Book Review: Cry of the Sea – D.G. Driver

Title: Cry of the Sea

Author: D. G. Driver
Synopsis (From Goodreads):
Juniper Sawfeather is choosing which college to attend after graduation from West Olympia High School next year. She wants to go to San Diego to be far away from her environmental activist parents. They expect her to think the way they do, but having to be constantly fighting causes makes it difficult to be an average 17 year old high school student. Why do her parents have to be so out there? Everything changes when she and her father rush to the beach after a reported oil spill. As they document the damage, June discovers three humans washed up on the beach, struggling to breathe through the oil coating their skin. At first she thinks they must be surfers, but as she gets closer, she realizes these aren’t human at all. They’re mermaids!Now begins a complex story of intrigue, conspiracy and manipulation as June, her parents, a marine biologist and his handsome young intern, her best friend, the popular clique at school and the oil company fight over the fate of the mermaids.
My Review:
I feel so bad because I was approached to review this book early last month. When D. G. Driver approached me I was just getting ready to leave on my cruise vacation, couple that with the fact that I’ve never read a ‘mermaid’ themed book, it seemed like it was the perfect read for the trip.  Then I get there, and reading inside seemed kind of silly since I was on vacation to be outside in the beautiful sun and heat, and reading on my iPad outside is nearly impossible – if nothing else, it’s not good for my eyes.  So I didn’t read this while on vacation.  And then it’s taken me a few weeks in addition to get to it.  I just hope she didn’t think I’d forgotten about her.
As I said, I have never read a mermaid book, mostly because I have a very difficult time with a half/half species relationship concept.  I know that there’s the whole “they turn to humans when dry” aspect, but I don’t know – I mean they are half fish, and the normal theme of mermaid with human just never really appealed to me.  (I feel a bit hypocritical because I do like werewolves and vampires and such, it’s just a silly preference I suppose.) However, this book is not your typical “Little Mermaid” themed kind of book.  Imagine discovering a new species – one that is human-like as some apes and monkeys are,, and yet very much like a a fish too.  This appeals to me.
What I Loved:  The story-line if this book was great, we have a typical teenager trying to bust the seams of her parent’s mold and do her own thing.  Juniper’s making her way in life while not abandoning her upbringing.  I like that.  I like that her relationship with her parents seemed to be pretty realistic; once the dust settles from an argument, they are still a family and work through their issues.
Any kind of animal activism I can stand behind, even if this is based upon a mythological creature, a lot of things still stand true.  Do we ever stop and think about the emotions of animals that we treat as objects?  I don’t mean your pets, but what about other animals.  Cows?  Goats?  Do you want to know what caused me to become Vegan?  People posting silly animal videos on Facebook – and watching them and realizing that these animals were expressing happiness, joy, love, at times compassion toward one another – sometimes toward animals that weren’t even their own species.  Sometimes animals show more humanity than humans, I think.  So a book that has even a little hint of compassion and love towards animals – no matter what kind,  is good to me.
But that’s not the only reason this book was good.  This is a well written young adult book with conflict and some action, some teen drama and a touch of romance.
Not So Much:  This is an opinion on a character rather than on the book itself, but I will say that I wasn’t found of Juniper’s mother, she was pretty over bearing and didn’t have many redeeming qualities.  Near the end I was wondering what was going to happen with that relationship, because she was just a little over the top.  Then her dramatics were kind of shoved aside and never really revisited.
Rating: 4 Stars – A good book, great for teenagers!
Rated: PG – very appropriate for younger eyes.

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