Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper

I wasn't really into the cover of this book, the mermaid is in some sort of misty ecstasy with pastel water splashes and a thunderstorm in the background, so it took me awhile to actually read it, which is sad because Tangled Tides is my favorite mermaid book so far. It combines romance, suspense and mythology to entice the reader to go on the journey with Yara.

This is the first mermaid book that I've read that actually delves into the history of mermaids, talks about how there are more than one type of mer-creature and doesn't have a heroine that cries and whines all the time. Sure, Yara doesn't want to be a mermaid, but she also doesn't understand how much her family and friends are involved with these ancient creatures either.

While Yara is truly the star of the show, Hooper compels us to get to know each of the characters in this universe she's created. There are two warring half-brothers, this creates a love triangle sort of (another part I like about the book a new twist on the triangle of love), who happen to be on the opposite ends of the same side, an adorable old guardian uncle, a bewitching siren and so many beautiful and colorful mermaids that I couldn't pick a favorite secondary character. I like how the story gets told through the voices of three characters, not just one. At first I thought this was going to be annoying, but then realized the story moved forward with each interpretation of the tale and the three very different voices kept me intrigued.

And, if you want action there's that too. The gorgons want their cursed prize, there's a deadly sickness that mermaids get if they stay in our world too long and they're running out of the cure and time, there's a shark attack that I didn't breath through as I read and there are some sexy scenes and kisses that left me quite breathless, and wishing I had fins and a tail and my own blue-haired tattooed man friend.

This is definitely a book for those people who love their water creatures (as there are mermaids, selkies, water sprites, sirens and gorgons), but it also for people who love mythology (I never really thought about where mermaids came from, until I read this book), or just want a good suspenseful romance.

Oh, and I got this book for free, when it was free, it's now $4.99 on your Kindle and I couldn't find an ebook version on Barnes and Noble.

5 Stars

Teacher Advisories
Sex 2/5 
There's some sexy kissing, some heated thigh touching and a strange scene where a siren is licking at the wounds of a mermaid.
Language 3/5 
Damn, shit, hell used in the usually way that teens and young adults use them.
Substance Abuses 2/5
The mermaids and selkies smoke something called C-weed in the form of seagrettes. While it may seem unnecessary at first and a bit gratuidous it's how they stay alive here on Earth and probably don't do so in their home environment as they wouldn't need the plant to stay alive. Some people might find this constant smoking and their dependence on it questionable.
Violence 4/5
There's a pretty violent shark fight where a mermaid's tail feathers get ripped off. Gorgons are pretty mean and violent, many mermaids and selkies perished at their hands. And, then there's that whole thing with the siren and the licking...ick.

Touchy Subjects
There's a healing ritual that may seem pretty new-agey to some.
Substance Abuse
It's probably important to note to students that these mermaids and selkies aren't smoking for the fun of it, nor are they addicts. They are doing it to survive.
Brother against Brother
Sure they learn about it when they are taught about civil wars, but kids need to understand the strained relationship between Rownan and Treygan and why they do not get along.
Sacrifice for Family
There's a lot of that going on in this book and it's important to understand a parents' love and their need to make sure their offspring are safe. It is also amazing to think about what Yara and Treygan and Rownan go through because of family.

How this book is used in the classroom
1] Independent Read option (not for honors students...reading level is too darned easy, unless, of course, they read it for their independent summer read and for that I have a guide...a guide I should post on this website...hmmm...)


  1. Wow. Thanks so much for reviewing Tangled Tides.
    I LOVE your site and the way you review books. Keep up the awesome work! :)

  2. thanks so much for the lovely comment! and, we'll try! :D


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