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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: The Mermaid's Mirror

The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Pub. Date: October 4th, 2010
Pages: 336
Age Level: 13+

Synopsis via Goodreads
Lena has lived her whole life near the beach — walking for miles up and down the shore and breathing the salty air, swimming in the cold water, and watching the surfers rule the waves — the problem is, she’s spent her whole life just watching.
As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Lena vows she will no longer watch from the sand: she will learn to surf.

But her father — a former surfer himself — refuses to allow her to take lessons. After his near drowning years ago, he can’t bear to let Lena take up the risky sport.

Yet something keeps drawing Lena to the water . . . an ancient, powerful magic. And one morning Lena catches sight of this magic: a beautiful woman — with a silvery tail.

Now nothing can stop Lena from seeking the mermaid, not even the dangerous waves at Magic Crescent Cove.

And soon . . . what she sees in the mermaid’s mirror will change her life forever.

Enchanting and heartfelt, The Mermaid's Mirror is unlike anything I have ever read before; L.K. Madigan did a lovely job crafting this luminous story.

I think the only actual problem I had with this book was the protagonist, Lena. Don't get me wrong, I liked her well enough and I felt her emotions and actions were very raw and realistic. My problem was that I felt like I didn't get quite enough personality out of her. I think if Madigan had used a first person perspective, I might could have gotten a better sense of Lena and connected with her more efficiently. I did love her bond with her family though and thought that was something that was very keenly done. While Lena's family wasn't perfect, I mean they obviously had their problems, I loved how close Lena was to them and how involved they were in her life and the story overall. So many books where the protagonist has a step mom, they are like mortal enemies or distant from each other emotionally. None of that nonsense here though and I was glad to see how close Lena was to her step-mom, Allie, and until it was actually mentioned that Allie was her step-mom, I would have never guessed it. I also really loved Lena's father and little brother, Cole. Pem, Kai, Melusine, and Lorelei were also among some of the other great supporting characters. Would embellish further on the various supporting characters but think you'd probably rather I didn't if you plan to read this.

One of the many things that I love about The Mermaid's Mirror is how the plot builds and develops throughout the story. In the beginning, there wasn't a lot of action and the fantastical element was more minimal and yet I never felt bored as the story constantly captivated my attention. As the story progressed the fantasy element grew more and more and by the last third of the book, Madigan had gradually introduced me to and immersed me in one of the most magical worlds I've ever been in. There was one key detail in this book that I had figured out from the beginning but that didn't seem to prevent me from enjoying it and the rest of the book was decidedly unpredictable. The thing is though, I never felt like I had to try and get ahead of myself and discover plot twists beforehand. The Mermaid's Mirror was one of those books that just had me going with the flow and relishing what I was reading when I was reading it, letting everything else just come to me in its own time.

I could easily sum up Madigan's writing style in one word. Beautiful! Her writing was lyrical and emotionally wrought and possessed such vivid use of imagery. However, as mentioned before, I do feel the third person narrative kept me from connecting with Lena more than I did but other than that, I loved it.

While the epilogue for The Mermaid's Mirror was relatively happy, the ending overall was heartbreaking in more ways than one. While I thought the decision Lena had to face was unfair, life is like that sometimes and I feel that what happened was almost inevitable, though that doesn't exactly make me happy about it. While The Mermaid's Mirror can stand alone, the ending leaves off in a way that says, "Don't worry, there is more to this story. We're not quite done yet." Right now, I'm just praying to God with all my heart that Madigan will be able to give this book the sequel it deserves and that she has planned for it.

All in all, The Mermaid's Mirror is a radiant, touching story that beautifully twines together both coming-of-age aspects and mythical elements. I would highly recommend this unique and refreshing read to anyone; I know I'll sure be reading it again in the future. I have already started, and am greatly enjoying, L.K. Madigan's first YA novel, Flash Burnout. This woman has got some serious talent and she is in my prayers as she battles cancer. Frankly, cancer is really starting to piss me off and it needs to pack its bags and leave this wonderful author the heck alone. Probably not the most professional way to end this review but I've never really been one to always go along with what is deemed 'professional'.

Characters: B
Writing: B+
Plot: A-
Ending: B
Enjoyment/Likability: B+
Recommendable: A-

Overall: B+

Cover: A

If this review has got you wanting to read this lovely book and you are considering buying it, which I recommend, you'll want to check out thisCONTEST on my blog to support L.K. Madigan. There are some totally fab prizes you can win!


cathleen a. daly said...

Great review Brianna, I've been curious about this one, this made me want to read it.

Shannon The Bookstalker said...

Thanks for the review Briana. I wasn't so sure about this one, but now I might give it a shot.

Unknown said...

I agree the cover is an A. I love the girls hair and I love the beach. What is not to love?

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Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Wonderful review, Briana! The closing to your review is very much okay with me. In fact, I couldn't agree more. I'm not sure if mermaid stories are really my thing, but I will be getting Flash Burnout shortly (and maybe this too, since your review for it is making me reconsider mermaids).

Mavie said...

This one has a very beautiful cover! I honestly never payed much attention to this but i should give it a try someday!

About Me

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Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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