Out to Sea Festival of Hues Writer’s Commentary
One Of My Best Romance Thriller Books To Read.
I consider ‘Out to Sea’ to be one of my best romance thriller books to read. ‘Out to Sea’ was a project that I had to walk a fine line with. I intended for it to be a work with a very pertinent message, while forming a bond between star-crossed teen lovers that is destined to end with the cruise they were on. With the state of the future world in shambles, it was somewhat difficult to know when and where romance was truly appropriate; after all, the planet is dying before the eyes of the main characters, and they are literally watching everyone basically celebrate it. It’s the sort of thing that can ruin the mood.
The basic plot of the book revolves around a chemical spill which has made the ocean water on Earth poisonous, even to the touch. Man has created an electrolyte-based alternative for drinking, and other methods which are less than natural are used for bathing, swimming, etc. The fact of the matter is that the end will come at a direct result of this, and most everyone is painfully aware that the future is dark and grim.
Here’s the deal.
There are those, however, who have found a way to exploit the situation. The spill has made the appearance of the water indescribably gorgeous, even entrancing, to a certain level. People purchase atrociously priced luxury cruises on the best cruise ships for the sole purpose of gawking at the lifeless seas, and they seem to have no care for what the façade of beauty they are looking at really means. It is truly a horrible thing, and I wanted the level of depravity and complacency to which human beings stoop to be stark and ugly. The main reason this is one of my best romance thriller books to read.
It gets better.
Tripp Young is my main character on this ocean voyage. As the only son of wealthy parents, he is expected to go on these yearly excursions with them. They are two of the countless who have bought into the horrible exploitation of the planet’s impending death, and they seem blind to the reality of it all. To them, and all others like them, it is an amusement park ride, of sorts.
But Tripp is neither ignorant or calloused to what is taking place. In this fiction book he looks at his existence in two categories: Before the Spill, and After the Spill, and the planets in both are very different places indeed. For a seventeen-year-old nature lover, he is very in touch with logic and sense, as well as the brokenhearted emotion he nurses for the world that was once lush with grass and other plant life; a world where you could jump in a river and swim. Tripp had to be angry, but I also knew it had to be a righteous, self-controlled anger; an anger with a purpose.
Want to know the best part?
While on this joke of a cruise, Tripp meets Heidi Collins, and is instantly smitten with the smart, petite environmentally conscious redhead. Never having a real girlfriend before, he easily becomes consumed with spending as much time together while on this ocean voyage as they possibly can, and her feelings are the same. Together, they witness some pretty horrific things, which can all be attributed to the tainted sea that surrounds them. It pulls them closer and closer as the days pass. Another reason this is one of my best romance thriller books to read.
But here’s the kicker.
One such scene involves a child who goes missing during the cruise. The ship’s staff searches high and low for her, to no avail. Tripp, Heidi, and two of their friends watch and listen in disgusted awe as the ship continues on the water without stopping to deal with the crisis for fear of being sued. Finally, the kids decide to look for the girl themselves, on the sly. The ship still refuses to stop, and a helicopter must take the distraught family to land, because the show must go on. I wanted to add a level of greed and corporate fiction to the novel.
This is only one tragedy that takes place aboard the ship. It was important to convey the state of mind of those who enjoyed what the spill had done; depraved indifference and selfishness filled their souls. I contemplated the accomplishment, though it may have seemed overly dramatic in manner, at times. Yet another reason why this is one of my best romance thriller books to read.
You might be wondering.
As for Tripp and Heidi’s love, it was doomed from the start; in my mind, this was to be a sad tale of not only the results of man’s wreaking havoc on Mother Earth, but of unrequited love. These two kids genuinely love each other, and they swear to be together again. Deep inside, they both know they will not, but it is something they are not willing to even consider. I wanted the reader to feel the hopelessness and emptiness they felt at the thought of the day they would say goodbye, and I truly hope I managed to get that done. I wanted their interactions to be intensely emotional and painful, so they could be tangible to the person with the book.
What’s the bottom line?
To put it simply, ‘Out to Sea’ is an environmentally conscious romantic suspense that has no blissful ending, but it tells a story, and it teaches a lesson. It may not feel good, but lessons rarely do. I think by the end of this book, whether the reader loves it or hates it, they will never forget it. I wrote it to be the kind of story that sticks, even if it isn’t popular for the particular content or level of fiction. With that being said, this is one of my personal favorites as a writer, and it had an impact on me that my other works haven’t. It may be a speculative fiction novel, but the pain and despair I put in the pages was anything but a fairy tale; I’m confident the emotion will help get the message across loud and clear. I Hope you enjoy this romance thriller, and new addition to my young adult thriller books.
Add this book to your best romance thriller books to read list today.
