Book Review: The Aquamarine Surfboard by Kellye Abernathy

Hello friends! I’m participating in a special pop-up blog feature with Lone Star Lit today, featuring Middle-Grade seaside fantasy novel, The Aquamarine Surfboard. As a fangirl of ocean-themed stories (yes, my childhood obsession with mermaids plays a part…) I was excited to dive into Kellye Abernathy’s unique and mysterious world.


I love stories that put a microscope on small towns. Probably because the issues we face in those little nucleuses are just samples of larger issues you’ll find anywhere in the world. In this case? The difference between classes and unnecessary cruelty people are so often guilty of. Abernathy sets out to challenge us, and have us question the need for these divides. I hope y’all are excited to learn more about Condi’s quest. Stay tuned for magical things to come, including a special recipe from Condi’s Grand Ella 😉 and more!



Middle Grade / Magical Realism / Fantasy

Publisher: Atmosphere Press

Page Count: 290 pages

Publication Date: November 22, 2021

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“Age never matters; these things are about bravery and heart.”

Thirteen-year-old Condi Bloom’s dream is to learn to surf, but her laid-back beach town isn’t what it used to be. Big resort owners are taking over the cove. Worse, someone’s harassing the Beachlings, the mysterious old women living in the cliffs off Windy Hollow, a lonely tower of rock that people say is haunted. When a new surfer boy named Trustin shows up in town and invites Condi to a forbidden surfing spot, she’s swept into an extraordinary underwater adventure, where a surprising encounter with Koan, the Riddlemaster of the Sea, changes her life. Along with Trustin, his quirky twin and a mystical aquamarine surfboard, Condi learns the untold stories of the Beachlings, uncovering the timeless secrets of Windy Hollow.

Ebbing and flowing between reality and magic, times past and present, The Aquamarine Surfboard by Kellye Abernathy is a riveting beach tale about opening up to mystery, building community when and where you can — and discovering the ocean is filled with magic—the really BIG kind—the kind that changes the world.


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4 of 5 Stars

From the opening page, The Aquamarine Surfboard by Kellye Abernathy is written with deft, often dreamy strokes and suffused in mystery. We open with the seaside cove Windy Hollow, home to thirteen-year-old Condi Bloom, her grandmother, and the mysterious Beachlings. These elderly women defy society by swimming in the freezing waters and living in the cliffs above the beach. Windy Hollow was once a close-knit community of surfers, and people eking out a living where they could. Until the resort families arrived. Now the old and new ways of life are clashing and the Beachlings are being threatened to leave their home. Or else.

In the beginning, Condi dreams of the day she can join the other surfer kids and doesn’t think much about the troubles around the hollow. She’s used to being an outcast since her parent’s tragic accident at sea. All this changes when an amazingly gifted surfer kid Trustin moved into town. Friendship and maybe more blossom between the two kindred spirits, as Trustin leads her to question the ugly underbelly of her community, and guides her to uncover the magic in the ocean.

I love stories that make you feel the mysteries of the sea. Abernathy’s gorgeous prose makes you feel the magic alongside Condi, as the author dares the reader to dream and discover the wonder around us and within others. The story takes a jarring and almost dark turn that was a little off-putting for me. While effective, I would have preferred more subtlety without the sudden shift into big magic. But I’m so glad I kept reading as Condi found her voice and the community band together for an inspiring and satisfying ending.

A must read for anyone who loves magical coming-of-age stories, beautiful writing, and the sweetness of first love.

**I was provided a copy of The Aquamarine Surfboard by the publisher. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.**


Kellye Abernathy’s passions are writing and serving trauma survivors as a yoga teacher and practical life skills advocate. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Kansas. Her home is in land-locked Plano, Texas—where she’s dreaming of her next trip to the sea!

Website * Instagram * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Amazon


Three winners receive signed copies!

(US only; ends midnight, CST, 12/16/22)






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