It’s still shark week, and I’m still ranting about this book.
Last time I ranted about the hero and the consent issues.
I’m now going to go into the racism and cultural appropriation present.
In Part One I noted that despite being in Mexico that there were no Spanish speakers, Latinos, or really any other people of color… Well, there was one - Stephie, who is Asian-American, but who doesn’t really do much and frankly just exists. It’s Tokenism, plain and simple. I’m for having PoC in books, more please, but they need to do more than just be window dressing.
The book also really becomes problematic regarding Native Americans. As in we get the Mystical Native Trope and the White Person is Inducted into the Tribe complete with Spirit Animal… Which let me tell you, hella problematic. So problematic.
Grace goes on to wax about how she knows and connects with Great White Sharks so well. And I’m over here raging. Like so very hard. The book constantly has her being bumped, bitten, and nibbled by every Great White she sees, I’m just kind of done.
There’s also other racist language toward Indigenous Peoples.
Pow Wows are a very specific term, and this really shouldn’t be one of them. And Native American tribal representatives have asked that people stop co-opting their culture.
And to stop denigrating it.
Apparently this author didn’t get the message.
At this point I took a deep breath and swore a lot. I’m not Native American so I can’t claim to know how they feel. I can only go by what I have been told by those who are Native American. But this is why she needed a sensitivity reader. Ideally someone who could tell her…look this isn’t okay… maybe don’t do this. It wasn’t necessary. But I’m certain the author added it to give a reason for Grace to have a mystical connection with Sharks rather than just being super into them and devoting her life to them.
You know, like Greg Skomal or Ron and Valerie Taylor or David Shiffman.
And then we get to the “Author clearly did not do the research” portion of the rant.
So if you recall from my rant about Faleena Hopkins’ “You Don’t Know Me” book that drowning is not really something that you just bounce back from. That drowning leads to things like pneumonia, bacterial infections, and brain damage due to lack of oxygen. And that as a former lifeguard, I’m kinda familiar with why drowning sucks.
The author apparently subscribes to the Hollywood idea of how drowning works… And how Shark attacks work… but hey… what do I know?
So to set the scene…
Grace and company are at Guadalupe Island when they get word that a tourist boat lost one of their diving cages after a shark got tangled in it.
Here’s a clip of what I’m talking about. https://youtu.be/-lJGYgxDnb0?t=105
So against Mexican law, the group go to help the tourist group get their cage up from the ocean floor. Alec and his team help pull the shark cage up while Grace acts as a spotter/safety diver. The role of this diver is to keep an eye on the sharks because the people working can’t. Remember this.
Grace waxes about two other sharks that appear… driving Felix briefly…
You know… because navel-gazing is a useful thing for a safety diver to be doing.
Then Felix gets tangled up again in the cage. And Grace jumps into the cage, with the shark, to help get him out. (Note: Sharks can’t swim backwards… *eyes Jaws 3D with annoyance*)
Sure enough she gets into trouble… as in the Shark slams her hard enough into the cage to lose consciousness. Which is really really bad underwater. Using scuba equipment isn’t like normal unconscious breathing. So, as you would expect 60 feet under the water, Grace drowns.
Alec saves her… because of course he does. And performs CPR on her… you know the kind of CPR which doesn’t break ribs, bruise the chest, or result in a hospital visit… because despite being knocked out, drowning, and then having CPR performed on her Grace recovers instantaneously to keep chasing after the shark.
Alec tries to talk her out of it… because while I hate him he does have a point.
But Grace, being Grace, is too TSTL to listen.
Eventually all is well and they’re back on the boat… and Missy (who I haven’t mention but is Grace’s bestie and also the resident Medic on board) is all googley eyed at Grace.
Speaking as someone who does have brain damage from a head injury, any time you lose consciousness for any traumatic reason you need to go to a hospital.
Later in the book, Felix returns and is aggressive.
Rather than doing the smart thing and getting out of the water, Grace decides to confront the Great White… because Grace is gonna do Grace.
She gets attacked by Felix who bites her foot and starts dragging her down into the depths. Since she’s freediving, naturally she runs out of air. And drowns again. As you do. But not before a shark who she’s known her whole life appears out of nowhere and carries her up to the surface.
Because apparently Grace is special and not food… despite bleeding everywhere.
Once again she doesn’t get actual medical attention. Despite being bitten by a shark. Dontcha know that sharks’ mouths are totally pristine. There’s absolutely no chance of infection at all.
I’m going to stop here and wrap things up in one last shorter post where I give my rating and talk about what I did like… there wasn’t much.
Until Next Time! (Continue here for Part Four!)
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