She wanted her life to change... he wanted his to stay the same.
Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.
Ashlyn is about to discover what she'd thought to be true her whole life, wasn't, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.
This is now officially the first mermaid book that I’ve ever read and unfortunately I wasn’t a huge fan of it. I felt like I was going to lose it at several points in this book because of how cringey it was. There were terrible exclammations, like “for the love of Kraken,” and horrible sentences, like “the porpocon ceiling reminded me more of cottage cheese sprinkled with glitter,” that made me nearly rip my hair out from how bad they were.
One of my biggest issues with this book is how the first half of this book felt very disjointed. There was the mermaid plotline that you’d get from Fin’s point of view then the human plotline from Ash’s point of view. However, the human and mermaid plotlines didn’t really connect with each other until the middle of the book. The human plotline was a particularly big problem because it had nothing to do with the main plot of this series. It was simply documenting Ash going to school and dating someone who isn’t her love interest. The mermaid plotline was a lot more interesting. The setting was described wonderfully and Fin’s chapters were super fast paced. I don’t even know why Ash was given a point of view because this book would’ve been a lot more connected and interesting if it had focused solely on Fin’s time as a mermaid.
Another issue I had with this story was the idea of the ‘promise.’ In this series, if a mermaid or merman kisses someone, they become promised to that person. This means that whoever they kiss falls desperately in love with them and their souls are bound together. It felt cliche and it wasn’t too bad at first, but then a character forces himself onto another character to get her to fall in love with him. I should also mention, too, that she was drugged to get him to kiss her, so he violates her and then she falls hopelessly in love with him. It’s so messed up that this fantasy world is designed so that sexual assault victims fall in love with their attackers.
The promise created even more issues, but these issues had to do with the main couple in this book. The promise caused the two main characters to fall in love, but while they’re making out and planning their future together, one of them is in an established relationship with someone else. They don’t even care that they’re cheating on their partner. The cheating was so incredibly unncessary.
Once the lovebirds are together, their relationship also becomes all mushy gushy and cheesy. It got really annoying and I read the final chapters really quickly because I wanted to be done with the romance.
I had a massive issue, too, with how the mermaid world was set up so that women were extremely controlled. They can’t even leave the mermaid city without a man because women mermaids will “seduce” men. I know that sirens are known for luring men to their untimely deaths in mythology, but the way that this idea was incorporated into this story made it so that the mermaid world was extremely sexist.
I felt like there was a lot of missed potential in this book with Tatch and Ash’s friendship. The book constantly reminds the readers that Tatch and Ash are best friends, but the book was telling us that and not showing us that they were best friends so nothing about their friendship was believeable. To add onto that, their friendship was often shoved to the side and ignored to allow more time to develop the romance. A better blend of friendship moments with relationship moments would’ve made this book a lot more bareable.
I honestly don’t recommend this book to anyone because of how many issues it has. I’m hoping that somehow I can find a better mermaid book in the future, but Everblue just didn’t work for me.
Maybe since reading Otfried Preußler's The Little Watersprite almost 30 years ago and certainly since reading Der Sommer als Nixe kam (translates as ""The Summer Nixie Came"") by Evelyne Kolnberger two years later I have been mesmerized by the idea of mermaids, their mysteries and their underwater worlds. The beginning of the current mermaid trend in YA fiction and paranormal romance about two years ago consequently made me very happy and alert. In the meantime I have picked up as much disappointing stories as interesting ones. But I am determined to enjoy the wave as long as it lasts. And although I have stopped putting every new merfolk book on my wishlist, I still patiently sift through the debris in order not to miss the rare gem. Everblue”, the first book of the “Mer Tales Series” by Brenda Pandos, sadly belongs to the category of stones I am going to throw over my shoulder with some flip behind it. Yet, I am sure, some other mermaid fans stumbling across the book will decide that they have finally found what they had been looking for. I am going to try to explain in detail so you can decide, whether you would judge like me or like them:
First a description to make you familiar with what I am talking about: “Everblue” is told in the first person. Its point-of-view switches from chapter to chapter between the two main characters (usually a “plus” for me), High School senior Ashlyn and her best friend’s home-schooled twin-brother Finley. Ash, Fin and Tatiana live on the shore of Lake Tahoe. Ash has helped Tatchi to secretly apply for the admission and a scholarship at the Florida Atlantic University, where they want to spend their college years together, although they know that Tatiana’s parents, who do not even allow their kids to go to the local High School and who often disappear with the twins for days, will not exactly be thrilled about their daughter’s plans for the future. Truth is Ash doesn’t really know. Since the day several years ago when Tatiana’s dad smashed a glass vitrine because Ash had suggested a sleepover at her house, she hasn’t set a foot on the family’s premises. She remembers her own parents mumbling something sounding like alcohol-related problems, but she has never breached the subject. Another thing she does prefer not to talk about is her long-standing crush on Fin. Apparently a pity, because for Fin there has ever been only Ashlyn. But in contrast to just-waiting-for-the-right-moment-to-confess-Ash, Fin is set on forgetting the beautiful red-head next door, because his “carreer” has not been decided upon and he does not want to force an underwater-life on her. For Fin and Tatchi are mermaids, who are permitted to live temporarily on land, because their father is guiding a gate in the Lake that leads to their monarchic underwater country. When Fin’s family is summoned down by the capricious son of their present King, there is not even time to say good-bye. And while Tatchi tries to evade evil Azor’s advances and Fin tries to replace his longing for Ash by courting a mermaid who reminds him of her, Ash is on the one hand concerned because of the twins’ absence, on the other hand she basks in the sudden interest of the school’s – really nice - star quarterback in her and nurtures her crush on him, which had been slumbering in a corner of her heart. How will everybody get happy with the right partner, (how) is Azor going to be defeated and how can Tatchi get to live the human life she longs for?
