Melanie's Reviews > Evergreen

Evergreen by Brenda Pandos
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's review
Nov 09, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2-second-shelf-loved-it, teen, signed, print-copies

Quotes:

“Which world would be most supportive of our relationship? Which was worthy of our sacrifice? I wanted parts of both.”

“Lucy’s pathetic rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s What Doesn’t Kill You filtered through the walls, killing me softly.”

“With her eyes, I saw pain mirrored from my own soul. Did she long for someone too? Or was she trying desperately to fit into a world that would never accept her, at least not as she was - a mermaid.”

“Cold wind dusted over the frigid water and sent a familiar chill over my skin… She tempted me with her calming and elusive waves, promising if I were to dive in everything would be okay.”

“My life was no longer my own and like Tatchi, I had no way to escape.”

“You’re a catfish with your nine lives.”

“My reflection in the mirror stopped me. With my stringy hair sticking out from my head in a spastic wild fire and Georgia’s stretched-out black dress poorly covering my body, I resembled a piece of lit dynamite.”

My Thoughts:

I discovered Brenda Pandos’s first book, Everblue, by seeing the cover online. If you haven’t read it yet, I HIGHLY recommend it! The book is even better than the cover, and introduces the reader to the Mer world, and a family of mermaids living right next to the main (human) character Ashlyn, or Ash. Evergreen continues that story, and Brenda does not skimp on the action!

Evergreen picks up right where the first book leaves off, with Fin having to leave Ash in a hurry to avoid serious trouble with other mers from the underwater homeland of Natatoria. This is heartbreaking for Ash and Fin, and the end of Everblue and the much of Evergreen is an emotionally-tense time for them. We don’t hear much from Tatchi, Fin’s sister and Ash’s best friend in this book, as she is still in Natatoria.

While Everblue slowly picks up speed and builds toward a dizzying climax, Evergreen is filled from start to finish with action and drama and a healthy dose of dramatic irony. It reminds me of Shakespeare, both comedies and tragedies, in that there is SO much miscommunication and assumption between the characters that gets everyone into trouble. Almost the entire book, I was yelling in my head things like: “No!” “Talk to each other!” “Tell them the truth!” “What are you doing?!” I think this story underscores the most important part of any happy, successful, and lasting relationship - communication! Honest and open communication could have prevented many of the problems in the book, but then we wouldn’t have as much of a story, and definitely not one so suspenseful!

This story is not just an action story that sets up a terrible cliffhanger (fie on you Brenda Pandos!) at the end in preparation for the third and final novel in this thrilling trilogy; it is also at the core a love story, and one that explores what it means to love, what it means to love someone who is different than you, and how to reconcile that love with societal expectations. I feel that even though the book deals with Ash and Fin being split between the human world and Mer world, that parallels can easily be made for couples from different cultures, religions, races, etc.

Now, lest you think this story is all action and tension and suspense, Brenda also throws in some great elements to lighten the mood. She has cute words that are sea- and water-related, like the quote above about catfish having nine lives. She also includes wonderful descriptions of both physical and emotional aspects of the story, and of the characters themselves (see the quote about Ash above, where she describes herself as looking like a “piece of lit dynamite”). Finally, she has moments of humor that add surprising depth to the story and makes it more realistic. These moments sneak up on you when you’re unsuspecting, making them all the more potent, like the quote above about Lucy’s singing.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and highly recommend this book, and the entire series (Everblue for now, and the last book when Brenda finishes it) to anyone looking for a fun, beachy read about a secret world of mermaids and the girl who falls in love with one. I know I’ll be in line, anxiously waiting to return to Natatoria and see how Ash and Fin’s story ends.
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Reading Progress

11/17/2013 marked as: read

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