Named a 2017 Best Teen Book by Kirkus!
Thanks to all the readers and reviewers who have given this book-of-my-heart so much love.
The Ocean in My Ears is a coming-of-age story about Meri Miller, who lives in Soldotna, Alaska — a.k.a. Slowdotna. She dreams of big adventures somewhere exciting, like New York or L.A. but is terrified of leaving everyone and everything she’s ever known.
As she struggles with family, grief, friendship, and sexuality, Meri must decide if she really is ready for the world outside Alaska.
Thanks to Kirkus Reviews for naming The Ocean in My Ears a 2017 Best Teen Historical Fiction/Best Teen Book, to Powell’s for choosing it as a staff pick and to The Oregonian for including it in their 2017 Gift Guide for Oregon Book Lovers.
Also grateful to be included on the Barnes and Noble Teen November New Release list, Bustle‘s 11 New YA Novels You Need To Watch Out For, BookRiot‘s November Must-Read Lists and as a finalist for the 2016 Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest. Much thanks to the Ooligan Press team for making this book a real thing and creating such a beautiful layout and cover (a top 3 pick in this year’s Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association cover contest).
More praise for The Ocean in My Ears…
“An unforgettable journey to adulthood.” — Kirkus Reviews starred review
“The writing is raw…Macvie movingly explores the ever-shifting highs and lows of adolescence.” — Publishers Weekly
“John Green meets Ellen Hopkins in this coming-of-age novel set in the early 1990s. ” — Angie Jameson, VOYA, December 2017 (Vol. 40, No. 5)
“A strong debut novel featuring memorable, relatable characters making adult decisions at the edge of high school in a fantastically drawn Alaskan setting.” —Elizabeth Nicolai, Anchorage Public Library, AK. School Library Journal
“The cover is gorgeous, the writing is sharp and incisive, and the slightly irreverent tone makes this book one I’m really excited about.” — Jaime Herndon, BookRiot
Meri’s first-person account is strikingly original, with frank discussion of sexual experiences, religious posturing, and stilted family dynamics.” — Booklist
“Macvie writes in a revealing, personal manner that alternates between biting journal entries, heartfelt letters to family members and a thoughtful introspection that challenges her own dissatisfaction.” — Pacific Northwest Book Review
“The Ocean in My Ears is an absolutely gorgeous story; an honest, stark coming-of-age journey so intimate you breathe it, with salty, flawed characters and a true romance that will leave you aching with the best kind of hurt.” — Estelle Laure, author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back
“The Ocean in My Ears offers all the joys, quirks and brutal realities of being a small-town girl who’s keen to find a way out. A funny, sweet and unforgettable look at one girl coming of age in Alaska.” — Carrie Mesrobian, author of Sex and Violence, Perfectly Good White Boy, Cut Both Ways, and Just A Girl
“Meagan Macvie nails it: the wild landscape, the small-town angst, the poetry born of constant longing. Like I Capture the Castle, but with fish guts and Pentecostal pastors and snowmachines. Meri navigates boys, parents, and bull moose in the Dairy Queen drive-thru with honesty and wit and an abiding tenderness for the places and people she loves. Riding the swells of desire and faith, ambition and heartache, The Ocean in My Ears roars with yearning and beauty.” — Alexis M. Smith, author of Glaciers and Marrow Island
“With vibrant sensory details, keen wit and extraordinary care for her characters, Meagan Macvie delivers a sharp and moving debut novel.” — Selene Castrovilla, author of Melt and Signs of Life (Rough Romance Series)
“In The Ocean in My Ears, Meagan Macvie has given us an unforgettable evocation of life and love in Soldotna, Alaska, as seen through the eyes of almost-eighteen-year-old Meri Miller, who must find her way through the perils of youth and make painful decisions in a place where, in Macvie’s sensitive and utterly authentic prose, landscape becomes language.” — Mary Clearman Blew, author of This Is Not the Ivy League
“Meagan Macvie’s novel, The Ocean in My Ears, slams us into a world of teased bangs and hairspray in early 90’s Soldotna, Alaska. The real Soldotna. Behind the tourist images, Macvie shows us a community of fishing, misogyny, and long winters preceded by an ecstatic, grief-stricken summer that only a seventeen-year-old girl, living on the edge of civilization, can experience. The Ocean in My Ears, bursting with angst and dreams of escape, first chagrins us with its honesty, before restoring us with its themes of friendship, love, family, and ultimately faith.” — Missy Anne Peterson, author of Jimmy James Blood
“What makes Meagan Macvie’s The Ocean in My Ears so compelling is the way it lands us in the sweet spot between the unique and the universal. Meri’s uneasy coming of age mirrors that of girls all over America, but it’s also, richly and beautifully, hers alone. As she wrestles with sex and death, love and bigotry, faith and doubt on Alaska’s rugged and isolated Kenai Peninsula, we witness her passage from messy adolescence into complex young adulthood, at once transcending the limitations of home and family and embracing them despite their many flaws. This is a gorgeous, funny, and moving novel about the bittersweet end of childhood.” — Scott Nadelson, author of Between You and Me, The Next Scott Nadelson, Aftermath, The Cantor’s Daughter, and Saving Stanley
Here’s an article I love from one of the earliest readers, back when the novel was called Conspiring to be Meri.