These questions are not so easily answered because of the unquestionably unique mermaid lore - which is essential for “Everblue” and which is in large part responsible for me being repelled. To be fair: From a logical point of view there is nothing wrong with the construct. It is even very believable, because it fits into the pattern of merfolk legends and fairytales. But if I think of “Everblue” as a love story between girls and boys I am supposed to like - or at least understand fom a ""human angle"", the lore turns into a paranomal romance nightmare:
Mermaids are a different species. They are either born (alpha-mer) or made by a willingness to stay with a merfolk partner (beta-mer, who really stay second-class citizens). When daylight falls on their tails (directly or indirectly via mirrors) they morph into legs. Simultaneously something happens with the breathing apparatus, too. The most important things are that mer-blood has healing qualities (came in handy when mermaids encountered shipwrecks in former times) and that a kiss and one kiss only (between two mers or a mer and a human) mingles the two souls permanently and makes the two persons addicted to each other up to the point that the absence of one makes the other one go crazy. This explains why sea-faring men encountering mermaids after a storm or a swim went slowly mad, jumped into the waters and drowned or joined their tailed saviours and were never to be seen again. That these mermaids were kissing the poor guys in the first place does not need to always have been an erotic urge. A mer’s kiss is also reviving for a person whose life’s flame is on the brink of blinking out. For the teenaged merfolk in “Everblue” it means that regardless to whom you are attracted to or who you fell in love with, you first kiss – voluntarily, accidentally or forced - determines who you will eternally long for, who you cannot be without, whose body will turn you on without fail, who you “love”. To avoid random matings the mer-families do not approve of or which weren’t really planned by the hormone-laden teens all unmated merfolk is constantly heavily chaperoned. To me this once-press-the-button-guarantee of eternal, mutual infatuation (Tatchi and Fin’s parents are permanently making out) seems to be a thousand times worse than, for instance, an unwanted pregnancy or an old-fashioned arranged marriage (for both allow for several choices). It does not take into account that people change, that people have intellect, something in common or not in common, something to talk about or not to talk about. It is just some weird chemistry that traps a couple into an iron lock of inescapable bliss. Horrific, don't you agree?
As the story progresses the reader is in for a treat of how awful the mating-kiss can turn out. Brainless, naive Fin who felt only slightly inconvenienced (he wanted to succeed his father as the Lake Tahoe gate keeper, knew that his future lay in the hands of the all-powerful royal family) but never managed to see the real danger, is more intent on assuring his lately acquired, giggling mate that he won’t have sex with her before turning her into an honest woman. I asked myself what the heck is wrong with that author? As if the question of premarital sex could be of any relevance when two teens are already infinitely bound by magical shackles. In addition the admittedly peculiar question stole into my head if the author thinks that lasting happiness can only occur, when both partners are brain-washed and paranormally forced? It all made me personally very angry.
But should the mentioned concept of love (I don’t think that this kind of connection deserves to be labelled love) of the author’s mermaid lore cover you in happy goosebumps, because you simply cannot pass up the chance to read about sweet eternal obsession, do not mind my previous antics and buy the book!
Another aspect, which constantly annoyed me to pieces, were the two sets of parents. Tatchi’s mother – a beta-mer – never trusted her children and their ability to keep their mouths shut enough to let them go to school with humans or to have friends, but she promised her daughter the freedom of choice as far as her future mate was concerned. When the family moves underwater she changes her stance and her behavior so frequently that the reader gets the impression she has already gone nuts from her husband’s extended “business trip”. Ash’s mother is a over-the-top moody, sharp-tongued, unfair bitch, who likes to make her daughter feel unbelievably helpless and bad in various creative ways. Communication between her and Ash is only possible with Ash’s dad as a go-between, who advises his daughter to ""talk to her mom about it”, but does not initiate a family conference himself either. When Ash, whose confusion about her friends’ absence and her own accelerating romance with what’s-his-name finally wear her out, resorts to excusing herself from church under the pretense of feeling unwell, she is plagued by a mightily bad conscience and an enormous urge to come clean afterwards (which is later seconded by her indignant grandmother. Imagine! A good girl lying to her parents! *gasp*). That had me seriously wondering if the author is member of a strange religious cult. The real problem was definitely not Ash’s dishonesty, but her fear to ask monster-mom for permission! But faith is rather bluntly pushed at the reader throughout the book anyway.
I will count “Everblue” as “read” although I have to admit I stopped reading at 93%. But since I cannot imagine what glorious things could happen on the last few pages to pull the boat around, and I have read somewhere that the book ends on a huge cliffhanger anyway, I am not going to bother, since it only makes my skin crawl. One more down, how many to go? We will see.
Forgive me for not elaborating on the writinng style ecetera. It was not bad, but also not outstanding. The usual young adult, paranormal fair, you know?
I feel in a basic review mood, so I'm just going to cover the bullet points. Plus since this is a water type book, I get to put cheesy fishy and water metaphors in my review.
Things I liked -
◈ The cover is gorgeous.
◈ The book has likable - although simple and expected- characters. The protagonist is the girl next door, a head of the swimming team, great family, loyal to best friend, crush on the brother. The male protagonist is also likable enough, strong spirit and strong ties. The best friend of Ash, and the brother of Fin, is also a typical type - wanting to swim away and escape the ties of what she is. Characters in this one, while nothing exceptional in terms of being different, fit into their trademark roles well enough.
◈ The relationship is sweet and simple - while I'm not a fan of the strange kiss thing (more about that below), the way they are with each other does get the heart a tug.
◈ Mermaid world!
◈ Cutesy water-inspired sayings like "Holy Crawfish!", "Great Poseidon", "A match made in water." It's like Batman's Robin had a baby with a mermaid.
Things I disliked -
◈ Mermaids in this world are promised to another if they choose to kiss them. Something mystical about their souls mixing or whatever. This is odd because he ends up promised because of mouth-to-mouth rescue. Any kiss can force a union, including forced kisses. I hate that concept. It cheapens life-long soul mates to me - there should be intent as well.
◈ Strange point of view play. The book is written in first person point of you, with "I", but it is written in two people's points of view. It should have been he/she since there are two narrators. In addition to this, each chapter is divided into the other person's role. It will say "Ash" or "Fin." This mechanical way of storytelling may work on paper in theory, but it makes the story a little mechanical/choppy.
