Tuesday, June 15, 2010

ARC Review: The Mermaid's Mirror by L. K. Madigan

The Mermaid's Mirror
Author: L. K. Madigan
Publication: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (October 4, 2010)

Description: Lena has lived her whole life near the beach – walking for miles up and down the shore and breathing the salty air, swimming in the cold water, and watching the surfers rule the waves – the problem is, she’s spent her whole life just watching.

As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Lena vows she will no longer watch from the sand: she will learn to surf.

But her father – a former surfer himself – refuses to allow her to take lessons. After a near drowning in his past, he can’t bear to let Lena take up the risky sport.  

Yet something lures Lena to the water … an ancient, powerful magic. One morning Lena catches sight of this magic: a beautiful woman – with a silvery tail.

Nothing will keep Lena from seeking the mermaid, not even the dangerous waves at Magic Crescent Cove.

And soon … what she sees in the mermaid’s mirror will change her life …

My Thoughts: I thought this story of a girl who is torn between her human father and mermaid mother was an excellent read. I found the book to be well-written. I could easily identify with Lena.

Lena is just sixteen. One childhood friend is now her boyfriend and her other childhood friend has a new college-age boyfriend. Things are changing. But Lena's longing for the sea and desire to learn to surf are just growing. Her father was an excellent surfer but hasn't set foot in the ocean for years. He won't allow her to learn to surf.

I like he relationships with her father, step-mother and younger brother. It was a wonderful picture of a devoted, loving, and supportive family. But Lena knows her father and step-mother are keeping secrets from her and she is determined to learn them. Her father seldom speaks about her mother and she doesn't ask often because she knows it causes him pain. One day Lena sees a mermaid in the waters and then is compelled, almost obsessed, with wanting to know more.

She learns that her mother is a mermaid and that she didn't die but returned to the sea. Now she has remembered her life on land (or most of it) and wants to show her daughter what life as a mermaid under the sea would be like. But all things have a cost and the cost for life under the sea is to forget her life on land.

Lena has to make a decision about her future. One of the characters says that she feels like an outsider whether she is with her father or her mother. I think that all adolescents sometimes feel like outsiders though most don't have Lena's reasons.

I recommend this book to lovers of fantasy, mermaids, and coming of age stories. There is a romance or two but they are not central to the story.

Challenges: 2010 E-Book Reading Challenge, 2010 YA Reading Challenge

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I am really looking forward to this book, it sounds like an amazing summer read :)


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