Book Review: Uprooted – Naomi Novik

Title: Uprooted
Author: Naomi Novik

Synopsis: “Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

My Review:
I just want to start off by saying that this synopsis does not do this book justice. It is a synopsis of the first part of the book, maybe, but there was so much more than I was expecting. What I was expecting was a loose rendition of Beauty and the Beast with other fairy-tale elements.

Uprooted does have a very fairy-tale feel about it, but it is a tale all of it’s own. The evil is not the dragon, the dragon does not need to be slayed. The evil is the Wood – and it is a force to be reckoned with.

What I Loved: Uprooted was a long book, but I’m happy that it was just one book and not a series though. It was refreshing to get a book of this magnitude, and detail that was not broken up over 3-5 years. I do like series, but mostly I love having the complete series in my hands.

I loved the Agnieszka and the Dragon dynamic. They were an unlikely pair of personalities, the kind of personalities that grate on each other’s nerves and get under each other’s skin….and yet, in the end they did get under each other’s skin. It made their relationship a fun side-story to this entire book.

I am attempting to not spoil anything here, especially since the synopsis was rather vague, but let me tell you, there were a few plot twists and turns that make following this book along for it’s ride even more interesting! As I said before, it had all of the elements of a good fairy tale; the evil that lurks and terrifies the village and people, it has the knight in shining armor, the girl who’s more than she think she is. It has deception and unlikely friends. It takes you through an entire story past the point of no return and then turns around and wraps it up with a happily-ever-after. It has all of those things, but every single element is not like any fairy-tale you’ve ever read. All the roles are filled with unstereotypical players.

Not So Much: First of all, I listened to this via audiobook, and I kind of had a hard time with the narrators accent. I understood it’s purpose and I think it’s possible that it was close to this narrators own accent – however some of the conversations sounded stilted or a little bit like a four-year-old attempting full sentences. It was just a little rough for me. I did, however, stop hearing that so much the more I got into the story and the plot took over my concentration.

There were parts of Uprooted where the story did feel like it was getting long. I don’t know that it could have been cut or edited without loosing some important elements though. I just had periods of wishing the story would move forward a bit more quickly than it was.

The Verdict:         
I really enjoyed this book. It had a lot of the elements that I love in a good book, and it had a satisfying ending. Due to one scene in this book, I cannot consider this a “clean” novel, though it is categorized as Young Adult. The one scene was rather graphic, and I can’t recommend this book for young teens at all – but had it been left out it would have been perfect.

Book Review: The Reapers/Flirting With Death by Ali Winters – Release Party

Author: Ali Winters
Title: The Reapers
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Release date: May 31 2015 (re-release: Nov 02 2015)

Blurb:
The balance of life and death must be kept at all costs.
Having been a reaper as long as she can remember, Nivian knows that what she does is essential in maintaining balance. After being assigned to a rushed mark she finds that there is more to this human than any other she has encountered.
Kain had been living an ordinary life without a second thought until he meets Nivian who turns his world upside down. He is thrust into a world of hunters and reapers. The keepers of life and death have been feuding for centuries over a reason no one can even remember.
With Kain having been marked for reaping, and Nivian being hunted, they forge a friendship and together must find the truth in order to keep balance in check. Wrong choices could destroy everything. As they journey they discover hidden histories, powers, and lies and truths that have been spun since the beginning of time. The consequence of failure, unimaginable.

Excerpt:
Nivian leaped over the edge of the bridge and landed with a soft tap on the surface of the water. She reached down, pulled the soul of the driver up by the collar of his shirt, and stood him up next to her on top of the water. She took the driver’s hand, palm up, in hers and waved her other hand over his. Pinching the air, she pulled and lifted up to expose his life thread. His wide eyes stared unblinking, hypnotized by the glowing string of light. Nivian reached behind her and grabbed the scythe strapped to her back, and swung. With a slow, deliberate movement, Nivian sliced the human’s life thread. The light formed into a ball and hovered between them. She pulled out a small pocket watch and guided the life energy down to the watch. It sunk into it and disappeared. She snapped the watch closed and returned it to her pocket. 
“You should know better than to drink and drive. You could’ve seriously hurt someone.”
He gaped at her, his mouth opened and closed like a fish.
“Yes, you really are dead,” she confirmed and gave him an apathetic look as she turned away.
“Are you … the devil?” he managed to sputter. 
“No, of course not. I am just the natural order of things,” she said, looking back over her shoulder. “Wait here. Your spirit counselor will be here soon to guide you to your afterlife. I have other jobs tonight.” She spun on her heel and walked away, as she pulled her hood back up over her head and vanished.