◈ Not much happens besides from Fin's point of view. The romance is supposed to be a major part but that doesn't swim to the top until toward the end. Too much time to get there as well. It would have been better if more time were focused on Fin since that's where the action played out.
◈ A little juvenile with the writing style. It's aimed for YA but I think it reads more for middle school type.
Overall it's not a sinker, but it's not a swimmer. Mermaids are fascinating to read about, and the characters work okay, but there's a lot of changes needed to bring this book up to par.
I've seen a lot of mermaid-type books around, some of them with really positive reviews. I always just kind of looked at them and thought, "Mermaids. Meh." But when I read the description for Everblue, it was like a light went off. Here was a book about my two absolute favorite things in the universe: YA fantasy romance, and the ocean. (Insert ear-piercing squeal.) See, I love the ocean. I threaten to run away to the ocean like some kids do the circus. Notice I'm using present tense; I'm an adult, and I still make this threat. Sometimes I make good on it, too. :) That's why I was so excited about Everblue. It's a good dose of oceanic escape, with romance and magic and other fantastical things. Everblue's land-bound action actually takes place in Lake Tahoe, so the setting was very well done. The underwater setting is beautiful and well-imagined. Pandos has constructed a meticulous, detail-oriented world here where plot isn't sacrificed for convenience. I found it to be both imaginative and practical. The author clearly sat down and thought, "Ok, what would it be like to actually live underwater?" The two main characters were well done. I have to say that Fin was my favorite, though. The story is told in alternating male-female 1st POV, which was refreshing. There really does seem to be a lack of male 1st POV in YA, but Pandos does it well. The book is long enough to be a full-length novel with a complete story arc of its own, yet it clearly leaves room for its sequel without leaving readers feeling like, "What??? But what next???" An overall great read. Fans of Amanda Hocking's Trylle Trilogy, Addison Moore's Celestra series, and Aprilynne Pike's Wings series will probably find this to their liking.
Everblue was a disaster for me. I found it as a free Kindle download on Amazon and it has gotten some pretty good reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads - And I have no idea why.
The initial worldbuilding was pretty great and in the first ten percent of the book, I was hooked. The remaining 90 percent of the book, I was confused, annoyed, and constantly wanted to stop reading.
The worst aspect of the book, for me, was the characters. Ash, especially, was such a self-centered, rude, whiney bitch. At one point (just before or after she becomes the most popular girl in school overnight) she compares herself to HESTER PRYNNE from The Scarlet Letter because she's SHY. She's rude to her mother, her best school friend, and her little sister.
I'm love realistic characters (and how much more realistic/typical teen can you get?) but I also want them to be likeable. Fin was no better - he made the stupidest decision, whined all the time. I honestly didn't care whether they happily survived their mess or not (though I was hoping not).
The plot was awkward as well. You find out in the first chapter that they both silently have the hots for each other, then for the next 45% percent of the book, they hardly think of each other. Ash gets a boyfriend while Fin scopes out the mermaids. I get the why of it, but it was annoying. How am I supposed to be invested in their relationship with that going on?
The drama and events that unfold later seems hastily thrown together and unrealistic, as did several other story elements. I had to force myself to finish reading this one.
I finished reading Everblue today. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek and I loved it. Without giving anything away, so much happens in this book.
The plot is well thought out, the world building is wonderful and the characters are varied and interesting. Brenda Pandos does a fantastic job of guiding the reader, allowing them to absorb the history and social structure of the Mers within the universe of Everblue without it being overwhelming and distracting from the story.
I found myself smiling at some points and at other times holding my breath to get through a scene. At the end of each chapter I couldn't wait to start the next right away. As a result I finished this book much too soon. Everblue is an absolute must read for anyone who enjoys something a little different in YA.
I didn't finish this book, and believe me, I tried. But when I got to 71% and I realized I'm still waiting for something exciting to happen when a few chapters back, the climax already happened(I knew it was supposed to be exciting, but all the time, I was just bored with the book), I knew I just can't. Maybe why I felt really bored and detached to the story was because I didn't care for the characters, except maybe Tatiana. She was really the only one with attitude and spunk.
Let's start with Ashlyn. She is ONE OF THE MOST BORING CHARACTERS I HAVE EVER READ ABOUT. I wouldn't wanna be friends with her. There should be a category Too Boring To Live. She's in the swim team, got nominated for Senior Ball Queen... um.. is best friends with a mermaid, Tatiana, got "promised"(are you even serious? Promised?! Anything is better than that; even "betrothed") to said mermaid's twin brother, Fin. Oh, and let's not forget, she DROWNED IN A LAKE. SHE'S THE CAPTAIN OF THE SWIM TEAM!! (If I remember correctly). She also fits in the TSTL category. Plus, she smells like honeysuckle ALL THE TIME IT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY, and doesn't have a social life. That's about it. So how come TWO(not one, but two) hot guys get interested in her? Beats me.
Fin. I have to say, he doesn't think like a guy. He uses words such as "travesty". ("A world without Ashlyn in it, even if she wasn't mine, would be a travesty.") And Ashlyn's "curvy hips and wavy red hair" takes his breath away, for the love of all that is good. That's not real. You see a girl and FOCUS ON HER--WAIT FOR IT... HIPS!? Oh, another good one: "Thoughts of tangling my hands in her red curls and bringing her lips to mine grappled with my being." Good one. His choices of words baffle me.
Other matters I have to address: 1. An iPhone party. WTF is that!? "Then the iPhone party began: photos, texting, videos--you name it."
2. "A picture of us with the inscription "best friends forever" written with liquid paper reminded me how we loved to play with Mom's office supplies at Gran's shop."
That is like saying, "I looked up into his eyes and remembered when I ate a spaghetti-with-meatballs yesterday afternoon."
