Book Type: Novel
Author: Deborah Smith
Shy, charming, peculiar, and web-toed, Alice Riley has suffered for years at the hands of her dead mother's self-righteous family, while she hides a bevy of secret abilities. When Alice rescues a drowning child, her amazing talents are exposed. Alice can remain underwater for extraordinary periods of time, and she can locate submerged objects through some type of natural sonar ability. Her new fame/notoriety puts Alice in the national news, amidst allegations that she has somehow faked or manipulated the rescue for her own glory. Alice is trapped and desperate until three amazing older women arrive in her hometown. They are the regal and flamboyant Bonavendier sisters--dignified Lilith, acerbic Mara, and whimsical Pearl--of Sainte's Point Island, their ancestral home off the coast of Georgia. They've read Alice's story in the news and are convinced that she is their long-lost (and much younger) half sister, conceived in a reckless seduction their elderly father confessed to before he died.
When I first picked this book up from the library, there wasn't much of a summary to this book, so I was taking a chance that this would be a good mermaid book. Although there were some plot elements I found interesting or enjoyed, others were a flop and were boring.
Fishy Flukes and Deep Depths: What I Loved:
What I loved most about this book was the family mystery that surrounds the book; I kept reading because I desperately wanted to know the Bonavendier secret! This kept the reader interested and in suspense of what clue to the past they would uncover next. I also thought the mermaids were pretty interesting as well.
These mermaids have long-lived lives, youthful skin at older ages, lack the fins and scales of most mermaids and communicate telepathically.
Boring At Times, Hard To Read: What I Didnt Like:
When the reader starts this book, the beginning is definitely a little weird. I felt that Smith threw us a bunch of puzzle pieces that didn't really fit together, and it made me say, "What is going on?"
Alice is a character who is not like most mermaids I've read about. She is not brave, or defiant and she is a very tormented being. As a child, she was teased, ridiculed and punished horribly just because she was different. Some of these scenes were a bit difficult to digest.
A majority of this book was very boring. By halfway through the book, I didn't really come across any eventful scenes which made me want to stop reading all together.
Although this book does have mermaids in it, this is really a story about finding out who you are and accepting yourself, fins and scales included. This book is also about family acceptance and love.
I just found this book hard to read; it was very dragged out and boring, and took me a while to finish. If I were to judge this solely on spirituality and finding yourself, I would give it (*****) 5 stars. However, as a mermaid book, I would only give this (**) 2 stars. I am hoping the next book in the series is more exciting.
-Sirenita The Selkie
Book 2: Diary Of A Radical Mermaid
Summary(goodreads.com):Glamour, mystery, romance, humor and webbed toes are all back in full fin as rambunctious mer-socialite Juna Lee Poinfax invades the dignified coastal world of the Bonavendier clan. Determined to chronicle mer life for her on-line journal, Juna Lee instead dives into Lilith Bonavendier's latest scheme to awaken the "inner mermaid" in an unsuspecting distant relative. World-famous author M. M. (Molly) Revere - who writes the mega-successful Water Hyacinth series, about a group of children who are secretly mermaids - is a shy, plain-footed young woman with nothing but vague clues to her extraordinary family link to the mer world. After Juna Lee - working for Lilith - lures the likable Molly to the Georgia coast, both Molly and Juna Lee find themselves in the middle of trouble. Mer-hunk lan McEvers has come to Sainte's Pointe Island to hide his three remarkable nieces from their mysterious and possibly murderous mer-father - a man who may be more myth than reality, but dangerous either way. Molly has to face the reality of her heritage while falling in love with the enigmatic lan and helping him protect his nieces from a danger so amazing even the Water People can barely believe it.
I have to say, I really loved this second book compared to the first! I love Juna Lee's character; she is so feisty and glamorous, just like a real mermaid! I also liked that there was more drama in this one and more exciting events.
What I didnt like:
I'm not sure why Smith decided to cut some of the main characters from the first book. The Bonavendiers, along with Alice and her new husband seem to be nonexistent!
Although I loved the plot, the ending just shocked me! With so much that was happening, the plot seemed to just take a dive and left me wanting more of a solid conclusion.
So overall, I give this book (***) 3 stars, and I give the series (***) 3 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie