Yesterday I posted about Adoption Day and received nearly 150 views! I learned this lesson: I need to have adorable pictures of my nephew in every post. Sadly, Anthony has nothing to do with today's topic, so instead I'll link you to a creepy expose on Animal Planet.
Are mermaids real? According to the new fictional book by Amanda Hocking, no. But sirens are very real.
Gemma and Harper are sisters living in a small coastal town. Gemma is obsessed with swimming and the water, while Harper is the responsible one. But both of their lives become a little more complicated when three strangely beautiful girls-Penn, Lexi, and Thea-start showing an interest in Gemma. And after a late night swim and a meeting with those girls, Gemma wakes up on the beach with no idea how she got there.
The mystery begins as Gemma tries to remember what happened that night, but also tried to understand what is happening to her now. She is turning into a siren and must decide between leaving her family and first love, Alex, or wasting away without the sea.
Mermaids, or sirens, are the last mythological fad, and this book capitalizes on this trend. Like other books, it does add some new twists to the old folklore, and instead of being benign little creatures, these sirens are all trouble. Gemma and Harper are both likeable, as are their respectively love interests and there is enough romance to please teen readers. The sirens themselves are rather quickly drawn in this volume, but as this is part of a series, one can only guess that the sirens will be fully drawn out down the road.
While this book is not fully engrossing, it is a light, quick beach read. I do think that this series shows more promise than Hocking's Trylle series and will attract fans of paranormal fiction. As far as adult crossover appeal, I'd say this a book best left to the teens. Larger libraries should stock this book, but cash strapped smaller libraries should think twice.
Now for a librarian's rant. Harper works at the library in this book, so there are several mentions of other books that she is reading. While I appreciate the librarian shout-out, I was terribly troubled by one section. Harper is re-reading Forever by Judy Blume in one section because it is part of the middle school summer reading program and she has to lead a book discussion later, or something to that effect. Forever is an honest book about a girl losing her virginity. It's good book, and one that frequently appears on the banned books list. My problem here is that if a library included Forever in a middle school reading program, they would have angry parents with pitch forks banging down the door. It's the kind of book that you have to hand out with some stealth. I would absolutely recommend it to some 13 and 14 year-olds, but to put it on a recommended list for middle school is asking for trouble. I know, it's a book about mermaids, or sirens, and I'm upset about a mildly inappropriate book being mentioned, but that's my line in the sand. I'm with an author through mermaids, vampire babies, time-jumping, chimera, all of it, but if you have a librarian that doesn't know her reader's advisory-I'm out!
Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, I received Wake as an Advances Reader's Copy from St. Martin's Press. Actually that was pretty cool. I didn't request this book-it just magically appeared at my door, so I feel like I'm gaining some street cred as a reviewer. I don't have to beg for galleys anymore, they just come to me! Actually I'm totally willing to beg for galleys--please send them! I'll review for free!
That being said, I owe you a creepy documentary from Animal Planet. Did you watch the mermaid show a couple weeks ago? CRAZY! My dad says he was with it up until the cell phone video at the end, but I'm not so sure. I was pretty creeped out myself.
You be the judge. Maybe Amanda Hocking knows something we don't.