3. Ash's mom and sister. Bipolar much? Her sister goes all snugly with Ash after she had her accident because it raised her "social standing" at school. Who in their right mind uses her sister's accident to become popular? Her mom could seriously be labelled as bipolar. She says maybe Tatiana's dad has drinking problems and when Ash reminds her of it, she backtracks and denies it. What? WHY? And when Ash had her make-up done, she says teens try to grow up quickly blahblah. Then when Ash's dad intervenes, she says Ash misunderstood and that she shouldn't go for too much make-up because she's already beautiful and all that crap. MAKE UP YOUR MIND, WOMAN. If you don't wanna hurt your kid's feelings, SAY THE RIGHT THING. Don't make her feel worse, you know. "Encourage" and "support" are NOT in this woman's vocab.
4. Fin's mom. Oh here we go, another bipolar one. She and Ash's mom should go hang out in a psychologist or something.
5. "Tatch" or "Tatchi". Tatiana is a perfectly beautiful name. Why do you need to make it sound... cheap, for lack of a better word?
5. Lily and Callahan. Just when Fin starts to like Lily(a co-mermaid), the author decides Ash should have an accident so they'd magically kiss and get "promised". Oh, way to go. Same thing with Callahan. After the kiss, Ash and Fin don't care about Callahan and Lily anymore.
6. The kiss. Supposedly when a mermaid kisses someone they're bound for life or something. That's not right, but more so, since that concept has already been used in Fins Are Forever(which I enjoyed far more than this one).
7. Misspelled words and wrong grammar. Idk if this is because of the .mobi(ebook) I read(thank goodness I didn't buy this book), but misspelled words+wrong grammar seemed to clutter the book.
"..but the direct shot took affect quickly.." Yes, affect with an A, not effect. "inlayed", "busyness", etc. Ahem. "Georgia's handy work had turned into black trails down my cheeks." Uh, handiwork? With the I and a space?
Okay. Sorry, I'll stop being such a smart-ass now. I just had to.
8. "I put them to my nose, inhaled the sweet fragrance, and swooned." You'd think she was given a hanky with chemicals in it that make you sleep. But no, she's referring to FLOWERS.
9. "I swallowed hard, tasting dragon breath that could kill small animals." HAHAHAHAHAHANO. WHAT R U EVEN TALKING ABOUT.
Way to start my 2012 Reading Challenge. Ugh. I can't even.
I think I fell in love with this book from the very first page - or the minute that Finn was introduced. I enjoyed that the book is narrated by 2 different characters. I feel that it gives it more personality. The world that is created in this book is pretty interesting. I never thought that I would be interested in "Mer People", but Brenda Pandos has definitely succeeded in gaining my interest. I enjoyed this book very much and am looking forward to reading the second book in this series. Can't wait for it.
*Author Brenda Pandos has a way of writing that captures her readers. She creates awesome worlds where anything is possible and where you can "insert" yourself into the book. After reading her books, I tend to find myself thinking about them, picturing them for several days. I can't get them out of my mind. I usually wonder what will happen next. I say, if an author can stir something like that, then they must be pretty good.
Let's begin with the beautiful cover that just calls your attention. This is a great example of when a cover will sell the book without opening the book itself. The cover model represents one of the main characters in the book and the water rippling to me represents the Mer people. It just a beautifully design cover with so much depth to it. I'm so glad this cover belongs to Everblue because Brenda deserves the best for all her hard work.
Everblue is not my first mermaid book that I've read. Everblue is the first Mermaid story I loved though. I didn't have a doubt in my mind when I pick up Everblue to read that I would not like the story. I knew its was not Brenda's Talisman series but I knew Brenda's writing style and have always love it. Now knowing that I would like the story I didn't expect that I would be blown away by it. Brenda has grown as a writer and her writing shows it. This was also her first time alternating characters in her writing, and I enjoyed how they transitioned back and forth. All readers will literally dive into Brenda writing and devour Everblue probably in one or two sittings. Then Brenda leaves you animated for the next novel in the series, wanting to know what will happen next.
Everblue takes place at Lake Tahoe, You meet Ashlyn and her best friend Tatiana. If it wasn't for having her friend Ashlyn would die of boredom. She is also ready to possibly make a move on Fin, that's Tatiana twin brother. The best friend have decided to seak out a college in Florida and go there and get away from it all. Ashlyn believes that Tatiana Father is a drunk and too strict and has even seen him get somewhat violent. So she understand why Tatiana wants to move away for college. So the girls have their plans all ready and set to go. Well that all changes the day Ashlyn realizes that Tatiana and her family including Fin have disappear without a trace, they didn't say where or why they had to leave or where they went. They are long gone and Ashlyn donest understand. They have left the family business and house unattended. What about their college plans? they are already accepted.
Then a few days later Ashlyn sees a older man and younger good looking guy at Ashlyn and Fin's house, she figures out this must be their cousin and uncle. They of course give Ashlyn no explanation for why they are there but Ashlyn finds it strange that she wants to kiss this cousin of Fin's. Until know the only boy she has wanted to kiss is Fin, even though he is Ashlyn sister. Fin has not open up to Ashlyn because of his family secret that he must keep hidden from any human. See Fin and Tatiana are Mer people. Now don't think that the lives of the Mer are perfect. Not at all, Fin and Titiana wantto escape that life of theirs and live on in the human world instead of the water. They must fight against their rules and their King's son to try and go back to land. Fin fears he will never be able to return back to land and it drives his crazy. That pushes him to sneak out one day at the gate to Lake Tahoe from his world. That's when both Fin and Ashlyn lives will change forever and star a whole chain of events. Seems after all this time Ashlyn might not be saved from his world.
If your looking for a well written story and characters that are interesting and unique, then pick up Everblue today. This book is a must have for anyone, any age that reads either YA or Adult.
I entered virgin territory when I read this book, as it was my very first mermaid book! I am SO glad that I read this one. It is so fresh, novel, and anything but banal. I absolutely loved some of the phrases used to describe various things in mer-life.
