By Elizabeth Fama
Publication date: Sept. 4, 2012
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 304 pages
Source: Publisher, via NetGalley
Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.
Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.
— Goodreads.com description
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama is just the mermaid story I’ve been waiting for. Intricate and well-planned, Fama’s plotlines weave in and out of past and present beautifully, telling a story that is much more dark and dangerous than I expected.
The twisty plot is the stunner of this book – I may have predicted almost every turn from the get-go, but following along as Fama slowly unravels the story is so very enjoyable.
Loved Hester, who was a delightfully determined main character. Didn’t care much for the love story plots – whoa creepy Ezra – but the ghost story aspect was a nice touch. Creepy!
So, I was pleasantly surprised with Monstrous Beauty, definitely engrossed…but maybe not in love, as I did connect a few of the dots early on.
By Anne Greenwood Brown
Publication date: June 12, 2012
Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 303 pages
Source: Publisher, via NetGalley
Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother’s death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family’s homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock’s daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there’s more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.
— Goodreads.com description
There’s a lot to like about Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown.
First, it’s a mermaid book. I was a big Ariel fan as a 5-year-old, and I’ve never quite gotten over it, so love that.
But, oh no, this merman isn’t singing under the sea about gizmos and gadgets a-plenty…he’s a murderer. Even more refreshing! In Lies Beneath, the undersea creatures are vicious, vengeful, murderers.
Oh, and did you catch that? Yep, it’s a merMAN book. I can’t think of the last time I read a paranormal book written from a male point-of-view, so this was extremely refreshing.
That being said, there was some insta-love. And some stalking, a la Mr. Edward Anthony Masen Cullen. But, if you’re a paranormal fan and looking for something a little bit darker, this would be a good choice. It wasn’t my favorite, but I definitely never thought about putting it down.
Forgive My Fins
By Tera Lynn Childs
June 1, 2010
Katherine Tegen Book, 304 pages
Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid, like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.
Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid—she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview High School ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems—like her obnoxious biker-boy neighbor, Quince Fletcher—but it has that one major perk: Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type—the instant they “bond,” it’s for life.
When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily ever after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.
— Amazon.com description
As a little girl, I used to spend hours at my piano learning to play the songs from The Little Mermaid. I had an movie-themed sweater, a charm bracelet with Sebastian on it and was Ariel for Halloween at age 7 (my mom sewed the purple shells onto a nude-colored turtleneck). I love me some mermaids.
And, as you know, I love me some young adult love stories.
SO I BOW DOWN TO YOU, TERA LYNN CHILDS. The woman combined two of my favorite things! Why didn’t I think of that?
Thank goodness she did. This was so freaking entertaining. I love how her brain works. If I ever wrote a book, THIS is the book I would want to write. But, you know, she beat me to it.
I’m not going to give it a deep analysis. Just know that the hours I spent reading this were so enjoyable, I was smiling and chuckling to myself while I read. How she wove little fishy puns into every page? Loved it.
Remember last year when I said to watch out for mermaid books? Oh, it was already ON with the mermaids and I didn’t know it. Book two (Fins Are Forever) is out next year, and I’ll be first in line to buy it.
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