Useless Bay by M. J. Beaufrand

useless-bay-2Summary from Goodreads:

Everything dead eventually washes up in Useless Bay…

The Gray quintuplets are the stuff of legend on Whidbey Island. Pixie and her brothers have always been bigger and stronger than their neighbors, as if they had been birthed from the island itself. Together, they serve as an unofficial search-and-rescue team, saving tourists and locals alike from the sometimes brutal forces of wind and sea. But when a young boy goes missing, Pixie instead finds the dead body of someone else in Useless Bay—and realizes that something sinister is rising from the water.



I try as much as possible to read books by local authors and ones that are set in Washington state.  I just so enjoy reading about a place that I have visited myself.  Useless Bay is a real place on Whidbey Island, and it is just like how it is described in the book.  You can see Seattle and it does look like you could just walk there, but trust me don’t do it.  Useless Bay is one of the nicer beaches on the island and is a good place to beach comb.  That said, I was excited to read this story.  Even though M.J Beaufrand is a local author, this is the first book I’ve encountered by her.  I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t quite the psychological thriller as the jacket would have you believe. I liked the Gray quintuplets and their need to help their community through search and rescue.  The four boys are a hoot and Pixie is quite charming as is her love interest and older brother of the missing child, Henry.  Their relationship is sweet and just perfect for the tone of the book.  There is a great mystery story line with lots of plot twists and some magical realism thrown in, though that part didn’t seem necessary.  Although it is not a series, I do hope to see more of the quintuplets and their island adventures.  

So let’s talk covers for a second.  There appear to be two very different covers for this book.  When I looked for it on Goodreads I found this cover, useless-baywhich I think is way better than the cover at the beginning of this post. But the other cover is the one that it appears to be sold with.  My thought is that this cover would attract a lot more people, because you just have to know who those kids are and why they are on a beach. The other cover kind of looks like a book for younger kids than it is rated for.  Hopefully they will use this one for the paperback. What do you think?  Let me know in the comments.


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