Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mer Tales by Brenda Pandos

Book Type: Novel/Series/YA
Author: Brenda Pandos
Book 1) 304
Book 2) 274
Book 3) 376

Summary of Book One(

She wanted her life to change... he wanted his to stay the same.
Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them. 
Ashlyn is about to discover what she'd thought to be true her whole life, wasn't, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.

Book One:
(29: Part of the Mermaid Summer Reading Challenge 2014) 

Dive Into The Mystical Mermaid World: What I Loved:
As soon as the first chapter starts, the reader instantly suspects something fishy is up with Fin and Tatiana, which includes family secrets that are hidden from Ashlyn. We also see the beginnings of a romance that starts to blossom, which I loved! Something that I always look for in many YA books is the switching of perspectives usually from a male character and a female one. I loved that I got to see into both worlds, in this case, Ashlyn and Fin's.
The mermaid abilities were pretty cool too! They are able to dive really deep, and when they switch from human to Mer, lenses cover their eyes like a pair of swim goggles. Tatiana and Fin are twins, and in the Mer world, this means they are able to share telepathic abilities.
Ashlyn was a character I could really relate to. She is very laid back, loves to swim, is quiet and also has a tense relationship with her mother like most young girls. She is also very shy, especially around cute merboys like Fin! Although I really liked a lot of the elements in the book, there were a few things that I didn't really enjoy.

Plot Was Too Slow! Hurry Up!: What I Didn't Like:
Unfortunately, this book did get to be a bit boring at times, mostly because nothing super exciting happens until the middle to the end. I would've liked to see the story progress a bit earlier.
Although I loved how Fin and Ashlyn describe their crushes on each other, Pandos didn't really mention what they like about each other besides looks, and this made the romance a bit shallow

Conclusion On First Book:
So far, I'm really hooked on this series! So far, the first book definitely gets (*****) 5 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Book 2: Evergreen
Evergreen (Mer Tales, #2)

I was really dissapointed with the second book.

Romance Overload! Too Much:
The first chapter was nauseating! It was too romantically sappy! The writing was way too dramatic also. Fin and Ashlyn just started dating and they act like they're going to die if they don't see each other every second. One quote I remember Fin saying was, "she was my air for life."

And yes, I know they have a magical bond, but it was just a bit overboard. Although Ash and Fin seem to have a very romantic relationship, it's actually not stable. They lie to each other constantly and get upset over the dumbest things!

The Book Picks Up Towards The End:
I loved the small details of the book. Ashlyn programmed her phone to read "Fish" and play "my jolly sailor bold when Fin calls. So cute!
Unfortunately, the book doesn't really pick up speed until the end. Then I couldn't put it down! The ending was fantastic, and I was happy to see their relationship become more stable. I give this book (***) 3 stars.

Everlost (Mer Tales, #3)

Book 3: Everlost

I'm really happy where this series has gone so far :)

What I Loved: 
In this book, we finally see where Tatiana is, and how she's holding up being Azor's little slave. I felt so frustrated with Tatiana's situation. It's clear that the merfolk live in an antiquated society and don't respect women's rights! The reader is also introduced to Jacob, the fierce bad boy who is a rebel and protector of Tatiana. That is one hot merman! ;)

What I Disliked:
As I'm delving deeper into this series, the promise is said to be something romantic and soul-binding, but all I'm seeing is strong physical attraction. The promised characters, Tatiana, Fin, Ash and Azor, all seem to express their physical attraction to their mate, but they don't convey what they love about their mate's personality. For example, under the promise spell, Tatiana cant stop talking about Azor physically, but isn't there more than just looks?

I also didn't like that Fin and Ashlyn are just plain missing for three quarters of the book! A majority of the plot went to Tatiana's miserable conditions.

Towards the end of this book, there was a lot of really good plot and character development. I thought this book would've wrapped things up nicely, but there's one more book!
I give this book (****) 4 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Book Four: Evermore

Evermore (Mer Tales, #4)I was really disappointed with this last and final book. What still continued to annoy me was Ash and Fin's relationship. Although many readers seem to love this romance, I find it dishonest.

Let me explain.

Throughout the series, Fin and Ash continue to lie to each other and hide the smallest things. One night, Ash pops a tail in the bathtub instead of heading out to the lake. Instead of telling Fin she made a mistake, she lies! Whyyyyy Ashlyn??

They also have so many immature fights about the stupidest things. The lying and sneaking around prove to me as a reader that their relationship is not fully developed and they aren't ready to make a commitment to one another.

As for the plot line? It didn't add anything to the series.

I wish that Pandos omitted this book from the series and wrapped everything up in the last book. It did nothing for me.

Although I give this book (**) 2 stars,
I'm going to rate the series overall (****) 4 stars, because its packed with tails and plot twists.

-Sirenita The Selkie

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