This comes down to being a powerful coming of age story and learning about your place in the world.
What I loved most about the book was its beautifulThis comes down to being a powerful coming of age story and learning about your place in the world.
What I loved most about the book was its beautiful writing. It almost had a lyrical quality to it. The descriptions were not overdone and perfectly placed to enhance the story.
The characters were interesting too. The back story of some of the characters develops slowly, which adds to the air of mystery and magic that seems to swirl among these pages. Clara's insecurities and love for her sister--despite the fantasy elements-- made their relationship believable. She has to learn to deal with unrequited love, as well as understand where she fits in the world. These are not easy tasks for anyone regardless of their age. Because of her very real emotions, she felt the most real despite living in a world full of magic. ...more
Captivate has potential to end up being something pretty good. I admit, I picked it up based on the cover and because I thought it was going to be a
Captivate has potential to end up being something pretty good. I admit, I picked it up based on the cover and because I thought it was going to be a mermaid book. This is not a mermaid book. It's rather complicated, actually. For originality, Captivate gets a strong A. I like the idea of this utopian society living far removed from the troubles of the world-- even when it's deep beneath the ocean's surface. And like any good literary utopian society, there are plenty of troubles that develop over time to challenge the way of life. I was a bit troubled by the limited number of people within reproductive age in the city. Seems like things might get a bit icky over time. Maybe I read it incorrectly, but it came across as being slim pickings. Of course, there is a scientific explanation for the sterile female population, so it helps the buy in some. The characters are pretty interesting so far. Robbie is still mysterious (as is Marko). You get little glimpses into each of them along the way, but I never felt like the whole picture was presented. I can't say which is my favorite love interest so far. I may actually be pulling for Marko, despite the fact that he starts out super creepy. Robbie just seems too clean and blindly romantic for my taste. Our main protagonist, Miranda, did not leave much of an impression on me either unfortunately. I didn't think she was extremely strong or resourceful. She just kind of floated along with the plot. I did, however, love that she was a reader. So rock on, Miranda. I know I'll read the next book because I want to know what happens. There was a pretty great cliffhanger ending in Captivate. Whether this book blew me away or not is beside the point; it still did enough to make me curious....more
I tried SO hard to finish this book. I tried for nearly an entire month, in fact. But try as I might, I just couldn't do it.
I thought this cover wasI tried SO hard to finish this book. I tried for nearly an entire month, in fact. But try as I might, I just couldn't do it.
I thought this cover was stunning. I thought it was going to be some type of mermaid book. To a degree it was, but the Aquarathi are not mermaids. I don't know what they are, other than water dwelling sea monster-like creatures. It is a mystery I did not solve in the 200 pages that I read.
What drove me crazy about this book was the lack of descriptions. It was as if a grade school child was telling me a story that they remembered, but left out all the vital details. What should be been described in more depth was glanced over. What did not need pages or paragraphs of details seemed to drag on endlessly. It got to be too much.
I also did not like the slow moving plot. This book literally put me to sleep at night. I think I spent one night reading for a few hours but that was it. The majority of the time a few pages had my eyes heavy with slumber.
There was one element that kept me reading: Lo. I thoroughly liked his character, even when the others felt unremarkable. He was witty and a tad bit sarcastic. My favorite type of love interest in a story. I know he was vital to the plot in some mystical way, but I never made it to the end to find out how. If you could stick with the book through the slow parts, I think there could be some promise in this series. It is a unique concept... book 1 was just not a home run. ...more
How do you like your mermaid stories? Do you prefer them to be Disney-esque? Or do you prefer them to teeter on the edge of creepy? If you prefer theHow do you like your mermaid stories? Do you prefer them to be Disney-esque? Or do you prefer them to teeter on the edge of creepy? If you prefer the latter, Westward to Strange is for you! The mermaids in Westward to Strange are not friendly. In fact, they are downright terrifying. I have to give the author props for coming up with an original take on a siren. There is an element of mythology in the book that is new and unique, at least to me. I also thought the concept behind these killer mermaids helped heighten the mystery of the subplots. Don’t read Westward to Strange thinking it’s just about mermaids. There is so much more going on in this book! For fans of mysteries, there will be much to keep you reading. For me, though, it was the descriptions that kept me turning the pages. I enjoyed reading about this beach community. Being a Florida resident myself, I felt like I could visualize the setting in my own town. I also enjoyed some of the characters. I was instantly drawn to Jake. I didn’t connect with Cass at first, but he grew on me. I’m always on the lookout for books with mermaids. With so many books in the genre already on the market, it’s hard to find something fresh. Westward of Strange certainly delivered in the fresh and unique market! ...more
This cover is stunning! Simply beautiful. I fell in love with it instantly. Then I read the synopsis and realized this was a mermaid story. Score!
I fThis cover is stunning! Simply beautiful. I fell in love with it instantly. Then I read the synopsis and realized this was a mermaid story. Score!
