Thursday, September 15, 2011
Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
When a mermaid has her first kiss, she 'bonds' for life with the person she kisses. For Lily, a mermaid princess living in secret on land, this means she has ended up accidentally bonded to her obnoxious neighbour, instead of to the boy of her dreams. So begins a tidal wave of relationship drama, as Lily discovers that happily-ever-after never sails as smoothly as you plan it to.
I have seen so many excited whispers and chats online about Forgive My Fins I had to give in a buy a copy to read to see what the fuss was about.
And I do not regret it for one single moment. It's a fast, very fun read. I will forgive you if from the above premise you roll your eyes and think...really? A mermaid princess?
But it works so well. It really, in lesser writerly hands, could have become very hammy, very silly and a bit dire. Instead, we have a fresh voice, a very well thought out mythology and world building to contend with both on land and in the sea. I did not for one second doubt Lily's actions or voice. She is funny, charming, loyal, a bit crazy and utterly well, Lily.
The story really zooms ahead, and I think overall we are with Lily for just over two weeks in real time. In that time she screws up, tries to fix it, realises her mistake, has fights, pretends to be a fish, has more fights, cries, stands up for herself and brainwashes someone. So a lot happens. And it is just fabulous and fun and it was the perfect read to lift me out of my reader slump I was in a few weeks ago.
I'm worried readers may think it has no substance because I call it a fun book to read as fun tends to equate to airy and light and inconsequential in some readers' minds. And although there is part of that to play in the book, that yes, it is fun and airy, it definitely isn't inconsequential as it has an underlying message. Several in fact. Some of them are: clean up the mess you have made / take responsibility for your actions / realise that you are not the centre of the universe / your actions have repercussions. But these lessons are subtle and cleverly woven throughout the book and it's never made the focus of the story. We get to enjoy and love with Lily and feel heartsore for her and laugh and cry.
I really did believe in the "forced" romance between Lily and Quince. I thought Quince was the prefect foil for Lily and the voice of reason, the voice of teasing and well, he brought the hotness. Lily's obsession with the other boy Brody is just too funny and I loved Quince's ways of trying to wake her up to the fact that Brody was in fact a bit pointless.
This is a great fun book to read - definitely recommended for readers from around 12+. There is a lot of humour, deeply funny sea-isms from Lily i.e. "son of a swordfish" and overall, it made me feel happy and fuzzy inside. Whilst on the outside I managed to retain my mean street facade. Kidding!
The sequel is called Fins are Forever and it sounds ace.
Find Tera Lynn Childs' website here. Forgive my Fins is out, and has been for some time, from Templar in the UK.
Read an extract here.