Age Group: YA
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishing
Publication Date: 01 June 2010
Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but for Lily Sanderson, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.
Lily has a secret, and it’s not her huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid—she’s a Thalassinian princess. When she discovered three years ago that her mother was actually a human, Lily finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been going to Seaview High ever since. Living on land has its problems—like her obnoxious biker-boy neighbor, Quince Fletcher—but it has that one major perk: Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type—when they bond, it’s for life.
When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily ever after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.
One of the first things I noticed about this book is that it felt very young. Even for Young Adult fiction it just seemed very juvenile. I wouldn't go as far as to say the novel feels middle grade, but I can comfortably say that this book seems to be written for a younger YA reader, say 13 to 15. I think that this is one of the reasons that I had such a hard time connecting with the characters and the storyline.
My main issue with this book is the main character, Lily. Disliking the main character is nothing new for me, but I can usually find some redeeming quality about them. With Lily, however, I just couldn't find anything to like about her. Her character was childish, shallow, immature, and just plain clueless throughout the entire book. If I hadn't known better I would have thought that she was much younger than seventeen. It felt as if she was trying to blame all her problems on those around her rather than doing anything about it.
Then there was her obsession with Brody, the would-be love interest. Her thought process when it came to Brody was nauseating. It seemed like the author wanted her to look like she was pining for an unrequited crush, but it felt more like she was delusional and borderline unstable. The only real saving grace to this book was Quince. His character was witty, patient, and charming in an unconventional way. He was rough around the edges but he really had a heart of gold, I don't know many people who could have put up with Lily the way he did.
From a plot standpoint, this book wasn't the most revolutionary; I was able to figure out the plotline pretty early on in the book and wasn't able to really immerse myself in the story. I did findThalassinia to be an intriguing and did enjoy learning about the mer society. While this book was not one of my favorites it was a cute read that I could see a younger reader loving it.