I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I think Mermaids may be my favorite mythical creatures. They spend most of their time in the water surrounded by all the aquatic animals that enjoy learning about on the Discovery Channel. They have mischievous and playful personalities. And they don’t have an unquenchable thirst for blood. And everything that I like about mermaids was magnified in this book.
The story revolves around Marina, and she has a pretty fantastic life. Her father is an agricultural scientist who allows her to go with him as he travels the globe in an effort to feed the world. He makes sure that she is educated by the best tutors, and teaches her how to be self-sufficient and independent.
When she and her dad aren’t traveling, they just so happen to live next door to a benevolent, rich fashionista named Evie who makes it her business to spoil Marina with the finer things in life. I think Evie was my favorite character because I want someone like her in my life. I don’t only like her because she buys Marina so many fancy things and allows her access to a garage full of luxury cars, mostly I like her because of how much she loves Marina. Evie always encouraged her to follow her heart and find ways to get the most out of life.
The fun begins when Marina’s father reluctantly sends her to live with his sister for a year while his job forces him to travel to a dangerous part of the world. He wants his daughter to experience what it is like to be a “normal” teenager and attend high school, and Evie wants her to fall in love and have the adventure of a lifetime. Of course Marina hates the idea of this, but as soon as she reconnects with her aunt and fashion loving cousin and meets a few new people, she warms up to the idea of living in the small seaside town.
To make things even better one of the people she meets is a cute surfer, Ethan. And Ethan gives her a giant dose of what it feels like to be a “normal” girl because she develops a huge crush on him.
They have the same type of cute romance, that I have come to expect in a Derrolyn Anderson novel. If the guy was being a massive jerk all the time and the girl was playing mind games, I would wonder if the author actually wrote the book because so far, she doesn’t write those types of relationships. Thankfully!
Sometimes, Marina did bug me with her extreme need to be independent. She had grown up with no one but her dad and Evie to depend on, and while they loved her well, it was impossible for them to be there for her when she needed it. She had to learn to work through so many things alone, and now that she has a larger support system, it is difficult for her to let go and allow them to help. But she is learning.
This is yet another story that would be spoiled if I revealed too much. I think it is safe to say that Marina is not just an ordinary girl. She has a connection to the sea that is greater than most humans, but so does everyone else in the town of Aptos. It has a magical feeling that is hard to describe, and very enjoyable to read.
I love the way this book ended. It let me know that I plenty of story to look forward to in the next books, but it didn’t leave me hanging. Marina and the gang are all in wonderful places in their lives, and I’m glad I get to go along on their journey and watch them grow.
If you are in the mood for a YA fantasy with beautiful imagery, a likable heroine, a sweet romance, and well crafted action sequences, this book will wet your appetite. (I spelled “whet” wrong on purpose. I had to get one water pun into this review. lol)
This book is clean, but I would recommend the reading level for ages 13 and up.