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Between the Sea and Sky

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  3,146 ratings  ·  411 reviews
For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a d ...more
Hardcover, 229 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
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Liana I personally really liked it! But when I went on Goodreads to see what other people thought of it, they all thought it was cheesy and one dimensional.…moreI personally really liked it! But when I went on Goodreads to see what other people thought of it, they all thought it was cheesy and one dimensional... X'''D Well, some anyway. You'll either like this story or you won't. It IS very different from other mermaid books, and if you've read lots of them and then read this one thinking it'll be the same, you'll probably be unpleasantly surprised.

But I liked that it was so different - the POV of the mermaid character was interesting to follow and the romance was kinda cute in its own way. I do agree that the characters are a bit one dimensional, but that's not always a bad thing. The simple development worked for this simple story, and that's really what it is - a simple and straightforward story. I didn't notice anything sappy about it.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.51  · 
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Wendy Darling
Ten (Unfulfilled) Wishes for this Book:

1. If this is was supposed to be a YA book, I wish that the story was more complex, the characters more fully developed, and the dialogue less juvenile.

2. If this was supposed to be a middle grade book, I wish there were no fewer mentions of breasts and men looking at them, fewer mentions of drunken sailors making suggestive remarks, and less focus on the rather insipid romance. Such random lascivious behavior inserts an ugly note into the story for no reas
Jul 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
About eight years ago, I was working on this big epic mess of a never-finished novel. I wasn't very good back then at outlining or understanding what the core of the story was, but in hindsight, the core was the story of a mermaid and a winged boy who were childhood friends that met again later in life. Now I finally have a chance to tell that story, and though the players have changed (for the better), it still feels like an old story I've been dying to share. ...more
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard

I'm always drawn to mermaid fiction and generally speaking disappointed. I don't know why this subgenre is so hard to master. Maybe it's that Ariel is always peaking over our shoulder as only Disney movies can. Or maybe a world of fish and fins is somehow too foreign, more foreign than land-based fantasy tales and outer space adventures.

Between the Sea and Sky is better than most mermaid stories. I suspect a lot of people will really like this book. Especially if you like star-crossed love stori
Oct 13, 2011 rated it liked it
I found Dolamore's debut “Magic Under Glass” to be a charming and creative book that could have benefited from some tighter plotting and characterisation. It certainly sparked my interest for her next book, a standalone mermaid story, especially after Dolamore mentioned how she wrote the book to the scores of Studio Ghibli films (indeed, I noted in my earlier review how her creative worlds would be ideal for Hayao Miyizaki's next film.) While the mermaid craze never quite took off the way that m ...more
Between Sea and Sky

Book Completed:
Book Rating: ★★

Ten Things that Disappointed:

10. The story had so much potential. A love between a sky creature and a sea creature. Had the plot actually had a plot and been further developed, I think this book had the makings of a series and a good one at that. However, alas.. it did not. The plot was boring and rather uneventful and felt like it was written for a 10 year old.

9. There were mermaids called sirens. Cool concept, very different but I w
Nerissa Ayala Lesko
May 31, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
If this book really happens, I will be the happiest person!! Love mermaids, even is the are sirens = /
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Sadly, much like Cayla Kluver's Legacy or Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison, this mermaid tale is another case of Beautiful Cover, Big Ol' Mess inside the alluring facade. Though this young-adult novel is technically not a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's famous Little Mermaid, the story is obviously influenced by and similar to that long-loved tale. Both the pain of land, the belt/chastity allegory are all in tune with the familiar story - and very little is done by the author t ...more
Alanna (The Flashlight Reader)
If Hans Christian Andersen were still alive, this is a story he would write. I loved the world create by Jaclyn Dolamore in Between the Sea and Sky. Esmerine, a mermaid who befriends a "winged boy", is a little different from all the other mermaids. She has learned how to read and write; a thing most mermaids find impractical. She has also learned how to transform into a human and walk on land. Alander-- the "winged boy"-- is a Fandarsee. Like Esmerine, he is also different from the others of hi ...more
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
4.5 stars

