Book Review: We Run The Tides by Vendela Vida

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Eulabee has never thought of her life as terribly exceptional. Like every other latchkey kid in the 1980’s, Eulabee spends the hours after school and on weekends roaming the neighborhood with her best friend Maria Fabiola. Maria Fabiola is one of the richest kids in Sea Cliff, the upscale San Francisco neighborhood where they both live. Maria Fabiola is pretty and popular and Maria Fabiola always gets her way. When Maria Fabiola goes missing on her way home from school one day after a falling out with Eulabee, everyone in the neighborhood is naturally sick with worry. Everyone except for Eulabee, that is. The police call it kidnapping, the news calls it a local tragedy. Eulabee calls it the biggest sham her former best friend has ever pulled off.

“We are thirteen, almost fourteen, and these streets of Sea Cliff are ours. We walk these streets to our school perched high over the Pacific and we run these streets to the beaches, which are cold, windswept, full of fishermen and freaks. We know these wide streets and how they slope, how they curve toward the short, and we know their houses.”

– Eulabee, We Run The Tides

🛹🛹🛹 (three stars as rated in the oblong shape of Keith’s skateboard crashing in the waves)

I first came across this book when researching new releases in February and fully intended to eventually read it but, full disclosure, seeing that Marin Ireland narrated the audio book is what pushed it to the top of my list. As with Leave The World Behind, Ireland’s voice carries this book to an entirely different level and I can’t imagine experiencing the story without it. She is just that good.

This book is written exquisitely. The prose itself is dynamic, illustrative and even harrowing at times while expertly maintain the whimsical ethos of a teen aged narrator living in a sheltered upper-class American neighborhood in the 1980’s. For that I am in genuine awe of Vendela Vida’s ability to capture the nostalgia of time and place – one which I have no personal experience with, at that – and forget it into something so perfectly familiar to me that I devoured the entirety of her novel in less than 24 hours. I saw myself in so much of Eulabee and even, truth be told, in Maria Fabiola at times. I think there are relatable traits in the worst of this book’s cast of character which is precisely what made the entire thing so deliciously alluring to me.

This book is described as a mystery and even as a thriller. I would, however, classify We Run The Tides as contemporary fiction the likes of Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng and Trust Exercise by Susan Choi. It is a story of teenagers that is written as much for adults to enjoy and relate to as for their younger counterparts. And, admittedly, that is my absolute favorite genre of fiction.

“Separately we are good girls. We behave. Together, some strange alchemy occurs and we are trouble.”

– Eulabee, We Run The Tides

Buy We Run The Tides:
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book at a glance

🎂 Coming of Age
🇸🇪 Swedish-American MC
💀 Dark Content
🌼 Self Discovery

✨ Rep in this book: n/a

✨ Content warnings for this book: death, suicide, kidnapping, drowning, murder, sexual content, bullying, vomiting, blood, fatphobia, trauma, death of a parent, drug use, pedophilia, sexual violence, toxic relationship

Image Description: A flat lay featuring the audio book version of We Run The Tides by Vendela Vida as seen on the screen of an iPhone. The phone rests on a pink notebook that says “GOALS” several times. To the right of the notebook is a white pen and two binder clips.
about the author

Vendela Vida

Vendela Vida is the award-winning author of six books, including Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name and The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty. Her new novel, We Run the Tides, is a national bestseller. She is a founding editor of The Believer and coeditor of The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers and Confidence, or the Appearance of Confidence, a collection of interviews with musicians. She was a founding board member of 826 Valencia, the San Francisco writing center for youth, and lives in the Bay Area with her family. (Copied from the author’s personal website).

about the narrator

Marin Ireland

Marin Ireland is an American actress, who is known for her work in theatre, and was described by The New York Times as “one of the great drama queens of the New York stage.” In 2009, she won the Theatre World Award and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for Reasons to be Pretty. Outside of her stage work, Ireland has frequently worked in film and television; she starred as Julia Bowman in the Amazon Studios series Sneaky Pete (2015–2019), and currently stars as Sissy in The Umbrella Academy (2020–present). (Copied from Wikipedia).

Other books narrated by Marin Ireland: Anxious People, Bear Town, Leave The World Behind, Three Women, The Push, When The Stars Go Dark, Sleeping Beauties

Audio-book rating for We Run The Tides⭐⭐⭐⭐

We Run The Tides is a story about teenagers that is written as much for adults to enjoy and relate to as for their younger counterparts. And, admittedly, that is my absolute favorite genre of fiction. Also Marin Ireland is just the queen of narration!

A happy Thursday to the lot of you,


sarah's signature

Published by Sarah

My name is Sarah and I can't imagine my life without books. Actually, I can and it's terrible. I'm also into climbing, video games and bothering the nearest cat.

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