I thought the characters were all adorable and lovable! I also am a fan of more than one POV. Ashlyn is a girl whose best friend's brother just happens to be Ash's crush. Finn (pun intended I am sure) is definitely a hotty! I mean, come on, blue eyes and blonde hair AND a merman! Haha! How fun is that? But there is also Callahan who is a hot, hot baseball player. I have a weakness for baseball players. I can't help myself. I found myself rooting for Finn and Ash to be an item because they seemed to belong together.
There is also a bit of mystery when Tatiana and Finn and their family disappear. Ashlyn goes in detective mode to find her best friend. The disappearance is a complete mystery, but the love that Ash has for her friend is very special.
Pandos has created a very realistic and believable world of mers and mer-life. Because this was my first book and I liked it so much, she has created a mer-fin (oops, fan) of me!
Recommendation: Absolutely read this fintastic book!
For a book whose target audience is teenage girls, this book really hates women.
The female lead, Ash, does nothing but sit and mope for the entire book. She worries about Tatchi and Fin, but does very little to discover what happens to them. This girl possesses absolutely no agency. She likes Fin, but sits and waits for him to initiate everything rather than going after him or making any indication of interest. Ash is supposed to be out heroine, yet the only time she moves the plot forward is when she gets in trouble and has to be rescued. I've read novels from the 1830's with heroines who did more. Tatchi seems to be the only female character at all who actually has dreams and fights for the future she wants and the book punishes her for it by making her a victim to be rescued in a future book. All other female characters are vapid and shallow.
During the section of the book sent in the merfolk city, it emphasizes at every turn how mermaids can't be left near humans unsupervised, and how frivolous and concerned with baubles and appearance mermaids are. Mermen run everything and make nearly all the decisions for mermaids because apparently they can't be trusted to do anything other than sit around and be pretty. Apparently we're supposed to believe that the mermaids are content with this and that it's rare for mermaids to show any interest in things outside the city.
Fin, our male hero, is where the action is for the whole book. We're fortunate that his is the other POV that the story is told from. He's not a bad protagonist for the most part albeit he spends most of the time reacting to events rather than initiating them. At least until he gives CPR to Ash after which due to magic, he looses interest in rescuing his sister and spends the rest of the book wising he could be with Ash 24/7 and talking to her on the phone. The plot is left to the supporting characters to move things forward, since at that point all the villains are off screen for the most part. It's at this point that the plot really begins to suffer and it felt like all the characterization that the book had built up until that point was thrown away in favor of over the top obsession.
I keep hoping I'll run across a really good book with merfolk in it, and while this book did seem promising in the early chapters I'm sad to say that once again I'm disappointed.
This book was... okay. If half stars were a thing, i might have been generous and given it one and a half. But overall, the only thing that kept me reading was the hope that something might actually happen.
For most of the book, it switches between Ash and Fins perspectives as theh deal with drama in their respective worlds. Stuff happens, but its all trivial drivel for the majority of the book. None of the characters have any drive, and the plot is only moved by background characters half the time.
Not only this, but there probably should have been a good 15% less pages in this novel. Once the climax is reached and the temporary 'first book resolution' is reached, Fin and Ash continue to wander around ogling each other as the authors way of conveying where their relationship stands. No other plot takes place during this, and to be honest i got to the 90-something percent mark before i gave up trying to sift through all the over-sweet, unrealistic lovebird act. These people have been officially together for a day, and they're already planning their lives together. Their attraction seems to be driven by mermaid magic kisses or some shit. It was honestly painful to read and i seem to remember rolling my eyes a few times.
Not to mention, the authors idea of mermaids offers nothing fundamentally new to the whole myth surrounding them. Heck, as far as i could tell, the only interesting thing about these mermaids (biologically) was probably the fact that their tails have poison barbs and the twins can speak to each other telepathically in water. Otherwise, it seems the mermaids are your run of the mill, overly colourful sea people with sideways fish tails.
It was free and kept me busy for a few hours. If you can look past sexist values and main characters with the personality of a moist tea bag, then you might even enjoy this book.
Let me first start by saying Brenda is a local author so she writes about locations that I know very well in this case it's Lake Tahoe (not Natatoria lol) and thats why I fall so deeply in love with her stories! I also haven't read a mermaid story since The Little Mermaid so I was very excited to read this.
So Everblue takes place in two locations one on the surface and around Lake Tahoe and the other in a magical realm Natatoria both so different and vivid in their own ways. I could feel the chill off the lake and the snow still left around in the the spring setting of the book. I really could visualize the underground worls as well.
Onto the characters Ash is the MC and I loved everything about her she is a swimmer (so was I) so I could completely relate to her issues with nerves on race day. She is an amazing and loyal friend when Tatchi her best friend and Fin Tatch's brother and the boy she loves go missing she stops at nothing to find them. Tatchi is an adorable character I love the fight she has in her she wants to live her own life not the one dictated by the Mer's in Natatoria. On to Fin oh sighs whats there to know about Fin? He's a sexy blonde haired blue eyed merman who can even pull off wearing a kilt look sexy. He's also completely in love with Ash you can feel his passion for her burn right of the page! There's also a sexy baseball player named Callahan who stole my heart I absolutely love baseball players if you don't believe me ask my last two boyfriends lol (both baseball players).
This story had me sucked in on page one and kept me up until 4a.m. reading I guarntee once you pick up this book you will not want to put it down!
Ouch, I have to admit that I mostly just skimmed the last half of this book, because it was so painful. The point of view switches between the three main characters, Ash, her best friend Tatchi and her brother Fin, both of whom are mermaids. Ash does not know this and has a major crush on Fin. It all starts when Fin's family is recalled to under the sea, and his dad is sent off on a secret mission. All sorts of drama ensues. Fin is petulant and sulks like a toddler who doesn't get his way. There is the matter of a magical kiss that will link the kisser to the kissee forever. Instead of coming across like an interesting mythology it's more like a brainwash of love, where the people are magically in love, willing to die for their mate even if they hated each other before. The creepy Prince Azor is attempting to force Tatchi to marry him by said magical kiss. Fin's mother is a second class citizen because she used to be human. Fin breaks rules, gets punished, sulks, dates a mermaid that reminds him of Ash, then the real drama begins. But we're not done yet, oh no, thus my skimming the second half of the book. Even that much was not worth it.