Buy links:
Amzn: http://amzn.to/1eT66Oj
B&N: http://bit.ly/1JcleOL
ITunes: http://apple.co/1TtVip6
Oyster: http://bit.ly/1gvpIsP
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1O3xrcQ
Page Foundry: http://bit.ly/1ITqyuo

My Review:
What I Loved: This is the first book I’ve read about Reapers (excluding On a Pale Horse, which I read in High School as part of a class, and is sort of in the same vein…great book btw!), though I know it’s not the only one out there, but first and foremost I loved being thrown into a world I never even thought to explore. Ali Winters has created a backdrop that is both interesting and easy to follow.

Her main character, Nivian, is very easy to like and while a little passive at times, she was also witty and smart. She was curious about the world that she didn’t actually belong to, and compassionate. She was exceptionally good at her job, but it wasn’t this ego chip resting on her shoulder. As her backstory begins to unfold in the book, her character becomes even more interesting.

The Reapers took a few left turns that kept me engaged with the story and wanting to know more. I’m a pretty big fan of the side characters making the story, and there were plenty of side-characters helping to create the shape of this book nicely. Camira and Silas were a couple of my favorites.

Not So Much:
I kind of would have liked have seen a little bit more push pull play with the romantic interests in this book. I get that both Kane and Caspian are very much into Niv, however I feel that while she has feeling for both of the guys, it kind of just feels like physical attraction and surface deep so far. She is also played as innocent, but I kind of would think that given the way both of the guys act when they are around her – she would have some clue as to what is happening, and how she feels about it. I hope to see something with a little more foundation grow in the future.

I was also pretty surprised at Kane’s acceptance of the world he was thrown into. Perhaps it just didn’t seem like there was much “time” for him to accept the new reality, he kind of (metaphorically, not literally) shrugged and went with it. By the end he was even claiming loyalty ties. I think I probably would have been kicking and screaming and perhaps outright rejecting everything being thrown my way, despite evidence to the contrary. He didn’t even have a mild panic attack.


The Verdict:
 
I believe fans of Paranormal/Fantasy will enjoy this book a lot. It’s YA, and appropriately labeled, as it is clean, with light romance that is on a constant simmer, however it is not the main purpose of this story. There are twist and turns that keep the reader engaged with the story.

Author: Ali Winters
Title: Flirting With Death
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Release date: Nov 02 2015Blurb:
Being a reaper has its perks, but also its downsides.

While on an assignment, Evander is caught of guard by an unmarked human. Captivated, he is unable to tear himself away.

This is why reapers don’t associate with mortals.

Piper was ordinary, just a girl looking for love. And all she knows is that her current boyfriend isn’t it. An unfortunate incident and a series of remarkable events turn her world upside down. But what she finds is the last thing she ever expected—She finds herself falling for the least likely candidate.

Excerpt:  
“Stop. He is gone.” Evander said calmly. Why would she waste so much energy on someone who had no chance.
“Don’t tell her to stop,” Tony snapped.
Oh, right. That guy was still here. Where was a spirit counselor when you needed one? And at that moment, she showed up.
“Yeah, yeah, I know. Don’t tell me. I’m late, am I right?” She waved a hand in the air dismissively.
“I should have known it would be you, Cassandra. Please take him.”
“Don’t boss me around, you fancy assassin. I know how to do my job.” She bit out, then turned to her assignment. “Come on, life loser, this way.”
“I’m not going anywhere with you.” Tony backed up and stepped on his body, trying to slide back in. Evander’s gaze flicked upward, the difficult ones always tried to return to their bodies.

Buy links:
Amzn: http://amzn.com/B017I5UHFC
B&N: http://bit.ly/1ls8ijf
Oyster: http://bit.ly/1l1dB8W
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1MyrKBB
Page Foundry: http://bit.ly/1Lj7MJd

Event: Jan 9th 6pm-9pm MST.

Facebook party!

Come find out more and enter to win prizes!

About the author: 
Ali grew up in the Pacific North West. She attended Oregon State University for photography. After many adventures, she moved to Colorado, earned a second degree, and met and married her husband.
She currently lives in windy Wyoming with her husband and two dogs. When not writing, Ali is either, photographing, knitting, reading, dancing, or staying inside where it’s warm with a hot cup of coffee. She dreams of traveling the world someday soon.

Author links:
Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Website | Newsletter | Blog

Book Review: Whisper of the Woods – D.G. Driver

Title: Whisper of the Woods (A Juniper Sawfeather Novel – Book 2)
Author: D.G. Driver

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Juniper Sawfeather seems to have a talent for finding mythological creatures. Or maybe the creatures are finding her.

