If you love unique retellings of classic fairy tales, this story is for you! Page after page I was delighted at the way Julia Ember spun her version of The Little Mermaid. I love retellings that have the bare bones of the story but take on a whole new life around that structure and that’s what she did.
Our main character is Ersel and she lives a very different life from the mermaid we all know and love. She lives in the frigid waters of the ice shelf and she is not the daughter of the king, who is cruel and manipulative, but like Ariel, she is fascinated by humans. In her world, every female is valued for her fertility, but Ersel dreams of a life of adventure and free will. When it’s discovered that Ersel is one of the most fertile females in many years she begins to see that freedom slip away and takes extreme measures, making a deal with a trickster god, to secure her future. But everyone knows that when you make a deal with a god, things dont always go as planned. Will Ersel be able to best the trickster and discover the secret that the king has been hiding in the cold dark waters?
I really enjoyed this retelling and found it hard to put down. At 230 pages it was a quick read and I didn’t feel that it needed to be longer, all the necessary components were there and it wrapped up quite nicely. There were a few parts of the story that felt rushed, a little ‘too easy’ for our protagonist, but overall the pacing and the flow felt right. I struggled to connect with the main character though, or any of the characters for that matter. I think they could have been more complex and mood/atmosphere of the story could have been stronger. Those two elements would have pulled me in a little more and I would have cared more about the outcome. I think what made the story engaging was how unique it was, even though I didn’t connect to the characters, I couldn’t wait to see how the author would interpret the story next, it was full of twists and surprises. It definitely kept me on my toes and I found that impressive in just 230 pages. And there was diversity, I can’t speak to how well it was represented, but I loved it! The romance came up short though, I loved the characters as individuals but I didn’t feel the chemistry between them as I was reading. Seriously, I could read a whole story just on Ragna, she is so sassy and tough as nails! Lastly, I just want to say how much I love the way the main character came to love and accept all forms of herself, and her love interest did as well which I think is important. That self-acceptance was something I didn’t think about until a few days after I finished reading but might have been the thing that left the most lasting impression. It’s such an important message for young readers and Julia has always written characters that don’t fit society’s idea of the classic heroine. You know the one I mean, she’s a size 2 wearing high heels and her shirt is still perfectly white after defeating the bad guy? Yeah, you won’t find her here and I think we need more stories about kick-ass girls that young readers can actually relate to.
A huge thank you to Julia Ember for providing me with a copy of The Seafarers Kiss for review!
Girl Out of Water drops the reader right into a day at the beach shared by a tight-knit group of friends. Have I mentioned how much I love stories about friendships?? The dialogue between everyone really drove this story for me. Anise is so sassy and confident! The family dynamic was also just so raw and real and heart warming. There was so sugar or gloss on this, just a real story, about a real girl, facing real problems and making real mistakes. Anise our main characters is a girl who knows what she wants and what her plans are, so when her father tell her she’ll be spending her summer in a different state she is unprepared for the upheaval. People who have to step outside their comfort zones and thrive there are some of my favorite stories. The characters Anise meets in Nebraska and the relationships formed is really the heart of this story and I loved each and every one of them. Lincoln was one of my favorites. He didn’t tick the typical YA teen boy boxes and I can’t thank Silverman enough for that. He wasn’t broody or a bad boy. He never pushed Anise outside her comfort zone, but gave her opportunities to take the leap herself. I love love loved him. He was not just a supporting character for ANise but stood on his own and shined! All of the characters were REAL and FLAWED and DIVERSE, and I think teens need to read about more characters like these! This would be an excellent summer read and the focus of the story was different from any contemporary I’ve ever read. The conflicts the main character had to deal with and the deep-seated issues she had been struggling with her whole life were unlike the typical YA teen struggles. I also loved Silverman’s writing, it was just the right amount of descriptive that I felt like I was right there with Anise. The setting, as well as her emotions, came right off the page. What the writing lacked at times were momentum and risk, some parts dragged a little and there weren’t enough fireworks so to speak. (excluding the literal fireworks at the end of course). But, I didn’t feel that those two negatives stopped me from wanting to pick the book back up and find out how it would conclude.
This would be an excellent summer read and the focus of the story was different from any contemporary I’ve ever read. The conflicts the main character had to deal with and the deep-seated issues she had been struggling with her whole life were unlike the typical YA teen struggles. I also loved Silverman’s writing, it was just the right amount of descriptive that I felt like I was right there with Anise. The setting, as well as her emotions, came right off the page. What the writing lacked at times were momentum and risk, some parts dragged a little and I was rarely surprised by and outcome, everything always turned out okay. But, I didn’t feel that those two things stopped me from wanting to pick the book back up and find out how it would conclude.
What I really didn’t like:
I found Anise to be very cocky and narrow-minded in the beginning and it was very off-putting.
I’m not a fan of the cover, I don’t think it captured the essence of the story, except for the blurb that’s spot on.
The ending lost a lot of momentum, and almost felt hurried like maybe the author wasn’t sure how to wrap things up. Some things were breezed over and wrapped up too easily while others needed more closure. This was the weakest part of the story in my opinion and I felt like I was left hanging. I read the eARC so I didn’t know when I was close to being finished and was very surprised when I “turned” the last page to find the story over.
Hi guys! Welcome back to my blog, and for everyone who is new to my blog, thank you so much for visiting and subscribing. I wanted to let you all know that I will be taking a blogging hiatus for most of the month of May. This is partly because I will be traveling for two weeks and also because I’ve been in a bit of a blogging rut lately. My hope is a month off will leave me feeling refreshed when June rolls around, I think it’s good for creativity to take a break from time to time. I will still be reading, and be attending Raincoasts Fall Preview, which I’m really excited for! I also hope to listen to a lot of audiobooks on the drive.
Let me know in the comments below, what you have planned for May and what you’ve been reading. I hope you all have a fabulous month, and I can’t wait to tell you all about, my trip when I return!