This is a magical, fascinating historical fantasy that reads like a classic fairytale with it's rich lore, sweet romance and exciting adventure. I fell in love with Jaclyn's writing after reading her debut Magic Under Glass and I really loved the magical world of sirens and winged people she introduced me to with Between the Sea and Sky. Jaclyn's writing is whimsical, magical and completely intriguing to me. True to her creative writing style, she has a richly detailed setting, and an a
Steph Su
Nov 02, 2010 rated it liked it
BETWEEN THE SEA AND SKY is a mermaid book for those who are wary of books categorized by the particular creatures that inhabit the stories. Told in Jaclyn Dolamore’s trademark writing style—straightforward narration that nevertheless paints a lush magical world—BETWEEN THE SEA AND SKY is a charming story that, while not perfect, is still a quick and enjoyable read.

Much like in her debut novel Magic Under Glass, Jaclyn Dolamore has the quiet but valuable ability of deftly portraying elaborate new
Jun 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, arc, bea-2011
For years, Esmerine has longed for the day when she can join her older sister, Dosia, as a siren, and now that day has come. Becoming a siren is a great honor for a mermaid and her family. But the very next day, Dosia disappears. Esmerine's worst fears come true when she learns that her sister has gone to the surface world and married a human. Esmerine fears her sister was taken against her will and is desperate to find her, even though it is unlikely she can save her.

Unable to make her way on t
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing

This is the perfect love story between a winged boy and a mermaid. The reader can expect to be transported into a different land where many things are possible. Who knows? Mermaids can even read books!

Esmerine is a great character to read about. She is inquisitive, almost remniscent of Disney's Ariel, as well as compassionate and has a capacity for bravery and stoicism that is amazing for a mermaid. Alandare is far more staid, slightly too intellectual, and sometimes tries to become something he
Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
All Esmerine, a mermaid, wants to do is to become a Siren and work with her sister, Dosinia. When Dosinia is believed trapped on the land by a human, Esmerine decides to rescue her, but changing her tail into legs means that every step is painful. In the capital city Esmerine meets a friend who she has not seen for years Alander who belongs to a winged race of people called Fandarsee, and together they search for Dosinia. As they get closer to Dosinia there rekindle their friendship but is it ab ...more
Jul 07, 2010 marked it as to-read
I've seen this book's cover and it is so so gorgeous! ...more
Tanja Voosen
Jun 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
Typischer Fall von: What the Fuck did i just read?!

Amanda B
So recently I moved away from my home state and transferred my job to work in a different store. I only mention this because this book, Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore, was a going away gift from one of my coworkers. She gave me two books and this is the first on that I read. I’m going to read the second book next. I actually almost didn’t even bother to review this book. Not because it was bad, but because it’s just such a short book. I started it on my lunch break at work today, whi ...more
Some time ago, I fell in love with this cover.  I was already a fan of Dolamore's from her debut, Magic Under Glass, and while I was eagerly searching Goodreads to see if/when I was going to get more stories about my darling little automaton, I came across this companion novel of a mermaid in love with a winged boy.  And I thought, well isn't that just lovely?  I mean, beyond the sheer obvious loveliness of the cover, isn't the idea of a love bridging these two contradictory worlds just lovely. ...more
Small Review
Nov 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-read, pages-200s
Originally posted at Small Review

3.5 stars (explanation of rating system)

I'm a mythological racist

I realized something about myself when reading Between the Sea and Sky: I totally stereotype mythological creatures. And I don't really like it when their books deviate too much from my preconceptions.

When it comes to mermaid books, I expect and want them to be light frothy fun with a sweet romance and an "easy read" plot. Luckily, Between the Sea and Sky perfectly fit my mermaid stereotypes and gav
Allison (The Allure of Books)
I've been looking forward to Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore for quite a while now. I love stories that mix fantasy with fairy tale vibes - and this story definitely delivers that! It is a pretty calm story overall, giving readers a chance to get to know the characters and embrace the legends and traditions they live under.