The mermaids she saved from the oil spill are long gone. There’s no evidence of them, and she’s been branded as a liar and a fake in the media and at school. Her environmental activist parents have moved on to a protest to save Old Growth trees from being chopped down. June isn’t particularly concerned with this cause until after falling asleep at the base of a giant tree she wakes to find herself 40 feet in the air on one of its branches!

From this point on she becomes obsessed with the tree, and it appears the tree is becoming obsessed with her too. Soon, she is trapped 170 feet above the ground, and the magical spirit that resides in the tree isn’t interested in letting her go free or allowing anyone else to save her. Is the tree spirit good or evil? Will Juniper’s feet ever touch the ground again?

My Review:
After reading Cry of the Sea, author D.G. Driver asked me if I might be interested in reading Whisper of the Woods as well. Juniper and her adventure was still in my head when she asked, so I decided to go for it, even though I’m slowing down on accepting review requests and pushing towards my #2016TBRChallenge. I’m glad that I accepted the request, and it’s going to be difficult to get through 2016 (if the book comes out) to wait read the last installment.

What I Loved:
Whisper of the Woods really drawled me into its story, keeping me wondering what was going to happen next – especially the tree itself. ‘Why does it seem to talk only to Juniper, and what is it going to do next?’ were some of the questions I was asking myself while reading. I really enjoyed going on this journey with Juniper and learning more about the legend of the great tree, and it’s tie into the mermaids in Cry of the Sea, especially when I found out at the end that it was based around (I’m sure with creative licenses used at will) a true Indian legend. I was intrigued by the tree’s pull on Juniper from the beginning, how she became obsessed with it and knowing as much information about old trees as she possibly could.

I am also happy to know that while things don’t seem to be exactly great, Juniper’s relationship with her mother seems to be improving from where it left off in Cry of the Sea, and I feel like the third installment of this series will probably be a big one for the both of them.

Not So Much: I was confused by Juniper and Carter’s relationship in this book. Clearly they are in the midst of dating, however it felt like things weren’t going well over all. There was never any real good interactions between them to make it to the end of this book and everything be happy again.

I also felt like there were many times in the story where the tree was manipulating the feelings of Juniper and others who were near or touching it, however that didn’t seem to come up in conversation either. I just feel like things were taken at face value and accepted by the supporting characters: Juniper climbed up a tree, or is she stuck in the tree? There is something weird going on with the tree. Juniper never seems to make a real effort to explain it to anyone believing she wouldn’t be trusted anyway. Even at the end it was glossed over, yet everything is just…okay.

The Verdict:    
I enjoy stories that suck me in, even if after everything is done I still have questions. This book is clean and very YA appropriate, and I love that there are great messages of caring for the earth, and animals and others woven into to the foundation of this series.

Book Review: The Reapers – Ali Winters

Title: The Reapers (The Hunted Series – Book 1)
Author: Ali Winters

Synopsis:

Having been a reaper as long as she can remember, Nivian knows that what she does is essential in maintaining balance. After being assigned to a rushed mark she finds that there is more to this human than any other she has encountered.

Kain had been living an ordinary life without a second thought until he meets Nivian who turns his world upside down. He is thrust into a world of hunters and reapers. The keepers of life and death have been feuding for centuries over a reason no one can even remember.

With Kain having been marked for reaping, and Nivian being hunted, they forge a friendship and together must find the truth in order to keep balance in check. Wrong choices could destroy everything. As they journey they discover hidden histories, powers, and lies and truths that have been spun since the beginning of time. The consequence of failure, unimaginable.


My Review: I won The Reapers playing a game regarding author Ali Winters, where I had to answer three questions about her in order to win a copy of her book.  Ali has been one of my Facebook friends for a little while and I was nearly able to answer all of the questions off the top of my head.  So I did…for the win! 

What I Loved:  This is the first book I’ve read about Reapers (excluding On a Pale Horse, which I read in High School as part of a class, and is sort of in the same vein…great book btw!), though I know it’s not the only one out there, but first and foremost I loved being thrown into a world I never even thought to explore.  Ali Winters has created a backdrop that is both interesting and easy to follow.  

Her main character, Nivian, is very easy to like and while a little passive at times, she was also witty and smart.  She was curious about the world that she didn’t actually belong to, and compassionate.  She was exceptionally good at her job, but it wasn’t this ego chip resting on her shoulder.  As her backstory begins to unfold in the book, her character becomes even more interesting.

The Reapers took a few left turns that kept me engaged with the story and wanting to know more.  I’m a pretty big fan of the side characters making the story, and there were plenty of side-characters helping to create the shape of this book nicely.  Camira and Silas were a couple of my favorites.