I found the idea behind Water to be refreshing. There was a certain mythology that gave it an air of mystery. Also, there was a strong message of conservation and anti-pollution that was different. It's not your normal "mermaid" story.
For readers, you will find the setting interesting. It was hard for me to know if the geography in the book was legit or completely made up. I'm pretty certain it takes place in Africa, but I could be wrong. It was a bit confusing at times. I think the mystery of the "fish people" and the tribal stories were pretty fascinating, even if it all came together very quickly.
There were a few other elements of the story that I have mixed feelings toward. I'm still pretty uncertain about Merrick. Ok, I actually stopped reading at 65% because it was dragging on and I have other books to read. I hate to say I did not finish Water, but it's the truth. I gave it 3 solid nights of reading, but I was not connecting to the story or characters. I have a feeling that it would have picked up a good bit by the end, but I did not wait to see.
I wouldn't say this is my favorite mermaid book out there. It was rather hard for me to be swept away by the story. But, in the book's defense I do like the underlying plot of the Oceanids coming inland due to water pollution. This real problem doesn't get enough air time, so it was pretty snazzy to see it pop up in a fictional book. ...more
Cute. I hate to say this one didn't leave a huge lasting impression on me, but I did enjoy reading it.
The writing style was probably my favorite part
Cute. I hate to say this one didn't leave a huge lasting impression on me, but I did enjoy reading it.
The writing style was probably my favorite part. The author used great imagery throughout the book. I could imagine the salty taste of the ocean spray as I read about Elin Jean's adventures. It was very realistic. The author also did a fantastic job of developing the setting. Selkies are part of the Scottish folklore, so it is only natural that this tale takes place somewhere near there. Although it doesn't come outright say where, you get the impression that you are on some tiny island near Scotland. The dialect is very distinct, so get your context clues strategies ready.
As far as the story goes, it's a fast read with straight forward action. Elin Jean has a few tough decisions to make, which lead to an interesting outcome. I can't say too much about it without giving away the story. What I can say, though, is that this is a coming of age story at its heart. It is all about Elin Jean finding herself and her place in the world. That theme makes it easy to relate to for middle grade readers-- whether they are part selkie themselves or not. ...more
Oh, how I love this series. I love it with a love that is more than a love, I and my Syrena under the sea. I am happy to report, that although this isOh, how I love this series. I love it with a love that is more than a love, I and my Syrena under the sea. I am happy to report, that although this is the end to a beloved series and set of characters, I am actually HAPPY with how it wraps up.
Yes, you read that correctly. There is an ending that is satisfying and leaves you with a sense of completeness. Thank goodness for epilogues! The story was a bit different this time around. Normally the alternating views are closely related, but this time it's like you're reading two different stories. While the events are related, what Emma experiences is totally different from what Galen is facing until near the end of the book. I thought Anna Banks did a great job with it, and Galen is still my favorite.
There are new characters in Of Neptune. I'm not a big fan of them, but they served their purpose. I felt like Reed was way too pushy and I would have liked to punch him if I lived with these characters. I also missed Galen's motley crew. They were not present throughout the majority of the book, and I so wanted them to be. The silly antics that I came to expect from the odd couple were not present in Of Neptune, which gave it a much more serious feel than the previous books.
Overall, the pacing was pretty good. There were a few times where I felt things were getting sticky and taking too long, but it usually resolved itself by the end of the chapter. You will definitely find more of Ms. Banks' great characterization and witty dialogue. There are even a few surprises in store that might make you flip your fins!...more
Do not let the cover of this book fool you! It is not an overly cutesy middle-grades novel.(I was wrong!)
This was actually a solid mystery with severDo not let the cover of this book fool you! It is not an overly cutesy middle-grades novel.(I was wrong!)
This was actually a solid mystery with several sub plots. The main plot centers around trying to figure out who is attacking the selkies and why. But of course, that would be too easy if that was the only thing to discover in a small fishing town. Enter mysterious new boy, Jamie. The instant connection between Aileen and Jamie starts of a romance that carries throughout the novel. Oh, but that's not all! Aileen's family has secrets of their own to resolve, and the family store (and Aileen's way of life) is teetering on a ledge. All of these story lines meet at the end with a very suspenseful climax! I thought it was really well developed, and I enjoyed it alot.
The characters were pretty good as well. They worked for the story, but I didn't really connect with them. I did notice, though, how well Aileen's character depicted a teenager desperate for more freedom and responsibility. She has some pretty clever one-liners and insights that made me smile. The author did a nice job of giving Aileen a belieavable voice.
I am a huge fan of mermaid books, but selkies kind of gross me out. I think it's the idea of peeling off skin and leaving it in a heap that makes my stomach churn. Luckily, though, Legasea didn't spend a lot of time focusing on the selkie qualities. Instead, it told a good story-- placing it high up on my list of merbooks. So, if you are like me and you enjoy mermaid/selkie stories, give Legasea a try! ...more
Oh. Man. Not at all what I expected. Not even close! I’m still undecided how I feel about this one. Honestly, I didn’t like it. It took me forever (inOh. Man. Not at all what I expected. Not even close! I’m still undecided how I feel about this one. Honestly, I didn’t like it. It took me forever (in my terms) to finish this book! Not a good sign.
