The Mermaid's Mirror
Definitely not the case with this story.
Though it did take me a while to get to the action in the story -- over 100 pages into the book -- the story was well-written and had enough to keep me intrigued to get to the action. There are many aspects to love about this book. The way Madigan builds up her characters, main and minor, is beautiful ... all of them are fleshed out well. The mythology was wonderful, but then my knowledge of mermaids is lacking at the moment. I love, love, LOVED the relationships between Lena and her family, as well as the relationships between her and her friends. They're all described so warmly that it makes you feel all tingly. The best part? I think for me it had to be the author's way of putting you in the passenger's seat and taking you on a ride through Lena's journey of self-discovery as she discovers secrets about herself that have been kept from her all her life.
Now, for the bad ... which isn't as bad as you may think. I'm not a fan of the way Lena and Kai's relationship just kind of ... faded. Then again, I'm one of those people that have to have the relationships and the happily-ever-afters. If I wanted to hear bad things, I wouldn't read - I'd turn on the news or Maury. Don't let me lead you away, though, it's not bad! It's just not there as much as you want it to be. Oh, and then there's the love triangle ... which, really, when isn't there a love triangle in books these days?
Fifteen-year-old Lena has grown up walking for miles along the beach, watchingand not participating inthe magic of the ocean because her father forbids it. Soon, though, Lena cant stand those restrictions and decides she will learn to surf, a particularly good thing because something keeps subconsciously drawing her to the wateran ancient, powerful magic. One day Lena realizes why this magic has felt so close. In the waters of Magic Crescent Cove swims a beautiful woman . . . with a silvery tail. Now Lena needs to knowwhat does this subconscious message mean? And how do a stumbled upon key and mirror fit into this new piece to the puzzle of her life?
Overall, I think that this is a well-written and very enjoyable book. I have not read FLASH BURNOUT, which received some great reviews, so I cannot make a comparison between the two. I will note that THE MERMAIDS MIRROR is filled with beautiful, approachable language; a multi-faceted plot; and a take on the mermaid legend that is relatively fresh in comparison to other titles available todaythere appear new takes on human-mermaid politics, mermaids secret underwater world, and more.
I think what I liked most about the novel is how all of its pieces fit together thematicallyMadigan draws out a lot of themes (for example, importance of family, friendship, and brotherhood/sisterhood as well as human nature versus the nature of creatures). I didnt feel as if she was attempting to enforce a message onto me as a reader. The pieces of the story, the story overall, grew organically out of Lenas circumstances.
I did have some concerns, which detracted at times from the story as a whole: the plot feelsin very specific instancescontrived, as if Madigan knew she had to provide specific elements at specific instances in plot. There was surprise here and there, but there definitely was room for more unpredictability, more depth (i.e., with the explanation behind the appearance of the mermaid). I also wanted Lenas stakes to be higherI can identify one instance in which I was particularly concerned for her; otherwise I knew she, as a character, would be just fine.
This book should definitely be read, especially if one is a girl; loves mermaids and romance, tough decisions and magic, surfing and little brothers; and is curious to see how Madigan pulls everything off. This is a good example of the best tight and interesting YA literature out there in bookstores.
THE MERMAIDS MIRRORand FLASH BURNOUT, as I hearare both worth a read.