Not So Much:  I kind of would have liked have seen a little bit more push pull play with the romantic interests in this book.  I get that both Kane and Caspian are very much into Niv, however I feel that while she has feeling for both of the guys, it kind of just feels like physical attraction and surface deep so far.  She is also played as innocent, but I kind of would think that given the way both of the guys act when they are around her – she would have some clue as to what is happening, and how she feels about it.  I hope to see something with a little more foundation grow in the future.

I was also pretty surprised at Kane’s acceptance of the world he was thrown into.  Perhaps it just didn’t seem like there was much “time” for him to accept the new reality, he kind of (metaphorically, not literally) shrugged and went with it.  By the end he was even claiming loyalty ties.  I think I probably would have been kicking and screaming and perhaps outright rejecting everything being thrown my way, despite evidence to the contrary.  He didn’t even have a mild panic attack. 

The Verdict:    
 I believe fans of Paranormal/Fantasy will enjoy this book a lot.  It’s YA, and appropriately labeled, as it is clean, with light romance that is on a constant simmer, however it is not the main purpose of this story.  There are twist and turns that keep the reader engaged with the story.


Book Review: There are No Vampires in This Book – Megan Bailey

Title: There are No Vampires in This Book
Author: Megan Bailey
Genre: NA – Fiction

Synopsis:  
TARYN HAD NEVER BEEN NORMAL.She wasn’t like other girls- not after that night, that thing, took her parents from her. She made it through hospitals, doctors, and therapy by playing by their rules and saying all the things they wanted to hear. But, inside, she held on to the truth.
She knew what she saw.

SHE SPENT HER TEEN YEARS PREPARING IN SECRET
With her two closest friends at her side, she dedicated herself to a mission. She would train and she would hunt. When the time came, she would be ready. No one she loved would be hurt by one of those monsters ever again

But with high school behind them, new found freedom comes with new responsibilities and new problems. Instead of weapons and self defense classes, she now has jobs and bills. The relation-ship with her best friend was suddenly shifting into new, scary territories. How could she take down bad guys if she couldn’t get her own life in order?

AND THEN THERE WAS HIM.
A mysterious stranger who pops up in suspicious places and throws off all sorts of bad vibes. His face now starred in her regular nightmares and plagued her thoughts in the day. Was she overre-acting? Or, was this finally the monster she had been waiting for? As the scars of Taryn’s past rise up to haunt her, she begins to question herself. With her mission faltering and her friendship off kilter, would life ever be the same again?
Would she ever be the same?

My Review:  

This is a book that was recommended by another blogger, and that was chosen by a group of us lovely blogger-people to read together. (You can find their reviews linked at the bottom!) I loved the idea of reading a book together and all posting a review. It’s even better when the book that is picked out is a good one!

What I Loved: I loved that this book wasn’t exactly predictable. I’ve been reading so many books lately that are lovely and wonderful but from the beginning you kind of know where it is going to go. It’s not that books like that are bad. In fact, I find sanctuary in those easy read kind of books at times, but I love it when one jumps out at you and keeps you guessing. I enjoy that it keeps my mind active, ‘what’s going to happen – perhaps this or that.’ This was true all the way up until the last chapters of the book, I was pretty sure I knew what was going to happen – and still yet there was that lingering thought that the author could throw me for a loop.

I loved the friendship bond in this book, and let me tell you it was quite a bond. The three of them were actually quite different people, but their dynamic worked so well. I loved the idea of just hanging out at home eating pizza and being goofy – is that even acceptable anymore? It seems like people always have to be doing something!

Not So Much: At first I had a hard time switching from first person journal entries to third person story – I got over it pretty quickly, but it sometimes had me thinking, ‘wait what?” or “why is she referring to herself…oh that’s right…” While I DID get over it – there is a part of me that wishes that it would have been told in first person, because there were questions regarding her parent’s death that I wanted answered as a third person perspective that in first person perspective would have been easier for me to let go.

The Verdict:   
I really, really enjoyed this book. There was sufficient action, and mystery. There was the internal battle without having the sullen or moody vibe about it. I loved Taryn and her desire to do what she thought was right, as well as facing her fears. At the end of the book she said something about how the new her faced her fears, but I felt like she was doing that all along. This book is clean, and I’m not 100% sure if it’s because I was engrossed in the story and forgot to pay attention, or because there just wasn’t any – but I don’t even recall there being any cussing. There is alcohol – but the book is NA, and I recommend it for such. I do look forward to reading more from author Megan Bailey, as I enjoyed the adventure she took me on.