When the book opens, Esmerine is undergoing the ceremony that will make her a siren, setting her apart from the mermaid majority. She joins her older sister, who is
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, teen, mermaids
This review was first posted at

First of all, I haven't read Magic Under Glass. Phew. Glad I got that off my chest. Also, despite a childhood obsession with Ariel, I'm not generally a fan of mermaid stories. For some bizarre reason I prefer books that take place on land. I'm just weird like that. However, Between the Sea and Sky mostly takes place on land (because, what else is between them? Duh.), so that wasn't a problem.
I think that Dolamore created an interesting
Dec 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book was excellent, it really was so much more than what I thought it would be. I assumed it was yet another YA paranormal set in today's world. But I was so wrong. The author has set up an entire world where mermaids, humans, and winged people all live (somewhat) together. The world is historical in nature, even though I couldn't pinpoint an era, it'd definitely not today's world of cell phones and mean girls.

I loved that the author really thought out the romance. It wasn't the watered dow
Amy Jacobs
Nov 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own
Is it just me or does it seem like there is a downpour of mermaid themed books lately? Even with the amount of mermaid books on the market right now, I still wanted to read this book and see what sort of spin this author could bring to the mermaid tale. While I never read the authors first book Magic Under Glass, I understood that it was a sort of spin off from that one involving certain characters.

Again, since I have never read anything by this author before, I did enjoy this book and the tale
Jul 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
The story: Esmerine is a siren, but since her winged childhood friend Alan first introduced her to books, she’s yearned for adventures in the world above the sea. When her sister goes missing, she puts on legs and enlists Alan’s help to find Dosia. Which world does Esmerine belong in? I wrote on Twitter that this book reminds me of a fantasy L.M. Montgomery. The world-building is rich, full of delicious little details about what everyone’s wearing and eating, and Esmerine is a feisty, likable pr ...more
Oct 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
I had such high hopes for this book! the cover was gorgeous and the idea was really interesting, but I found it really lacking. It wasn`t bad, it just could have been so much more! there could have been so much more detail and emotion added. it was like a meal without salt. Then again, I do hold all mermaid books up to the ridiculously high standard of Donna Jo Napoli`s Sirena. I think that this was one adolescent book that really held more appeal for adolescents. oh well. Keep working Dolamore, ...more
This was a fun story. Esmerine was a strong character. I loved her determination to find her sister, even through all the pain and suffering she had to endure to search. I was curious to see how the story would end, but I wasn't disappointed - it was very good. If you like mermaid story, you'll probably enjoy this one. ...more
Amanda Coppedge
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, read-in-2011
So lush and fanciful, so sweetly old-fashioned. I loved reading this as an adult but if I had gotten ahold of it when I was 12 or 13 I would have read and reread my copy until it was in tatters.
blondie ♡
Feb 09, 2011 marked it as to-read
I am totally into this mermaid craze that is hitting this year. I need this book in my life. Could the cover be any more lovely? Doubt it.
Jul 25, 2020 rated it liked it
It was ok. I feel that it would be more suitable for a younger audience.
Mar 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Evoking the classic fairytale feel of Hans Christian Andersen, Jaclyn Dolamore has woven a beautiful tale about a fish who loved a bird. Esmerine, a mermaid on the cusp of adulthood, anxiously awaits her siren’s initiation. For as long as she can remember, Esmerine and her sister Dosia have dreamed about being sirens together and a life beyond the confines of the sea. However, after Esmerine’s siren ceremony, Dosia goes missing. Esmerine, terrified that her sister has been lured to the human wor ...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Cute and quick read with fun characters and a sweet romance.

Opening Sentence: It was not every day that a mermaid became a siren, and not every day that Esmerine attended such a party.

The Review:

Esmerine is a mermaid and she has always wanted to be a siren. The siren’s are trained to protect the sea and all its inhabitants from those that would harm them. They are given a magical belt that helps them to harness magic, but they are never to give
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Jaclyn Dolamore has a passion for history, thrift stores, vintage dresses, David Bowie, drawing, and organic food. She lives in western Maryland with her partner and plot strategist, Dade, and three weird cats. To keep abreast of new releases, sales, and extras, please join her mailing list! ...more

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