Between the Land and the Seaby Derrolyn Anderson
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Release Date: March 19, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Author Sent
Good for Debut Author Challenge
About the Book:
Something extraordinary is lurking in the deep ocean waters off the coast of Aptos, California. Just a few weeks after moving to the beach town, sixteen year-old Marina has nearly drowned twice, enchanted the hottest guy in high school, and discovered a supernatural creature. If she can manage to survive her increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might just be able to unlock the mystery of her past and learn how to appease the mysterious forces that seem to want something from her... and maybe even find true love along the way.The surfer sat upright on his board, blue eyes intensely focused as he scanned the action at the breakers. Rising and falling with the ocean swells, he was poised to spring into action...
When Derrolyn first approached me with this book (and the rest of the books in Marina's Tales), I was instantly interested. If you were around the blog on Saturday, then you'll have read that I have an obsession with mermaids! Yup, right the first time, Marina IS A FLIPPIN' MERMAID (I want to say literally, but she has yet to flip...). And this paranormal romance tale of a half-mermaid girl who uncovers the secret of her birth is by far a better written novel than most I've come across in my reading travels.
The sometimes stiff and distant first person narrative aside, I really liked Marina. Marina's voice is very adultlike. She rarely stoops to teenage vernacular, if you will. But that was, according to the narrator herself, attributed to her upbringing - she's been home-schooled her whole life, and has been across the globe with her father as part of his work. She's seen suffering and poverty, has been introduced to a multitude of cultures and customs, and so she is a product of all that and thereby way more mature than the average teenager. Kudos to the author for thinking this through so well and giving such an interesting background to the MC!
Despite knowing this in my head, however, I did have moments where I was like, Who says that? I don't say that. And because of that it was sometimes hard to solidify a lasting connection. Still, Marina's sense of loyalty, her kindness, and her bravery make her a likable if not lovable heroine. And I began to see her speak as just one of her quirks, as do the other characters. And as the book progresses, Marina transforms into a fun Old Soul. While her narrative voice never really changes, she lightens up and it makes her much more appealing to read about.
Something else that made this book so likable are the side characters and romance. The paranormal aspect is definitely intriguing! But for me, that actually wasn't the central focus until it was. Surprising I know, since I've been going up and down about how much I love mermaids. But the characters are just so Me and My Friends. Let me remind you that I'm a senior in high school, and, if I'm not mistaken, so is Marina, her cousin, Cruz, and his best friend, Megan. The way these three would sit around and hang out, flipping through topics of conversation, I automatically related to.
The fact that Anderson was able to capture that essence of teenage friendship really did wonders for the book. Their easy-going relationship, banter, and camaraderie made it simple for me to immerse myself in the story. And then there are the adults that come and go into Marina's everyday life, too. You have her larger than life "aunt," Evie, the only mother figure she's ever known, and her biological aunt who's laidback and chipper. I loved being around these people! The romance, EVEN BETTER. There's zero instaluv people, so *clap clap* for that. It's actually much more like Guy Sees Beautiful Girl And Proceeds to Make a Total Fool of Himself, Nearly Breaking All of His Legs, leading up to a light friendship full of thrilling attraction that slowly builds up. They don't even kiss right away! Which I was both happy and annoyed about. It's so funny because I was all,
My, oh, my
Look at the boy too shy
He ain’t gonna kiss the girl...
UNTIL The Bed Scenes midway into the book *waggles eyebrows*.
While this book can be a standalone, being that their is a resolution in this first book, it's actually part of a series, in which Marina dives deeper into her past and realizes there is more going on than she initially thought. Translating to, Yeah baby, the mermaids are comin' back! I'm interested to see how this series moves forward and what kinds of surprises and twists await me. Thing is, I had a lot of fun reading this book. I could sit here and read it again and still come out enjoying it, which is, I think, the whole point of reading.
|Those delightful moments during your bubble bath, with a book companion in one hand and a glass of chocolate milk in the other, are the best way to describe the luxurious feelings that Sud-Kissed books create. These books can sometimes be even more rereadable than Special Shelf books... (My Rating System In-Depth)|