About the Author:
Megan Bailey is a novelist and short story author. When not writing, she loves playing video games for way too many hours and reading everything she can get her hands on. Megan is married to her own wise-cracking, romantic hero. They live in Central Illinois with their two devious/darling daughters and three furbabies: Minna the boxer dog, Logan the black cat, and Gimli the dwarf bunny.

Book Review: Enchanted Revenge – Theresa M. Jones

Enchanted Revenge
Empyrean Chronicles # 1
By- Theresa M. Jones
Genre- YA Fantasy

When seventeen year old Lily finds her parents brutally murdered, leaving her broken and alone, she is determined to bring justice to the fairies responsible. Her quest leads her to infiltrate The Empyrean, the land of the Fae where terrifying creatures lurk in every shadow. But with a political rebellion mounting, bloodshed y battles and foreign enemies stand in her way. Alec, a mysterious and secretive fairy, gradually becomes her guide and dear friend in the unfamiliar world, and restores her faith in love.

Disturbing secrets about her parent’s true identity are revealed, causing her to be more involved with the devastating fairy war than she can afford. Her vengeful mission becomes compromised and her growing romance with Alec wavers. She must conquer her fear of the unknown, ignore her grief, and overcome her growing list of enemies if she is to succeed in avenging her parents’ death. Or ever make it out alive.

Enchanted Revenge will appeal to fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout and Julie Kagawa.


 

Enticing Violence
Empyrean Chronicles # 2
By- Theresa M. Jones
Genre- YA Fantasy
Publication Date- November 2nd


Lily and Alec are only pawns in a war much larger than they’d imagined.


Lily still wants to complete her mission: Avenge her parents. But when Lynn- the leader of the Rebels in Muircadia- is captured, and Rita- daughter to the evil Lord Nettles- is sentenced to death, it’s up to Lily, Alec, and the very select few Fae they trust, to try to save them all before it’s too late.


When all you do is fight for your life, how do you find time to live?
How do you love when hope is always slipping away?


Enticing Violence is the second book in The Empyrean Chronicles.

My Review of Enchanged Revenge:

I divide my reading habit into two parts, the first part was from about 5th – 8th grade where I would read all the time, especially in the summer when we had no school and I had access to the library and SO.MANY.BOOKS!  I would get so lost that it would take my mom several tries to even get my attention if she needed me.  I would read a book a day, maybe two depending on the topic/size of the book.  Then I got to High School and I got busy with so many other things and stopped reading for pleasure completely.

I picked books up again when I started having kids, and especially when I started (briefly) working from home.  While infants and toddlers require a lot of time, there also happens to be a lot of downtime sometimes too, so I found myself being absorbed into the new worlds and people, and I remembered exactly what I loved when I was a kid.  Like so many people, I got sucked in the Twilight craze, and once that was done, I moved on to other Vampires, then Wolves, then I delved into the land of the Fae.  I love Fairy stories because they can be so different.  Not that Vampires and Werewolves can’t/aren’t, but I think I see more diversity in Fae stories than the others.  I love figuring out what the author is going to do differently.  I sort of slipped out of the phase a bit, but when I saw the review request for Enchanged Revenge, I decided to jump back in.

What I Loved:  There were some great points of action in Enchanged Revenge. The beginning of this book started off very strong, and the ending was also very strong.  I enjoyed getting to know Lily and Alec, and some of the various other characters of the books.  I look forward to seeing how some of the side characters might come into play later on in the series.  Author Theresa M Jones did create her own world and version of the Fae, and I enjoyed getting to know her world and it’s intracies. 

Not So Much: There were parts of the book that felt like it was dragging a bit.  We spent a lot of time traveling with Lily and Alec, espcially more toward the beginning that the book.  The opening of the book was so strong and dramatic, that having it drop off at the level that it did made it a little bit hard to hold my attention.  Thankfully, once the book started to pick up steam again it was maintained.

The Verdict:    
A very enjoyable read from Theresa M Jones.  It is a great opening to a series.  It does have plenty of action and a enjoyable Lily/Alec moments to keep you hoping for more.  This book is relatively clean, there was some cussing sprinkled throughout the book, but it wasn’t heavy.  At points there was some graphic violence -but nothing you can’t see on TV.  I would recommend the book for older teenagers.
 

About the Author-
Theresa M Jones is just a regular small town, Texas girl, who loves reading, writing and playing with tech gadgets. When she isn’t at work fixing computers and the like, you can find her at home with her husband and two beautiful (and rambunctious) kiddos.

In her spare time- as if there ever was such a thing as “spare time” – she reads and reviews books on her book blog, and writes paranormal romance and fantasy romance novels.

Links-

a Rafflecopter giveaway//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

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.