Release Date: October 4, 2010
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Review Source: NetGalley ARC
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Lena has lived her whole life near the beach—walking for miles up and down the shore and breathing the salty air, swimming in the cold water, and watching the surfers rule the waves—the problem is, she’s spent her whole life just watching.
As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Lena vows she will no longer watch from the sand: she will learn to surf.
But her father – a former surfer himself – refuses to allow her to take lessons. After a near drowning in his past, he can’t bear to let Lena take up the risky sport.
Yet something lures Lena to the water … an ancient, powerful magic. One morning Lena catches sight of this magic: a beautiful woman—with a silvery tail.
Nothing will keep Lena from seeking the mermaid, not even the dangerous waves at Magic Crescent Cove.
And soon … what she sees in the mermaid’s mirror will change her life …
You may have noticed that I tagged this post with both “fantasy” and “realistic”, and that was no mistake. The remarkable thing about this book is that despite the inclusion of mermaids it feels a lot like a realistic, contemporary YA novel for the first three quarters of the book. I really enjoyed this unique feel, so I was disappointed when the mermaid world became the main focus of the story, and the “human world” was left behind.
Perhaps I would have been able to accept the book more if Lena had been a more consistently likeable protagonist. I guess this is realistic, as no one is perfect all the time, but I got annoyed at several decisions she made, especially one which was very selfish and hurtful to those around her. In fact, Lena seemed very out of touch with other people, except for with her little brother Cole, who she cared deeply about. I definitely enjoyed reading about their relationship, as it showed a kinder side of Lena.
I deeply enjoyed the first part of this book, and I was very excited to see where it would go. Unfortunately, the ending fell flat. The part leading up to the epilogue seemed random and had a completely different tone from the rest of the book. The ending lacked real depth and emotion, which were things I appreciated in the first part. I would still recommend this book, especially if you don’t mind a slower paced read, but I wouldn't suggest putting it at the top of your TBR pile.
Find The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.ca