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Saturday, May 04, 2013

cover of Tera Lynn Childs' "Forgive My Fins"

Lily Sanderson is a high school pining for the school jock, Brody-- but unlike most normal high school girls, Lily is half-mermaid. Her father only told her a few years ago that her mother was huma, and gave her the option to live with her aunt Rachel and attend high school to get some experience with the human world and the other half of her heritage. Lily has been plotting with her best friend Shannen how to ask Brody out to the spring dance, but she can't quite get up the nerve. Then, for some reason, her neighbor Quince Fletcher-- whom she hates because he is always teasing her and giving her a hard time-- decides to help her out. Naturally, things don't go quite as planned; when Quince goes to check on Lily he ends up kissing her (because, of course, he likes her). But what he doesn't know is that she's a mermaid, and merfolk have a magical mate-bond which is triggered by a kiss. Lily has to take Quince to her home, Thalassinia (where of course she is a princess) and present him to her father the king in order to ask for a ritual separation that will dissolve the bond between them. But that doesn't go quite the way she planned it, either.

A light, fluffy quick read-- or perhaps I should call it a bubbly, frothy read given Lily's penchant for fishy and oceanic turns of phrase. She is always using expressions like "carp" or "son of a swordfishm," or calling Quince a jellyfish, which was actually entertaining. I also liked the fact that Lily was aware of things a modern teenager ought to be-- for example, a brief comment on and correction to mermaids as presented by Disney's "The Little Mermaid." In some cases I felt like the characterization was a little uneven. For example, Quince is apparently in love with Lily and has been tormenting her and teasing her in various ways-- following her on his motorcycle, slamming her locker door shut, calling when she's in the bath and teasing that she forgot to close the curtains when she really didn't-- and then suddenly he is sweet and thoughtful, and even romantic. I even felt like Lily herself wasn't that likable or admirable-- I appreciate that she isn't gorgeous and doesn't know how to put on make-up (she thinks human girls must start training for that early on), but she admits that she isn't very good in nearly any of her classes and seems to have only one good human friend (Shannen) and one good mermaid friend (Peri). What's more, she's has had a crush on Brody for three years; she thinks he will be a natural mate because he is a wonderful swimmer and belongs in the water, but even though she helps out with the swim team and works with him on the school news team she doesn't see what a shallow, selfish jerk he is. However, in spite of these inconsistencies, the story itself moves quickly and is pretty entertaining, if perhaps a little predictable. I do like the world that Childs has given us a glimpse of, and her portrayal of merfolk as secretive, sometimes cowardly, people (because they've had to hide to survive), who live in a dangerous ocean full of predators.

Title:Forgive My Fins
Author:Tera Lynn Childs
Date published:2011
Genre:Young Adult Fantasy
Number of pages:336
Notes:read an ebook


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