Why didn’t I like The Brides of Rollrock Island? Well… It all started with the first 70 pages or so. Could this have been any more confusing? I couldn’t keep the characters straight. It was so irritating. My poor brain didn’t know what it was reading (and this is not a problem that I typically have). So you can see why I was frustrated, right? If I can’t make sense of who is telling the story, then how can I decipher the plot? Ugh. As the book went on, I figured out how things were working so that problem became less of an issue, but it still made for a rough start.
The set up for this book was interesting too. It’s told from multiple points of view. Basically, each “chapter” is a new part of the Rollrock Island history that is told from the point of view of a new generation. While it did give an interesting quality to the story, I felt it interfered with the overall story. I could dissect the story further and show some of the positives, but I don’t want to go through the effort. You would have to read this book to understand what I was saying anyway. As a piece of literature, I can see some positive qualities, but I personally did not enjoy this book.
I also didn’t care for the writing. I know, I know… Yes, it was well written and the descriptions were very detailed. But I am sorry, it felt wordy at times. In fact, I found myself skipping entire pages and finding that I hadn’t missed a bit of information. There is something wrong with that. Add that to my initial “problem” with the book, and my attention span is gone. Done. Finis. I have nothing left to give as a reader.
** Not a kid friendly review from this point forward ** Now, add both of those complaints to my gripes with the characters themselves. WTH. The men in this book infuriated me. I have NEVER felt so much disgust and contempt for a group of characters in my life. How am I supposed to buy in that these pervs are so freakin’ horny that they are ready to knock boots with anything that pops up naked from the sea? Yeah, that’s what’s happening… grrrr. And the freak-o that keeps the poor sealwoman in the closest as a sperm depository and then GLOATS about it to his wife and family? Oh, hell no. I shut down right there. I was so disgusted with how quickly these men threw away their individual sense of decency that I couldn’t recover. No matter what else I read, I couldn’t get past this. They were sex slaves. Plain and simple. ** End non-kid friendly portion **
Of course, the teacher in me is conflicted. While, as a reader, I did not connect with this story, I can see its purpose in a (mature) classroom setting. The setting is phenomenal. The characters are so screwed up that they make the perfect discussion point. The fact that all this sealwomen enchantment started up (again) out of revenge would open the door to a very interesting conversation. Plus, the story being continued through different generations of Rollrock inhabitants gives an unique angle. But, despite my conflicted views, overall I did not like this book. As something I picked up for fun, I did not enjoy my time reading. I finished out of a sense of commitment, not because I was captivated by the story. ...more
Wow. Where to begin with this one? Um… I really wanted to like this book. I promise I did. I haven’t read any selkie stories, so I was pretty stoked wWow. Where to begin with this one? Um… I really wanted to like this book. I promise I did. I haven’t read any selkie stories, so I was pretty stoked when I found this one on the shelf at the library. I also thought the hidden references to Irish and Celtic mythology was promising. In fact, I was a little excited… but then I started reading the book. Whoa Nelly. The story is ok. It’s not all that exciting, but it wasn’t horrific either. There was a plot and a few interesting characters that made things lively. I’ll be honest though, some parts of this book just freaked me out. For instance, right up front when the old man finds the baby in the water and brings her home. What happens? His wife tries to breastfeed the babe to “see how it feels” (direct quote) and magically starts lactating. Now, this woman is described as someone in her 50s or older. I was totally freaked out by that scene. It just screams psycho in my mind, but whatever. I’m sure that scene was found someone in mythology, or at least I hope it was because it was too weird otherwise. I did enjoy searching for the parts of the story that were based on mythology. The author did a really good job of weaving everything together so that it became difficult to tell what was an original idea and what was myth. I was already familiar with the story of Sedna from Inuit mythology, so when the crazy lady told Gioga about how her kinfolk (the seals) were made, I got that reference right away. The flip side of this is, however, that since this story is based on so many different myths from various cultures, it feels choppy in some places. There were just key parts of the plot that didn’t fit perfectly. And with only 128 pages, it was hard to form any connections to the characters. They all felt flat. In fact, it read like a myth in the fact that it’s a telling of events and not a story per se. I read this book in a few hours while riding in the car on my way to Orlando. Normally I fall asleep instantly when in a moving car, but I thought I would make good use of my 2.5 hour ride this time. While I can’t say I wasted my time (because my only other option was sleeping in the car), I can’t say I used it in the best way possible either. I had other books I could have read. If this book had been longer and left me with the same feeling at the end, I would have been furious with the time I spent reading it. But since I really didn’t have anything else to do, I say it was ok. Not one I would re-read or recommend to anyone, but ok. ...more