I almost didn't finish this book. It took a long time to get going. The first 2 chapters were ok and then it all went down hill for me. I skipped a lot of the high school stuff in Ash's chapters. It just didn't seem to add to the book. The writing style was also very juvenile and weird for me. I did keep reading and eventually got to some good action and a much better plot and character building toward the middle end. You finally got some answers to questions you weren't even sure were questions, everything was kept very vague. I did like the ending, but not enough to keep reading this series. There were Christian references thrown in randomly in the middle that makes this a kinda Christian book. There were intense make-out scenes that were kept under control making this a clean teen read.
I really had hoped this would be a good story, but I was extremely disappointed. First of all, I really hated the changing point of view every chapter. It was extremely distracting, and I had flip back two chapters, just so I could keep in mind what happened previously. Both families of the main characters were dysfunctional, but Ash's family was more so and I was gritting my teeth with each scene they showed up in. Ash was also a very weak heroine. She was too uncomfortable with life's twists, which would make sense if she was turning to a mermaid, but I didn't see that happening. Fin is also a jerk of a hero. He's "in love" with Ash, so instead of kissing her, and promising to her for life, he tries to forget her with another mermaid. The book is a clear set up for other books in the series, but with how childish the characters are, I'm not going to continue with the series.
Incredibly written, filled with good morals and romance, Everblue sets a high precedent for every other book. I love the way the author, Brenda Pandos, changes the point of view from Ashlyn to Fin because it shows not only their feelings for one another but also the different worlds they live in. Everblue honestly surpassed my high expectations and blew me away!
This was an enjoyable read. This is actually my first mermaid book and it did not disappoint. The characters were fun to real, and entertaining. Also, the mer-world and the mer-people were described very well and detailed. I really enjoyed reading about it. Can't wait to see what the next book has in store. Overall, a great read.
I downloaded a copy of this book because it was free for the day on Amazon, and who am I to say no to free? I’m going to cite this as the reason why I had no idea until a couple of chapters in that the book was about mermaids. This wasn’t really a problem, though. I may be more partial to a darker shade of fantasy, but I can appreciate more lighthearted tales when they’re told well. Everblue was not told well. In fact, it was a kind of a letdown in nearly every way.
The story takes place in a world where merpeople can have legs during the day, allowing them to pass for humans, though most mers live in their homeland of Natoria. The gates into the city seem to be wormholes of some kind—it’s explained using some thin pseudo-science, but it’s a story about mermaids, so no one really cares about the detailed mechanics of it. The gates are typically guarded by inhabitants of Natoria, but the gate at Lake Tahoe is guarded by a family that prefers to live on land among humans and away from the soft-core tyranny of the king and the need to put “mer” in front of virtually everything (merhouses, merchildren, mertoilets, etc.).
The story is told from the points of view of Finley, a merman, and Ashlyn, the human best friend of Finley’s twin sister, Tatiana. To be honest, neither was particularly compelling.
Reading about Ashlyn was particularly painful; her unbelievably first-world problems made me want to start an institution for the rehabilitation of bratty children and have her committed. The first few chapters told from her POV seem to be tasked with establishing how hard life can be when you’re a smart, pretty, likeable, athletic, teenage nobody who has an annoying sister and a mother who is vilified for such reprehensible acts as asking Ashlyn to help her with some chores at the family store and telling her not to wear so much make-up.
There’s something else in the early and middle stages of her plot arc that are almost like subplots except for the fact that I don’t care about them at all. These are a poorly developed romance between Ashlyn and the one-dimensional jock-cliché, Callahan, and a poorly developed attraction to the one-dimensional henchman-cliché, Colin (Collin? I don’t know, the spelling of his name is as forgettable as he was).
Now, I’ll admit that since I’m not a voracious reader of paranormal romances, I am perhaps not the authority on what constitutes a good one. However, I was certain that a key characteristic of the genre is a larger-than-life love that the characters are willing to die for, and yet Fin, the main love interest, is gone for all of three days when Ashlyn accepts Cliché #1’s invitation to a dance, and it’s less than a month after that that she agrees to become his girlfriend.
Speaking of Fin, I much preferred reading from his point of view. Though he does seem a bit fickle, fawning over Ashlyn one minute and tongue-tied over another girl the next, there’s something endearing about him that makes reading his POV more palatable. I enjoy the banter between him and Tatchi. They have some cute moments, and he does more than just sit around and engage in teenage drama. When his father is sent on a secret mission and his family must return to Natoria, Fin must learn to duel, keep his family together, find out why his father has been keeping secrets, and try to protect his sister from the rapey clutches of Prince Azor. It’s not terribly exciting, but at least it’s not page after page of “AND PROM IS TOMORROW!” angst.
It’s not until more than halfway through the book that the actual plot, up to this point about as legitimate as Tahoe’s “Tessie,” appears. It appears during a scene that sounds pretty damn awesome in the book blurb:
“When Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.”
This is total B.S.
Regardless, at this point Fin breaks some rules and makes some decisions he can’t come back from, and the actual threats in the book finally make themselves known.
But then, faster than you can say “deus ex machina,” the climax is over and now that there’s finally an actual external conflict to care about, the author decides instead to explore that larger-than-life romance I’d been looking for earlier. It was like reading the final battle in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows if right after Harry died, Rowling had written a scene about Ron and Hermione making out in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom.
And yet, I would probably be less disappointed with this hypothetical scene than I was with the entirety of this book.
I have no idea why I wanted to read this book. I think I was totally drawn in by the cover; isn't it beautiful? And, then I realized I could get a mermaid book for ever so cheap ($.99 as an ebook on the Nook) and, well, I do love a mermaid book on the cheap.
I love the setting of this book. It's so cool to think that living amongst everyday average people are merpeople and that there are gates to another world where they live and thrive with rules and cities different than our own. I also loved how the gate we see the most is in Lake Tahoe...so VERY different than the other books. I like how the world is created with air bubbles in homes so there can be furniture and human creature comforts. I also like the characters (even though one of the merboys is named Fin...yes, Fin, as in I have one), frankly, I especially like Fin the most of all.
