Read for Anna's ABC&D bookclub
This book picks up shortly after the events of book 1, The Tail of Emily Windsnap
. Flipping fins, their lives at Allpoints island begins with 12 year old Emily, excited about her new home, still has the same fears she did in her old home of being different and not fitting in. Her efforts t to impress brings out the bogey-mer of merfolks nightmares and she's the only one who can fix it.
"It lends itself to a touch of insomnia, getting stranded on an island the size of a pair of underpants, with nothing to eat, no way of getting home, and no one to talk to except your parents." (102)
There are some laugh out loud moments, as you can see from the above quote, and some tension grabbing ones. It is the smaller moments of life, dealing with issues of family, friendship, courage, and bullying, that make you care about these characters and what happens to them. I really loved how the issue of bullying was explored from the point of view of both girls involved. Bullying was touched on and finished off, so I thought, with aplomb in the first book, which made this a pleasant surprise. Each has insecurities, each feels there is something wrong with themselves, and they both have a need to be understood and accepted. One lashes out toward the other as a way of coping, while the other pushes the rules and does crazy things in an effort to fit in. This could be a nice way to broach the subject for adults and a way for both adults and children to see how it affects all involved.
"How could I compete with a full-time, real mermaid with stars on her tail and gold seaweed in her hair?" (28)
"I want to (help). Part of me wants to shout and cry and ask why it has to be like this. But I can't. Show her my weakness and she can hurt me even more. Forget it."(134)
This would have been 4-1/2 if not for a part of the story that just seemed too far fetched. Fearsome, formidable King Neptune was too easily swayed by characters that just made no sense to me, especially given his feelings towards these insignificant folks. Maybe future books will explain this so it makes more sense, if so I will come back and change this to a 4-1/2, for now it stays at 4. As in the first book Emily pushes and persuades her new best friend, Shona, to do things she really didn't want to do. Will Emily learn from this behavior in upcoming books, we will just have to wait and see. Emily's changes are slow but more realistic than the instant changes in some books, so she will probably continue to make mistakes, allowing us along on her adventures as she grows and matures. This ends with a little twist in the end that could have some interesting consequences for the series.
as you will see from her review below.
This one was so good but it went too quick! The back of the book tells you that Emily gets help from someone she never wanted to see again. Then as you read the book you get clues, that was an interesting surprise I never would have thought of after the first book.
I didn't like Emily suddenly not being scared as I know I would be facing the monster alone. It was just too easy, she just talked to herself and calmed herself down, just like that, too easy.
I really like how the author showed Mandy, the bully's, point of view. Getting to see how they both felt was very interesting. I could understand why Mandy did some of the things she did, and was mad and took it out on Emily now. It made a lot of sense with everything she had to deal with at home.
This book was more thrilling than the first one, we both agree on this. Really liked this one and want to read the next one in the series.
- From Anna
Anna and I agree that we liked this second book better than the first and that it was much more exciting and both give it 4-1/2 stars (maybe that should be fins). To put it in merfolk speak. Sharks alive, you won't be off your fins if you keep a gill open and put a fin on this book, but tough tails for you if you don't!