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Title: The Mermaid's Mirror
Author: L.K. Madigan
Genre: YA, fantasy, romance
Ages: 10+, mild language and sexual references. No drugs or nudity.
Blurb: 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 a near drowning in his past, he can’t bear to let Lena take up the risky sport.
Yet something lures Lena to the water … an ancient, powerful magic. One morning Lena catches sight of this magic: a beautiful woman—with a silvery tail.
Nothing will keep 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 …
Review: What brought me to read "The Mermaid's Mirror" by L. K. Madigan was the magical-looking cover. It seemed middle-grade, and even now it sits in my mind between middle-grade and YA, as the novel would be relatable to both parties. Anyway, the beginning was very quiet for me, very slow. I did not want to give up, as I had faith that it would pick up, and it did. After Lena, the protagonist, begins surfing, the action and "magic" began to arise, and it was by then that I knew that I was in for something special.
I can't be certain about grammar, spelling and language, since I was handed an advance readers copy from Netgalley, but I shall mention this. Madigan, at times, implemented in her sentences phrasings that didn't quite work well together, or just felt a bit awkward. Nevertheless, this did not really affect the actual story.
The setting and the people that inhabit it seem laid-back and pretty chill, and that works, because this place is a surf-y place. Lena's family- her parents, Brian and Allie, and brother Cole- constitute a loving family, although unconventional (and Lena points this out at one time, but relaxes as she discovers many of her peers have stranger family trees) as her mom isn't really her mom-- her real mom died when Lena was only four years old. At least that's what her father tells her.
While a mermaid story isn't entirely new, the concept was refreshing and enjoyable. I found myself tearing several times throughout the book, which is always a good sign. This book hits on loss and grief, deceit and betrayal, family, friends where one truly belongs, and whether that is really where they want to be. I was half satisfied with the ending, but I'm left wanting more, even though everything was pretty much tied up nicely. To me, the book's ending had a sort of "Spirited Away" (Hayao Miyazaki) feel to it, which is good. I loved Spirited Away, and it remains one of my favourite films to date.
You can buy "The Mermaid's Mirror" (HC) at Amazon or Book Depository. It releases October 4th 2010!