by Anna Banks
"Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...
Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance."
Reviews on this book seem to be very polarized. People either love it or hate it and I can see both sides of the issue. When I read it with my would-middle-schoolers-like-it-eyes, I find it fun and romantic. When I read it with my mother-of-three-daughters-eyes, I find it kind of sick and creepy.
It is very Twilight-y, except with Syrena (merpeople) instead of vampires. Very romantic with a cute, funny and spunky heroine, and a hero who is gorgeous and wants to be with her all the time and protect her. There is an amusing twin sister (with a cute guy also chasing her) who keeps messing things up for our main couple. So yes, I believe middle-school girls will LOVE this book.
The hero is a stalker who is described by the heroine as having "serial-killer eyes". She realizes he is acting like an abuser, but still goes along with him. He is completely controlling and insanely jealous and wishes that instead of falling in love with Emma he would have found a sweet-tempered Syrena "who would take care of him, who would do whatever he asked, who would never argue with him". Yikes! And yet, pretty much all of those things could have been said about Twilight as well. For some reason I just found Galen a little creepier than Edward. Perhaps because for most of the book, his intention was to turn Emma over to his brother to be his mate.
So, is it a fun, romantic read? Yes. Would I ever want my daughter in any of the relationships portrayed in this book? No.
Areas of concern:
The *a* word is put on the end of other words (jack, mean, smart) around 7 times. One use of the *h* word. A couple of intense kisses. Unhealthy relationships as discussed above.
Kirkus Reviews - Ages 12+
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 13+