by Jaclyn Dolamore
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
3. I wish mermaids didn't eat olives and nuts and other decidedly human foods; it just doesn't sit well with me. I also wish mermaids didn't eat fish. While I understand that fish do eat other fish in the wild, there's a certain cannibalism about this scenario that I would think the human part of the merpeople might be uncomfortable with. But okay, if it is absolutely necessary, please give me a reason why this is happening, because in my opinion, it's a little weird.
4. I wish there were more descriptions of underwater life. There are a couple of nice scenes at the beginning, but they're very short and don't really do enough to set the mood. And I feel like you need a good dose of MOOD to set the scene in a mermaid book.
5. I wish Esmerine were a more interesting character. Or that we had at least one interesting character to fall in love with and root for. Sadly, this is not the case.
6. I wish so many YA authors wouldn't make their heroines booklovers. I understand why this is such a prevalent trend, as obviously the books are written by and for girls who like books themselves. But more often than not, it feels forced (Hello Mara Dyer!) and lacking in any real depth or appreciation or breadth of knowledge. Here, the bookloving agenda was pushed so hard that it became somewhat annoying, especially because I kept thinking about the impracticalities of transporting books from the human world to mermaids in a way that wasn't going to damage them. (Silly, but it's true!) The books that are briefly mentioned don't even have any real significance to the story or the characters.
7. I wish there were some sense of urgency to this novel. The quest to find Esmerine's sister doesn't appear to have any sort of deadline and there's never any real danger to any of the characters. Apparently she can take all the time in the world, just so long as she doesn't give up her
8. I wish the characters behaved in a way that seemed genuine or interesting or showed an emotional connection between them. Why do Esemerine and Alander fall in love? Why does Dosia fall in love? Beats me.
9. I wish this book lived up to the lovely little fairy tale that was the author's first book, [book:Magic Under Glass|6461779]. This one doesn't have one bit of that story's charm, and contains none of the imaginative details that made <i>Glass</i> so entertaining.
10. And lastly, I wish the author's Acknowledgements page didn't contain the following passage, which is most unfortunate when the story feels so slight:
I'm sure I wasn't the only young writer who had the Lord of the Rings movie soundtrack on repeat and decided I needed to write a huge fantasy epic with war and tragic death and many points of view. One of the approximately forty plot threads in my attempt was the love story between a mermaid and a winged boy. (This is why you always keep your lousy older writings!)
I think with a little more development and a lot more depth and detail, this might have turned out to be an interesting story. But sadly, in this current format, it's a pretty disappointing read. And the search for a great YA mermaid novel goes on...
And advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.