So, if I like all those things about it...why the low-rating? why the dislike? Let me see if I can break it down.
1. The execution of the story This story is paced like it's a 500 page novel. With little details given over time and/or large chunks given over to explanation of a thing that isn't important at that moment. This book takes up practically a whole year. 2. The back and forth narration doesn't work I enjoyed the change of narrator in Tangled Tides, it flowed and I got to know the characters. In this book the narration doesn't stay with one character enough for me to get into the story and I found myself rereading a part or a section just to see if I missed something. 3. It's treatment of boys and girls...relationships...men and women If a mermaid is bonded to a boy once they kiss (an idea I do not mind...mated for life is highly romantic), isn't a forced kiss, well, rape? Ick. That's all I could 4. The strangely forced Christian slant I am a Christian and I like being one...I don't like Christian just being thrown in for the sake of good Christianness. It just threw me off and...actually made me a little uncomfortable, like I was hanging out with my mother and I was 13 all over again.
Everything about this book has rubbed me the wrong way...I'm not sure I need to read the rest of the series (although I've just downloaded Evergreen, I don't know why...it was cheap). I always feel bad when I genuinely don't like a book, mostly because I'm not really sure if I could do better if I tried and here a person has given their heart and soul and all I can do is read it and bash it. I've also read tons of other reviews, hoping those 4s and 5s (and there are a lot of them) would help me see the story differently. Sometimes I'd read a review and think..."Did we read the same book?". That being said, I do hope you try out this book for yourself and if you rank it higher than me please tell me why, I'd really like to know. I think I would have liked this book better had it been the first mermaid book I'd ever read and not the latest.
What would you do if you found out your best friend, and coincidentally the boy you were crushing on, happened to be mermaids? Full fledged, tail possessing, swimming, mermaids. I don't know what I'd do personally, but Brenda Pandos takes us through Ashlyn's story as she discovers this world in Everblue. I'm pleased to say that this is a mermaid book that I honestly did love. Pandos takes a lore that we all know, and puts her own delicious spin on it. Hold on, you're in for a ride.
I have to confess that Tatiana and Fin are officially my new favorite brother/sister duo. Their sweet banter, the love they have for one another, and the way they take care of each other, is just wonderful. I knew I'd love Fin from the moment he walked into Ashlyn's view and she described him. He's a gorgeous, kind hearted boy. Who doesn't love those? Then we learn more about Tatiana and her spitfire attitude, and I was just smitten. The two of them scream sibling bond. Which, and I won't spoil anything big, makes the ending that much more difficult. (Insert dramatic music here.)
Ashlyn was a great character too, although I didn't fall in love with her as much as I would have liked to. I admired her ability to adapt and to fight for what she wanted. However there were times when she just felt slightly flat to me. Sometimes it felt as though she was going through the motions just to do things while she was waiting for something more important to happen. Compared to Fin, I just didn't feel she was as developed. As the story progressed, she definitely grew into her own though. By the time the ending came I appreciated her much more than the beginning. I know that in the second book I'll be right on board with her!
The relationship between Fin and Ashlyn is downright adorable. I'll tell you that right now! Again, no spoilers. Basically it's just too cute for words anyway. What I will say is that even though you hear a lot about Tatiana in the blurb, you won't really see too much of her in the story. It's not a bad thing, just letting you know. Everblue very much focuses on Fin and Ashlyn, even going so far as to alternate between their points of view in each chapter. Truth be told, I loved that. Seeing the story from both sides made it all the more engrossing and wonderful.
If you're a fan of worldbuilding in your stories, you'll love Everblue. As I mentioned above, Pandos takes what we know about mermaids (and mermen) and adds her own amazing spin to it. These aren't your run of the mill merpeople. They are so much more than that. The story that is built around them and their rich history is really what blew me away. When the ending came, with that darn cliffhanger, I was so ready for more. I cannot wait to see what happens next! I'm hoping for more Fin, more Ashlyn, and more romance.
Long story short? Get a copy of Everblue. Mermaids, romance, twists, it's all there. This book is well worth your time.
This has become my top favorite mermaid story of this summer. Just when I thought I´d give up on them, in comes Everblue and sweeps me away with its amazingly wrought world, creative mer-cursing, and captivating plot.
I really liked Natatoria and the mer culture. The descriptions of the city and houses were really amazing. I almost wanted to go and live there myself! Of course, I didn’t like the King being an evil overlord restricting his people, especially the mermaids! He wants to maintain the utopia they have created at the cost of cutting his people off from the surface. I really grew to hate Azor, the King’s son, an arrogant little ^#%$... Anyways, I liked the idea of the ‘curse,’ how they always change at night, but during the day they can retain their human form and change at will. I also liked how the myth of the mermaid song was incorporated, giving them a very useful supernatural power. They also have other powers but I won’t spoil it here. Oh! Can’t forget about the mermen’s fighting school. Very cool indeed!
The story is told from Ashlyn and Fin´s POV in alternating chapters. Fin is just a gorgeous merman; he has blonde hair, broad shoulders, and intense blue eyes with long lashes. He is very protective of his twin sister and strong believer of his father’s way of life which differs a lot from that of the King and the residents of Natatoria. Fin secretly loves Ashlyn, but knows that she, as a human, is off limits. When he goes to Natatoria he even finds someone else he might like. However that doesn’t change the fact that he has strong feelings for Ashlyn, and nothing can erase them.
Ashlyn also has a secret crush on Fin, but she’s too shy to have ever spoken up. Besides, her best friend is Fin’s twin sister Tatiana. Like Fin, at one point Ashlyn also tries to move on by giving Callahan (another hot guy) a chance, but it just doesn’t work. The whole time she’s with him, thoughts of Fin keep popping up in her head!
