarity to the plot, but everything flows from Cal.

The narration is equal parts emotional and descriptive. AR Hadley writes lyrical, and it pulls the reader into the story. The emotional tension is taut with just the right amount of drama. The details are lush and tangible. Every thought, taste, touch, and experience are described so the reader becomes a part of the story.

What makes The Ocean in His Veins such an incredible lit fic is the writing. I’ve read thousands of books over the years, and none come close to the visceral reaction I had to this book. So much emotion poured out of me as I read this book. It’s a worthwhile reading experience. Sure, I had a book hangover, but it’s worth the pain for such a moving story.

My Rating: 5+ stars

Buy it Now:

Author Biography:

A.R. Hadley writes imperfectly perfect sentences by the light of her iPhone.

She loves the ocean.


Her children.

And Cary Grant.

She annoys those darling little children by quoting lines from Back to the Future, but despite her knowledge of eighties and nineties pop culture, she was actually meant to live alongside the Lost Generation after the Great War and write a mediocre novel while drinking absinthe with Hemingway. Instead, find her sipping unsweet tea near a beautiful garden as she weaves fictional tales of love and connection amid reality.

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Reviewed by: Nancy


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