Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Splash into Summer: Everblue by Brenda Pandos

I have no idea why I wanted to read this book. I think I was totally drawn in by the cover; isn't it beautiful? And, then I realized I could get a mermaid book for ever so cheap ($.99 as an ebook on the Nook) and, well, I do love a mermaid book on the cheap.

I love the setting of this book. It's so cool to think that living amongst everyday average people are merpeople and that there are gates to another world where they live and thrive with rules and cities different than our own. I also loved how the gate we see the most is in Lake VERY different than the other books. I like how the world is created with air bubbles in homes so there can be furniture and human creature comforts. I also like the characters (even though one of the merboys is named Fin...yes, Fin, as in I have one), frankly, I especially like Fin the most of all.

So, if I like all those things about it...why the low-rating? why the dislike? Let me see if I can break it down.

1. The execution of the story
This story is paced like it's a 500 page novel. With little details given over time and/or large chunks given over to explanation of a thing that isn't important at that moment. This book takes up practically a whole year.
2. The back and forth narration doesn't work
I enjoyed the change of narrator in Tangled Tides, it flowed and I got to know the characters. In this book the narration doesn't stay with one character enough for me to get into the story and I found myself rereading a part or a section just to see if I missed something.
3. It's treatment of boys and and women
If a mermaid is bonded to a boy once they kiss (an idea I do not mind...mated for life is highly romantic), isn't a forced kiss, well, rape? Ick. That's all I could
4. The strangely forced Christian slant
I am a Christian and I like being one...I don't like Christian just being thrown in for the sake of good Christianness. It just threw me off and...actually made me a little uncomfortable, like I was hanging out with my mother and I was 13 all over again.

Everything about this book has rubbed me the wrong way...I'm not sure I need to read the rest of the series (although I've just downloaded Evergreen, I don't know was cheap). I always feel bad when I genuinely don't like a book, mostly because I'm not really sure if I could do better if I tried and here a person has given their heart and soul and all I can do is read it and bash it. I've also read tons of other reviews, hoping those 4s and 5s (and there are a lot of them) would help me see the story differently. Sometimes I'd read a review and think..."Did we read the same book?". That being said, I do hope you try out this book for yourself and if you rank it higher than me please tell me why, I'd really like to know. I think I would have liked this book better had it been the first mermaid book I'd ever read and not the latest.

I felt sad that for my Splash into Summer week, I chose to read two books that weren't what I thought they would be. On to my first truly selkie book, The Lure of Shapinsay!

2 Stars
A good character or two, nice setting...I don't really like anything else about it

Sex 2/5
I really do find that forced kissing thing deplorable. Fin and Ash he is trying to save her life, so they're bonded too. 
Language 0/5
Substance Abuses 0/5
None, this really is a nice clean book.
Violence 3/5
The king and his son get into it. The son is a lech, and he picks a fight or two with Fin. It would seem that the whole entire mer kingdom is being led by a lying, conniving father and son duo. Fin's family is also a bit greedy. He gets into a fight with his cousin, there's an explosion, Ash almost drowns and, then there's that whole entire kiss thing. then there was this big fight before the book begins where Fin's father frightens Ash so much that she thinks he's an alcoholic.

Touchy Subjects
Unwanted anything...
Even if somebody kisses you against your will that's still not cool. 
Ash doesn't know that Fin and his sister, her best friend, are mermaids.
I am guessing that the overt Christianity probably gets this book some readers it wouldn't otherwise. It just seemed contrived and forceful to me.

How this book is used in the classroom
1] Independent Read option

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