I loved how the kiss was the most intimate act between the mer people. A kiss is just such a sweet thing and they give it a whole deeper meaning. I can’t wait for the next book in this series to see how Fin and Ashlyn manage their newly promised lives together! How much longer will the mer people swim quietly to their King’s decrees? And will Ashlyn join Fin in rescuing Tatiana? *squeals*
I tried, I really did but I honestly can't share the enthusiasm so many people have about this book. It was painful to read and at the end I was not hooked and ready to jump onto the next one of this series but only relieved that I actually finished it.
First of all there are so many spelling and grammar mistakes that I wonder if this book ever went to proof reading. I'm not flawless in my English - but I don't have a book out there.... Another problem was the constant switching of the POVs. I don't mind reading a book from the point of view of a character, actually I like that, but the constant switch from Ash's POV to Fin's was disturbing. Pick one character and stick with it or don't use that kind of narrative mode at all.
To the story: If following a bunch of dramatic teenagers going through puberty for more than 300 pages excites you, by all means read the book. If not; stay away. Ash is the worst of all. She only whines, is completely self-centered and plain stupid in my opinion. Her best friend disappears and she doesn't do anything about it for crying out loud! SHe just whines about how horrible it is to be alone. Not once does she think about getting up off her lazy ass and do something but waits until something comes to her.
If one of the main characters is unlikeable, there already is a serious problem to the story. And Fin isn't much better. He is a bit more active than Ash but at the end of this book all I felt towards him was sort of "meh". Not much more to say.
The wannabe dramatic love story is just ridiculous. Two 17 year olds have a crush on each other, are seperted for some time, he saves her oh how romantic), they kiss and boom they're practically married and oh so in love and will love each other forever. Seriously? I enjoy romances, but this is just like Twilight which already made me sick. This is no romance, no true love story, it's just teenagers! They're hormonal, in the middle of puberty, annoying, self centred and overly dramatic.
I like to read about mermaids but not like this. I hope there are much better books on this topic out there than this.
Everblue by Brenda Pandos has such an addicting, mesmerizing quality to it. I would open the book up, telling myself I would only read one - maybe two - chapters, only to look down at the page number and see I'd read over a hundred. When I put the book down, I immediately wanted to pick it up again and keep reading. That's what made Everblue a 5/5 stars book. When I book grips you so strongly to where your eyes linger on the page, that's when you know you have a great book. The book itself flows smoothly, like...well, water, which I guess is fitting. It moves fast, too, not lingering on one scene for longer than necessary. It also had an equal balance between Fin and Ash, switching back at forth at such a reasonable pace, so as I didn't get bored from reading from the perspective of one character. The middle of the book slowed a bit for me, but not for long - soon after it was back on track and I was lost in its pages again. I also found Everblue to be refreshing in its love story. It wasn't another one of those stories where the girl lays eyes on the "incredibly-hot-supernatural-dude" once, and she's instantaneously in love with him. Fin and Ash are next-door neighbors who have been crushing on each other since the sixth grade, and they've kept their love for each other secret all this time. The mermaid mythology in the book was very intriguing; for example, I liked how Pandos described how mermaids can become humans, and vice versa, as well as how sunlight gives them legs. The mer world was incredibly thought out, and I think the villains were great, too, how it seemed like the mers-in-charge were in on some big conspiracy. The book definitely leaves you hanging, I'll admit, which will be addressed in the sequel. I can't wait to see what happens next, and I will most definitely be reading the sea-quel! So, if you're a fan of mermaids or paranormal romance with a twist, check out Everblue, Book 1 of the Mer Tales!
Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
When I was asked if I wanted to review this I jumped all over it because I love Brenda's Talisman series. I was a little worried and curious at the same time. I really wanted to see how Brenda went from writing Vampires to write about Mermaids. Also, this was my first book to read that was about Mermaids. Let me tell you Brenda did not disappoint.
I really liked how the point of view was from both main characters. I didn't have to try to guess how each of them were feeling. The flow of the story and the interactions with the characters was very easy to follow. I was able to connect with almost all the characters wither I loved them or hated them. And believe me when I say there is one character that I want to punch.
The story made me laugh, hold my breathe, and made me upset. I got so emotionally involved that my husband thought I was going crazy.
The book ended with a little cliffhanger that is just enough to make you want more. Brenda met and exceeded my expectations with this book. Just as one of her series is getting ready to end she has me hooked into another one.
This book was recommended to me by Amazon. I honestly don't know why. It is true that I love paranormal, dystopian, thrillers, and some fantasy. I guess this book fits into the fantasy genre but it does not read as YA or NA as much as for children 11-13. The synopsis made it sound much better than the book actually was.
The author has a decent grasp of descriptive imagery and the cover art is nice. However, those are the only positive aspects I can list. The writing is too cliche – to the point of being embarrassing. Nothing is believable. I understand this is fantasy, but the best part about reading this genre is to be able to escape to different worlds and go on adventures the author makes us think could actually happen. Honestly, the writing flips from YA (females treated like lesser beings and controlled by the males) to a children's book with some of the exclamations made. As for the romance, it actually made me cringe when I read the overly-gushing, irrational, 'I love you. No, I love you more' between two seventeen-year-olds. My nine-year-old acts more mature than that.
Needless to say, I won't read any others in this series.
Oh my goodness I love Everblue! This is like two books in one and it all comes together beautifully. Brenda Pandos is such a great writer. She has me totally convinced there could be a whole other world in the depths of Lake Tahoe lol. The setting in this story is incredible. Tahoe and a magical city of mermaids under the sea...oh I love it. Ash is a great girl. She's an athlete, she's smart, and humble. She knows how to love and care for others. Tatchi is sassy and funny. Fin (excuse me while I swoon) is such an amazing guy. He is respectful and protective of his mom andd his sister. He's just so sweet (still swooning here).
I'm really looking forward to finding out how the rest of the story unfolds. This is going to be a difficult wait, I want more now. Read this book guys. Seriously.
You know when you read a good book and you dream about it for days…That is what Everblue is! Really loved the way the chapters were broken out; the back and forth of Ash and Fin. Love the characters, the setting…just everything!! I am dying to find out what happens next…can’t wait for the sequel!!