Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Review: Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

The calendar says summer is officially over, and even here in New York the temperature has finally dropped below 80, but I think we can squeeze in one more summer read, right?

Forgive My FinsLily Sanderson is a mermaid. And not just any mermaid; she's the princess of Thalasinnia. She's also half-human, and after she discovered that her mother was human, she chose to spend a few years living on land with her aunt and attending Seaview High School. On the plus side, she gets to know family she never knew she had, and oggle swimming god Brody every day. On the negative side, she has to deal with her obnoxious neighbor, Quince, who calls her dumb names and likes to call her house when she's in the bathtub. Annoying and a little creepy.

While Lily is enjoying life on land, she has a deadline for returning to the sea. As the heir to the Thalasinnian throne, she must bond with a mate for life by the time she turns 18. Lily is sure that Brody is meant to be the love of her life, even if they've never actually had a conversation yet. All she needs is to kiss him, and they'll be bonded for life and all will be well. Unfortunately, Quince ruins Lily's brilliant plan, requiring an emergency trip with him to the depths of Thalasinnia, exposing her secret and potentially ruining her chances with Brody forever.

This is possibly the most perfect definition of "beach read" ever. It's about a mermaid, large chunks of it take place in or around oceans, and it's about the fluffiest, most unsubstantial, romance I've ever read. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but don't go into this book expecting complex characters or multiple sub-plots. Lily is single-minded in her pursuit of Brody, and that translates into being essentially the only plot of the book.

Similarly, I know this isn't the sort of book one isn't supposed to apply logic to, but I just can't help it, since there were a few things that just kept bothering me. Like the concept of bonding at 18. Mermaids have longer lifespans than humans, so why on Earth (why in Atlantis?) would there be a law saying the future ruler must choose her mate for life at 18? Especially since we see how selfish and short-sighted Lily can be, that just seems like a recipe for disaster.

On a similar logic-defying note, while I liked the attempt at creating unique mermaid lingo, some of it just doesn't make logical sense. Like saying "carp" instead of "crap." Sure, the words look similar enough (in English), but think about the etymology of crap - what does that have to do with a fish? Especially a fish that lives in freshwater, while the mermaids live in the saltwater ocean.

If you're a romance fan looking for one last breath of summer, perhaps with a need for a break from serious school-related books, this wouldn't be a bad choice. However, even with the blatantly obvious (and out of nowhere) setup for a sequel, I think I'm done with mermaids. What's the next mythological creature to get a romance?
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