Forbidden Sea by Sheila A. Nielson: Book Review

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Forbidden Sea Book Cover

4 Stars

Adrianne’s father died a few years ago, leaving her and her sister, mother and aunt practically destitute. Adrianne blames herself for the family’s misfortune. She works hard and tries her best to take care of everyone. One night, her younger sister runs out of the house and gets caught in a raging storm. Adrianne goes to the shore looking for her and finds her in the arms of a mermaid. The mermaid scratches up Adrianne’s wrist but eventually lets Cecily go. This is only the beginning of Adrianne’s entanglement with the mermaid.

I really enjoyed this. It has the feel of a fairy tale, and is influenced by a few, but it was still something I truly enjoyed reading. But then, I’m a huge sucker for fairy tales.

Adrianne is a great character. She’s trying so hard to provide for her family, but she’s only about 14 years old. Mistakes happen. She keeps trying and trying but she can’t seem to catch a break. She’s hopelessly in love with a boy who only has eyes for the village beauty, something that Adrianne in her dirt and rags will never be. She looks out for her sister, mothers her mom, and is a saint for putting up with her nasty aunt. She’s a character that I would like to know. In fact, I wanted the story to go on just a little longer; I wanted to know what her life was going to look like in the future.

I ripped through this book, but about 3/4 of the way through, the story got bogged down in description. If I were an author, I would have a hard time reining in the descriptors in a book like this too, but honestly, the story started to drag for me. I’m pretty good at filling in the scenery. I’d rather have the story move forward a little more quickly.

The other thing that bothered me is that, while I adore this cover, this is not how the mermaid is described. Oh, most of it is right, down to the tiniest details. But her hair is supposed to be light green. It’s a small thing, but it’s been bugging me. I read an ARC. Maybe it’s been changed for the final copy. I don’t know.

Anyway, if you like fairy tales, I think you’ll be happy with this one. It’s on the younger side of YA, but has a bit more depth than I expected.

This book is released today! So if you’re interested, you should be able to get your hands on it now!

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1 Comment

  1. This will be a mood read for me. I saw another review today that gave it 4 stars also.

    You and I are alike when it comes to description.

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