Sea State by J.M. Simpson book review

Sea State by J.M. Simpson is a book that picked for me as part of me followers picks of the year. if you don’t know, at the start of the year, I asked all of my followers to pick a book and then I chose the 12 most-liked or recommended and put one as each month of the year. Sea State was one of these books after some people said it was a hidden gem. I can wholeheartedly agree.

Please note that this article contains affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase any products via the links below, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These affiliate links do not affect my final opinion of the product.

Sea State tells the intertwining stories of Jesse and Doug. Jesse has left a previous job after a dark and disturbing attack and Doug is struggling at home with a wife who just doesn’t seem that interested in being with him or the kids anymore. Jesse and Doug both now work for the equivalent for the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) so a lot of the novel is about their trips out saving and sometimes unfortunately losing lives.

Sea State plot – 4.25/5

The story of Sea State does at times feel like an author trying to find their way and find the direction of how they want the story to go. However, Simpson does just a good enough of a job of keeping us interested with some great stories of the lifeboat rescue team and covering Doug’s troubled relationship with his wife.

My favourite thing about the story though was that from quite early on Simpson chose to give you paragraphs at the end of some chapters clearly suggesting that someone is stalking Jesse and possibly wants to hurt her. This kept me interested and had me reading it far quicker than I think I would have without these.

Then the finale is a brilliant ending that had me staying up much later than I’d intended to finish it.

Sea State characters – 4.5/5

My absolute favourite thing about Sea State though was that I was absolutely in love with Jesse and Doug. Both them as individuals and the relationship that ends up forming between them.

Jesse has a troubled past that has her rightfully so acting quite nervous both in her working environment and around Doug when things start to get a bit more serious. She starts taking part in therapy which I thought she dealt with realistically as well. She’s a woman who has had something horrible happen to her and as such is now a much stronger person.

Doug is struggling with his home life – he has two wonderful children but a wife who just doesn’t seem that interested in being with him or being at home. Despite his kindness, patience and incredibly stressful job, she continues to be vile to him. It creates a man you really want to route for.

Sea State final rating – 4.5/5

Sea State is a brilliantly brave first book from J.M. Simpson. Not only is she not afraid to talk about some dark topics but she’s written some fantastic characters who you genuinely care for. There are some debut nerves in here with the plot pacing but this is counteracted with some great storytelling techniques and a story that builds to a crescendo that will have you really engrossed in the final third of the books. I will definitely be picking up the rest of the series and after a quick chat with Simpson, it seems I’m yet to meet the best character!

Buy a copy of Sea State

2 thoughts on “Sea State by J.M. Simpson book review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *