Friday, April 3, 2015

Review: The Mermaid's Sister by Carrie Anne Noble

The Mermaid's Sister

By Carrie Anne Noble

Blurb: There is no cure for being who you truly are...

In a cottage high atop Llanfair Mountain, sixteen-year-old Clara lives with her sister, Maren, and guardian Auntie. By day, they gather herbs for Auntie’s healing potions. By night, Auntie spins tales of faraway lands and wicked fairies. Clara’s favorite story tells of three orphan infants—Clara, who was brought to Auntie by a stork; Maren, who arrived in a seashell; and their best friend, O’Neill, who was found beneath an apple tree.

One day, Clara discovers shimmering scales just beneath her sister’s skin. She realizes that Maren is becoming a mermaid—and knows that no mermaid can survive on land. Desperate to save her, Clara and O’Neill place the mermaid-girl in their gypsy wagon and set out for the sea. But no road is straight, and the trio encounters trouble around every bend. Ensnared by an evil troupe of traveling performers, Clara and O’Neill must find a way to save themselves and the ever-weakening mermaid.

And always, in the back of her mind, Clara wonders, if my sister is a mermaid, then what am I?


Genres: Young Adult Fantasy

Publication Date: March 1, 2015

Pages: 236

Series: N/A

My Rating: 3 stars


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I have to give this book props for being completely unlike any mermaid tale I've read before. It really broke out of the formula that usually dictates these stories, and I was pleasantly surprised by that. I honestly would have given this four stars if it wasn't for how uncomfortable I was with this "romance."

At times this book reminded me of Jacob Have I Loved but with mermaids because of Clara and Maren's relationship. Yes, they love each other, but Clara wishes a lot of times she had what she perceives Maren as having, and she compares herself to Maren a lot. Their relationship was really different from the typical sisterly bond, and I liked it. I felt bad for Clara rather than annoyed at her; even though she often had feelings of inferiority to her sister, it never dived into pity party territory, in my opinion.

What I DIDN'T like was the relationship between O'Neill and the girls. At first, he was simply their "almost brother." Meaning, he almost became their brother but got adopted by someone else instead. Clara has a crush on him; I never found it that creepy in the beginning because (SPOILER ALERT) he wasn't actually related to them. But then, it got a bit creepy when it turned out that the guy who had raised O'Neill and the woman who had raised Clara and Maren were secretly married! So they were brother and sisters, albeit not biologically. Then, the creepy factor hit an all time high when Clara constantly refers to him as her brother and yet STILL HAS A CRUSH ON HIM.

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There's only so much I can take. This was not something I could ship. It was something I could wish for to sail away from the story, but not ship. (ba dum dum tss) However, seeing as they weren't biologically related, I can see why many people wouldn't mind it.
(END OF SPOILER)

The beginning of the book was much more exciting for me than the second half. I liked reading about Maren's transition; the emotions were more of the focus in the first part, and I liked reading about Clara's reaction to possibly losing her sister. It made me sad. The second part was still good, but it relied more on exciting escapes and villains and such, and I felt that I didn't really connect with the story as much during this part.

I liked the writing very much. It really captured Clara's voice and made me feel for her so much more. It really incorporated the feeling of magic into the story; this felt like the perfect writing style for a book about a mermaid.

Considering I wasn't a fan of the romance, I found the ending weird. (SPOILER ALERT) Clara and O'Neill get married, and their parents are very happy for them, and no one points out it's slightly creepy? This takes place in the 1800s, in our world...you're not telling me that back then no one would care? It doesn't make sense. (END OF SPOILER)

The Mermaid's Sister was good, but it took some weird turns. But if you think you'd be fine with this, I'd recommend it.

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