Out to Sea Character Profile
Tripp is the main character, and the story is told in the first-person, so the entire narrative is from his perspective, and the words are driven by his emotion. For being only seventeen, Tripp is wise beyond his years; he is smart, and is a deep thinker by nature. He has a very set outlook on environmental pollution and total devastation of the planet’s waters, but he is even more appalled by the attitudes of those around him on the ship; their lack of concern and blasé attitudes about the ecosystem cause him to feel embarrassed for his species. His parents work for the same company that is responsible for the destructive chemical spill that started the environmental hazards, and they are also eager participants in the corruption of the raped planet. These family cruises treat the water as if it is some kind of work of art. Tripp, a city boy from Chicago, is tall and slender, with hazel eyes and light brown hair, which he wears a bit long. Not really the athletic type, he prefers knowledge over sports, which has hindered him from dating many girls. He is also polite, considerate, and a bit shy with the opposite sex, which hasn’t helped either. Tripp comes on the cruise vacations to appease his parents, which he did each year, but the state of the sea and complacency of other passengers has made him determine he will not come again. Falling in love with Heidi is ultimately the most painful thing he will ever do, and their eventual separation changes his life forever.
This cute, intelligent redhead caught Tripp’s eye effortlessly, and soon after, stole his heart. Heidi has the same environmental awareness mindset and emotions regarding the polluted waters as Tripp, which makes it easy for a friendship to form and attraction to grow. Her parents are on the cruise for a different reason than most: Her father is an environmentalist and the lead scientist, and he is a member of the epa team studying to find a way to fix the irreversible mess that is all around them. Being on the side of the ‘good guys’ makes Heidi even more appealing to Tripp, and she is teaching him, more environmentalism ideologies every day, the truth about the water, exposing lies that have made the cruises into a money-making machine for the cruise lines. Her feelings for Tripp match his own for her, and together they swear to find each other after they dock, no matter what, and be together until the planet inevitably dies. Heidi lives in Miami Beach, which is a fair distance from Tripp’s hometown, but they promise that the distance will never change their love, or stop their future.
Drake is about Tripp’s age, and hails from Michigan. He is a bigger boy, and puts out an air of ‘dumbness’, but this is for the benefit of his best friend, Mike, who does tend to have a harder time keeping up; he doesn’t want the kid to feel left behind, so to speak. Drake is yet another victim of sick parental preoccupation with the tainted waters, and while he hates these last minute cruises, he is not a conservationist and isn’t as passionate as Tripp or Heidi, because he hasn’t yet grasped the full impact of the reality of the climate change situation. When he is finally faced with the truth that the world is really dying, his emotions get the best of him, to his own destruction. He is a kindhearted young man who is simply not mature enough to deal with the future they are all facing.
Drake’s best friend is also from Michigan, and the two are as close as brothers. Mike only came along on the cruise to keep his pal company in his parents’ absence, and he is having a good time. He is not too bright, and though he understands the pollution is bad news, he is unable to grasp the depth of how bad the environmental problems are. Therefore, he doesn’t contribute much when it comes to the others’ conversations about environmental issues or cruising in general. Not much is really known about him except that he is an overall good guy who is loyal to his friends, but he is the one who stands betrayed when Drake makes the fateful decision that leaves Mike behind to fend for himself.
Jim & Kate Young
Tripp’s parents, both, work for the pharmaceutical company responsible for the spill; she as an attorney, and Jim as an executive, neither one of then are concerned about the environment. They attend the cruises to enjoy the colored water, and are nearly obsessed with it, but they also go to support a company who is lying to the entire world through its teeth about the water pollution. They believe their presence make the publicity and falsehoods more acceptable, and they, in fact, are wearing rose-colored glasses, choosing to believe the foolishness themselves. Tripp’s lectures and warnings have no influence; both Jim and Kate seem almost hypnotized, they are so detached, and for the majority of the book are like senseless sheep being willingly led to the slaughter. At one point, they are hit with one of the tragedies that takes place, and it stops them in their irresponsible and blinded tracks; they begin to soul-search, and soon their preoccupation turns to shame. This is also a turning point in their relationship with their son, and it changes the mood for the rest of the cruise.
Raymond & Helen Goodwin
This elderly couple is only on the cruise vacation because they saved up for years, and coming to the end of their lives, choose not to waste their cruise travel dream. They despise what is happening, and in their wisdom, they clearly understand what the pollution really means for the inhabitants of Earth. The Goodwins are only in two shorts scenes, both of them consisting of conversations with Tripp and Heidi. What they offer to our lovebirds is priceless, and it is nothing less than the painful, ugly truth. They make a deep impact on the kids, influencing their perspective, forcing them to be honest with themselves, and then encouraging them to live and love as much as they can, because it will all end soon, as sure as the sun will rise. While brief, their contribution to the story is essential to who Tripp is, and how he looks at the destruction of the world he calls home.
YA Fiction Books Out To Sea Festival Of Hues One Of My Best Romance Thriller Books To Read.