Addresses Being the Child of A Parent with Mental Ilness
When Emily and her mom are in an accident, her mom hits her head really hard and doesn't come out of it unscathed. Instead, she believes she is Nora the mermaid instead of Nora, Emily's mom. When she's assigned a project with her crush Jose, Emily is ecstatic. But with her mother's mental illness weighing her down, Emily struggles to find a balance between school and home.
Instead of being able to focus on normal things like her crush, Emily is forced to step up and help her dad take care of her mom, who insists that she's a mermaid. Emily is thrust into the role of the caregiver and has to take her mom to her doctor appointments, swim classes, and more. She can't help but feel angry at her mom and just wants her to return to normal. She tries everything she can think of, but it all fails.
THE MERMAID UPSTAIRS addresses mental health and the impact it can have on children. Emily's anger was understandable and the reader could see how tough it is to be in her shoes. Even though it seems like she's selfish, the truth is that she only wants everything to return to her normal. Nora the mermaid fully believed she was a mermaid and that she should be living in the Pacific Ocean. I've never read a book like this before, but it makes you look at those with mental illness in a whole different light.
Final Verdict: I would recommend this to fans of contemporary, sensitive topics like mental illness, and social and family issues.