Mini-review: Of Poseidon (Anna Banks)

Product Details
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 336
Publisher: May 22nd 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 9781250003324
Source: Thank you local library
Read this in 1 1/2 days!

Of Poseidon (Of Poseidon, #1) 
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.

Shame on me for not writing this review the moment I finished this book! Now I have to remember all of the wonderful things I found in Of Poseidon.

Let me start by saying how much I enjoyed the characters. I really, really, REALLY liked them. All of them. Every character had a nice amount of spunk (ok, minus Emma’s mom and Rachel). I probably had the most trouble connecting with Faye, but I still liked her all the same. She was the exact opposite in many ways to Emma, so it worked for me. Her beau, Toraf, I found to be adorable. He’s not a main character, but the parts that included him were entertaining. Emma and Galen? Sigh. I will admit, Galen was drool worthy. Most people might find him arrogant, but I loved it. He seemed so playful, which was funny because Emma was not. They were opposites, yet they complimented one another perfectly. I thought they were such a great literary couple. I really loved how spunky Emma was. She was hilarious, clumsy, and had a certain amount of sass that made her instantly likeable. I appreciate how to wasn’t that girl. 

I didn’t think there was an extreme amount of world building in this book. The majority of the story took place at a typical New Jersey high school and Emma/Galen’s houses. Nothing really exciting or overly inventive there. What I did enjoy was the slowly building tension. The entire story felt like it built up to that ohmysweetgoodness cliffhanger ending! There was a lot of emphasis place on the relationships and discovery who (or what) you really are. But those final pages. Oh. Man. It really sucks that I have to wait so long for the next book, Of Triton. (There isn’t even a tentative publishing date yet!)

Simply speaking, I enjoyed this one. The mermaid aspect was a driving force in the story, but it wasn’t overpowering. It was a very unique spin, and the mythology that was woven in was a nice bonus. I also think that the ending of this book is what really put it over the top for me. I was thinking “3” material until those final pages. Now I can’t wait for Of Triton. If you don’t like open endings, better wait for the next book to come out before you read this one.

Review: Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of "The Little Mermaid" (Debbie Viguie)

Product Details:
Reading Level: any
Pages: 208
Publisher: October 24, 2006 by Simon Pulse
ISBN: 9781416940166
Source: Library book

Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of "The Little Mermaid" (Once Upon a Time)In a quiet fishing village seventeen years ago, one lone fisherman rescued a child from the sea. He and his wife raised the girl, Pearl, as their own daughter, never allowing themselves to wonder long about where she came from — or notice her silver hair, usually pale skin, and wide, dark blue eyes.

Pearl grows from a mysterious child into an unusual young woman, not always welcomed in the village. As all the other girls her age find husbands, she has only one friend to ease her loneliness. One very special, secret companion: Prince James.
But their friendship is shaken when trouble erupts in the kingdom — a conspiracy against the royal family combines with an evil enchantment from beneath the sea. Now, just when Pearl and James need each other most, bewitching magic and hints about Pearl's past threaten to tear them apart...forever.

Let me start by saying that The Little Mermaid is one of my all time favorite fairy tales (and Disney movies). I love it-- even the super sad ending. That story started my obsession with all things mermaid. A few years ago I picked up some other books in the "Once Upon a Time" series at a local library book sale. I read through them before I put them in my classroom library and thought that they were fun versions of many of my favorite fairy tales. I had no idea there was TLM book in the seriess (although it makes perfect sense). So, obviously, when I discovered this book did exist, I made it one of my summer goals to obtain a copy to read. My local book stores disappointed me with their lack of availability, but the library came through for me! I sat down a few days ago to start this book and fell head first into the "new" plot.

There are a few major differences in this version of TLM than other retellings I have found. First of all, Pearl is a mermaid living on land with no knowledge of her true identity. Add that to her relationship with her best friend (the Prince) and you already have a new tale. But it doesn't stop there... Other merfolk appear throughout the plot to really make this version do a tail-spin (pun intended).

When things started to get complicated, I realized that this would be a pretty straight forward read. I knew instantly when a few new characters appeared how things would play out. That disappointed me a bit because I had high hopes for this story, but then I realized this entire series is pretty predictable. Once I made up my mind to just read to enjoy the story, I found myself pretty happy with how things turned out. In the end, everything fit into a nice little box with a shiny bow.

Of course, making everything fit in said box made the plot a little transparent. There were so many loose ends that were quickly tied up (and in a somewhat unsatisfying way). But again, I reminded myself that I was reading this just for the new twist on a classic tale. I wasn't looking for an award winner or a new favorite mermaid book. In the end, I did manage to get a fun story (although a slightly rushed ending) that didn't take long to read. There was no deep thought or characters involved. Just a simple summer read.

If you enjoy mermaid stories, read this one for fun while you sit pool side or at the beach. You'll speed through it with ease. Do not read this book if you're looking for a break out mermaid novel that is beyond anything you've ever read before. You will be disappointed. I can safely say, however, that I enjoyed it-- but I'm glad I didn't buy the book. Another plus for the local public library!


Pinterest + Images = Book Cover Love (Foreign Settings)

I recently read Anna and the French Kiss for the first time ever. (Stop gasping!) Of course, I fell head-over-heels in love with the setting. As I thought about that, I realized that many of the books I adore have foreign settings. Naturally, that lead me to look for images on Pinterest... and viola. This week's topic: foreign settings.

I would snap these books up in a heart beat...

can you tell i love balloons?
I adore this picture.

foreign setting

book with a foreign setting
Runner up.

fantastic photo of London.

What do you think? Any of these look like awesome book covers? (You know you love the first one.) Did you find any images that would make great book covers?

Next Week: Mythology

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