Book: Forbidden Sea by Sheila A. Nielson
Genre: MG Fantasy
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
For: Utah Book Month
From: I bought this one at last year's Scholastic book fair.
This book was really good! I don't know for sure what I was expecting... maybe a simple mermaid story with simple characters. What I got was a cool mermaid story with a lot of heart and lots of wonderful and interesting characters instead!
This story is about a girl, Adrianne, who lives on an island in what feels like a time of the past, struggling with her family to make ends meet. She's got a nasty aunt, a depressed mom and sweet younger sweet, all who depend on her. She's also got a friend that's a boy, you know the kind, great pals all their lives and now suddenly, she is seeing him in a different way. I never get tired of that!
Anyway, so the people on this island tell a legend about a mermaid who stole away a girl years ago, to be marry the sea prince. One day, during a storm, Adrianne herself has an encounter with a mermaid and all those stories come rushing back and she wonders how this will affect her life. Are the legends true? And do mermaids really exist after all? And are they as bad as people have said all these years? To top it all off, she is then faced with a massive decision that could change her life forever.
I've not read many mermaid tales, and so I had no expectations about the mermaid aspect of this story. It was fun to see what the author came up with and to picture that world in my mind. So different from anything I've read. It's changed my idea of mermaids!
As I said, I was also surprised at the depth of these characters. Adrianne felt very real to me and I loved her boy buddy Denn too. She had also had a fabulous relationship with her little sister, one that reminded me of Katniss and Prim. But I truly thought all the characters were great.
Bottom line: I really enjoyed this one a lot! So glad to have managed it for my Utah book reading this month.
Good Clean Reads
The Literate Mother
Fantasy Book Critic