Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Length: 324 pages, or 9 hours and 32 minutes on audiobook
Synopsis: Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!— both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . . Told from both Emma and Galen’s points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.
Goodreads | Shelfari | Audible
...for being surprisingly fun read.
Okay, so I have a confession to make. When I saw the plot synopsis for this book, I thought, "this looks like just another Twilight series....with mermen. Yeeesh, this looks stupid."
So I went ahead and got it.
In my defense, the ebook was cheap, it was one the contenders for one of my book group's next BOTM, and I was in the mood for something cheesy. I felt the need for a crappy book, and besides, I was one of those girls who watched The Little Mermaid so many times that I knew that entire movie by heart. What girl hasn't dreamed of becoming a mermaid (or falling in love with a merprince for that matter?)
Somehow, I ended up enjoying this book! I mean, it was absolutely ridiculous! The writing is fairly terrible, with Emma saying "oh my sweet goodness!" just several times too many. The plot is just a little silly, and really, really predictable (I saw that cliffhanger ending coming from only a few chapters into the story, and I got super impatient when none of the characters could figure it out. It felt so obvious!). I also had serious issue with the idea of a bull shark just wanting to "play" (sharks don't play! They swim, they eat, they breed....period!), but oh-my-gawd, I was having waaaay too much fun!
This book, to me, had the feel of someone who had read Twilight and disagreed with it, then tried to write a better love story. As it turns out, it was better. The romance, while still a little cheesy, did not make me cringe or blush or smack my hand to my forehead multiple times. I loved Emma; she was smart, stubborn and she took action, she didn't take things lying down. She also kicked some serious butt, so she was my kind of girl. And Galen was the right guy to fall in love with; 1) he is gorgeous (I loved dark-haired men...I married one after all), 2) he isn't too controlling, and 3) he's got that broody romantic thing down in a really sweet, un-annoying way. It's a good thing I love my husband so much, because wow! This guy is awesome!
I really wasn't expecting this but, the story made me giggle a lot, and not because I thought it was terrible. The moments that were supposed to be funny actually were, and I found myself really enjoying the story. Heck, I skipped the print version and went straight to the audiobook, because I didn't want to stop, not even to eat! Once the cliffhanger came around, I was completely hooked. I was all, "but what happens next?! I need to know!!!" I feel slightly ashamed of myself, because I thought I was above this kind of thing. I thought my Twilight days were over, that I would develop a more mature and critical taste for stories. Yet this book proved to me that I can still get super gushy over a YA paranormal romance. Ah well, at least I can still have fun with this kind of thing.
I wasn't sure at first on how to rate this read. I was sorely tempted to give it 4.5 or 5 stars because it made me laugh so much. I ended up settling on 3.5 stars: the story was pleasantly surprising and enjoyable, but it might not survive a re-read.
*Quick update: A week or so later after finishing the trilogy, I went back and read this again (don't judge me, I was stuck in a rut). The story was still fun, but definitely less enjoyable the second time around. 3.5 stars is a good rating for it.
If you are passionately in love with YA novels, particularly of the paranormal romance variety, then I would be really surprised if you didn't like this book. It has all the good qualities of Twilight without the annoying parts. And it has a smoking-hot merman, which really doesn't feel all that weird to crush on. So, enjoy, and if you've read the bad reviews for this book already, but still feel curious, give it a try like I did. You might be pleasantly surprised!