02 julho 2011

Review: Forgive My Fins (Tera Lynn Childs)

Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books (2011)
Format:  Paperback | 331 pages
Genre(s): Young Adult, Paranormal Romance

WARNING: Contains a Lot of Spoilers!
While I really like mermaids (look at all the mermaid related books I've read this year) I was never particularly interested in this book. "Forgive my Fins" always seemed to me to be the type of fluffy, cute paranormal romance I only enjoy reading occasionally. Let's just say I prefer my mermaids to be darker and less human than Cleo, Emma and Ricky (if you're wondering what I'm talking about, it's the Teen TV show H2O).

Still, this finally came out on paperback and I did enjoy a couple of fluffy teen romances this year so I thought "why not"? I read the synopsis and I liked the idea of enemies turned lovers (oh the potential).
I guess I was expecting this book to surprise me in a positive way, like "The Ghost and the Goth".

Unfortunately that didn't happen. "Forgive my Fins" is just as fluffy, sweet and full of clichés as I feared. Not to mention it has a thin plot, cookie-cutter characters and weak world-building.

The story is pretty standard. The main character, Lily (who I found annoying most of the time) is a half-mermaid living with her human aunt. She is actually also a royal princess of the seas (her father is the king and he has a trident) and decided to 'explore' her human side before being called to her duties. So she's been experiencing high-school, with all it's ups and downs including a crush on the popular kid, Brody, who she thinks may just be her life mate. And you know why that is? Because he is a good swimmer. I kid you not.

Then there is the leather-clad bully who seems to target only Lily with his mocking words. Of course the reader understands immediately (like, by page 5 or something) that he likes her but Lily doesn't, obviously. Because if she had brains it would be a short-story. But even with this premise the author could have written something interesting if only she had explored the chemistry between the two main characters.

So basically you have the start of a pretty standard love-triangle that only gets more ridiculous when Lily ends up 'mated' to the leather-clad hunk (whose name is Quince, the poor guy) by accident. She doesn't want it but her Dad wants her to try at least, which results in many trips to underwater realms, silly tests in desert Islands and other unrealistic stuff. All the while the reader nods sagely because it is so obvious she likes the bully.

So story-wise? Weak. Pretty weak.

Then you have the characters. Most of them are pretty stereotyped and one-dimensional: Lily's best friends, Brody, Aunt Rachel, Lily's dad (who is like a copy of Ariel's father... no really). Lily is too dumb to live and honestly not very charismatic. Not to mention she seems to have personality shifts; for example right at the beginning of the book she tells us mermaids aren't good at human subjects like math and sciences, but later on she is able to explain the mechanics (in very scientific lingo too) of breathing underwater as a mermaid.
Also none of them seems particularly surprised when Lily confesses to being a mermaid: three separate characters in three separate occasions learn the truth and they just go all "right, that's cool, what's for lunch". I mean... uh... mermaid? She's a mermaid. As in non-human, mythical creature?
Quince is, by far, the best character in the book (so of course, some of the best lines are his). So character-wise? Could improve. A lot.

Last but not least: world-building. Again, not brilliant. Merpeople are basically humans with fins. They live in cities and have houses, parties, love sushi (even use chopsticks) and don't even think of luring unwary sailors to their deaths. They're... fluffy. There was no mystique in Child's mermaid world. It was rather boring and ordinary.

Overall: if there was a word to describe this book it would be... pink, I guess. This is a badly paced teen romance. I do admit it has it's cute moments but if you're looking for well-written fluff, look elsewhere. This book needed more story and character development to be a truly interesting read.

6 comentários:

WhiteLady3 disse...

Because if she had brains it would be a short-story.
LOL Unfortunatelly, this applies to so many books that it's scaring!

slayra disse...

Indeed. You are right. And not just YA, either. :P

Laura disse...

There is just one thing I don't really understand in this. I mean, I get it, the author makes the mermaids (or, at least, Lily) to get interested in the human world. That is alright, that happens with Ariel as well. But... why (and HOW) would a mermaid feel that the only way to feel the human experience is turning herself in the typical teenager? Plus, shouldn't Lily have lots problems adapting (except for the "I'm bad at maths and science" thing) to our world?

Just asking but I haven't red the book. And I don't know if I shall. I find mermaids interesting but they kill sailors they don't... have sushi with chopsticks o.o

slayra disse...

Not really since merpeople live just like humans. They have houses, shops, restaurants all in the bottom of the sea. :P And she wanted to explore the human world because her mother was human. :/

Yeah, that was my problem as well... these mermaids were really ordinary and, well not very interesting.

Laura disse...

So, basically, the author grabbed our world and pasted it in the bottom of the sea? :/ that is a little bit disappointing. I mean, I would like to read something completly diferent or at least not completly equal to our world.

YOU should wirte a book about mermaids. I bet it would be much more interesting!

slayra disse...

Basically, yes.

Ahah, thanks but I doubt it. My talent is to rant about the books I didn't like, but I'm an awful writer. :P

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