The Compulsive Reader: Reading Rants: The Great Big Post of Mer

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Reading Rants: The Great Big Post of Mer

When I was a little compulsive reader, my wonderful mother would take me to the library each week so that I could work at my quest of reading every book in sight, a mission that would often have me perusing the shelves for far longer than anyone's patience extended, and checking out upwards of a about 10 books. On one such visit, I found a mermaid book that I fell in love with.

For the longest time, I couldn't remember the name of the mermaid book, but I could recall random passages down to the minutest detail. I remembered the main characters's first name, what the covers looked like, and how the trilogy ends. But. Not. The. Title. The librarians at my library had no clue what I was talking about when I asked, and I combed through the shelves and databases one day, but to no avail.

Until...the love Jaclyn Dolamore. She's the author of Magic Under Glass and the yet-to-be-released Between the Sea and Sky (a MERMAID BOOK!), and she held a contest that I won and sent me a box of books. I was stunned and ecstatic to find that this long-lost mermaid book of mine was included in the prize--book one of the Water trilogy by Kara Dalkey!

This was my first mermaid book (though I have loved mermaids ever since before I could read...and I'll confess to memorizing many...er, all...of the songs to Disney's The Little Mermaid at age four), and it solidified my love for all tales set under the sea. But, besides Dalkey's trilogy, here are a few other mermaid books I am fond of!

The Water Trilogy by Kara Dalkey

Beginning with Ascension, this trilogy tells the story of Nia, a young mermaid who lives in Atlantis, and dreams of becoming the next member, or Avatar, in the council that rules over the merpeople. But when she isn't chosen, a complicated and dangerous side to her government is revealed, taking Nia from the depths of the ocean to dry land in Reunion and back again in the conclusion, Transformation. Though it looks like new copies of the book are scarce (though there are plenty of used ones starting at a penny) this trilogy is very affordable in the Kindle and eBook edition!

Midnight Pearls by Debbie Viguie

This is a retelling of the classic story The Little Mermaid. Pearl has never known where she comes from, but she loves the sea and she knows she's not like other girls. But she has a friend in Prince James, and perhaps a chance at something more, if only nefarious plots against James and a strong curse don't tear the two apart.

Daughters of the Sea Quartet by Kathryn Lasky

Lasky's new quartet is a historical fiction/fantasy in which three mermaid sisters are separated at birth and lead three very different lives. You can read my review of the first book, Hannah, here. The second one, May, will be released next March!

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

This is a hilarious and fun modern twist on the mermaid legend in which Lily, princess of her underwater kingdom, Thalissinia, and half human, is on the lookout for her soul mate, and thinks she has found him...only, she ends up kissing the wrong boy, which lands her into a heap of trouble! This fun book also has a sequel, Fins Are Forever, which will be out sometime next year (and whose cover I am revealing here next Friday!). Read my review here.

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman

Though not quite as straightforward as the others I've mentioned, this book is definitely magical and unique--it has a merman rather than a mermaid! When Miranda travels to Selkie Island to help her mother close up her late grandmother's house, she meets Leo. He's wonderful in every way, but Miranda soon discovers there's something different about him. Read my review here.

And though this isn't a mermaid book, it's along the same line, and I'm sure you'll love it!

Seven Tears Into the Sea by Terri Farley

At the age of ten, Gwen Cooke had a strange encounter with a boy with dark, slightly tilted eyes. He came to her on the beach, whispered strange words in her ear, and then disappeared. Shortly thereafter, her family moved away from their seaside home and Gwen never saw the boy again.

Now seventeen, Gwen is returning to her childhood home. Her nana asked her to come. But Gwen knows it's time to go back for another reason: She yearns for the sea. Perhaps the sea itself is calling to her. Perhaps the memory of the boy and his haunting words are drawing her back to the place they met. Perhaps it's time for her to face her destiny.

And here are two forthcoming mermaid books I'm excited for!

Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her sister as a siren, the highest calling a mermaid can have. But when her sister runs away to the mainland, reportedly to elope with a human, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her.

Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily through the streets of New Sweeling. There, she will come upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood - Alandare, a boy, now a man, who belongs to a winged race of people. Together, Esmerine and Alandare put aside their differences to find her sister, and in the process discover a love that cannot be bound by land, sea, or air.

The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan

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 …


La Coccinelle said...

I don't think I've read many mermaid books. The only one I can think of is Alice Hoffman's Aquamarine.

Of course, I loved The Little Mermaid when it came out! I even had the songbook so I could play the songs on the piano (or try to, anyway).

Nancy Werlin said...


Nancy Werlin said...

Aaargh. Sorry about that last meaningless comment. I was trying to recommend WATER SHIFTER by Laura Williams McCaffrey. Not *quite* a mermaid tale, and yet definitely plays with that folklore.

Rhiannon Hart said...

That's so great that you found your favourite books in such a serendipitous way. They look like gorgeous books. I must try them.

Unavailable said...

I love mermaid books! I read Hannah (Daughters OF The Sea) when it first came out and really enjoyed it. I searched and searched for the next book, but I could never find it. Thanks so much! =) I have now added it to my to-read list.

Also, I know how you feel. When I was in middle school I read a book series, and I can remember the details vividly, but for the life of me I can't remember the title! I've combed through numerous bookshelves at various bookstores and haven't found them. Hopefully, I will be as lucky as you and find it one day.

jaclyndolamore said...

That is so funny because I almost didn't even include that book in the giveaway list...I thought, well, it's not a new and shiny YA and my copy is a little battered and will anyone have even HEARD of this book?

I really liked it though, and I thought some of my blog readers might like mermaid books, so I threw it in the list, and voila! A perfect prize for you!! (Still sorry my copy is a little battered...) I really need to dig up the other books in the trilogy...

The Compulsive Reader said...

Nancy, thanks for the recommendation!

And Jaclyn, thanks for including it! I love it, and I like knowing books are well-loved!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Great list! I also love mermaids so this will be useful to expand my huge wishlist! :)

Anonymous said...

I love me some mermaid too! :D
I'm so glad you found your childhood books! :D
I think that there are some books that you just don't forget.

myztified said...

I thought I was the only one who remembered the awesomeness of the Water trilogy. I'm not surprised you remembered the ending.

It was my memory of the ending that had me searching for the series a few years ago. I only remembered the ending and the word "Water" from the covers. Unfortunately, there were a lot of books in the library with the word "water" in the cover.

I finally found the first two books in the series at a Friends of the Library sale. They were library copies, and looked very battered and well read.

I've also read Seven Tears into the Sea, but didn't like it very much. As for mermaid books, have you tried "Sirena", or "Summer of the Mermaid"?

marian said...

omg!! i read the water trilogy when i was younger too! and just like you i had forgotten the title as well!! for the longest time i've been trying really hard to remember it. thanks to this post i finally found it!! thanks!! i'm gonna go check it out and re-read it :D
oh and for more mermaid books you should definitely read "sirena" and "the last mermaid"

Lauren said...

These look really good- definitely going on my TBR list

I'm dealing with that memory-loss in a selkie book right now. All I remember is that the girl (who we eventually find out is the daughter of a selkie), lived inland all her life. Then, when she moves to the coast, she gets sick on the ride over because she can feel the tides moving...and goes through a discovery process of finding her sealskin. I only remember that one scene, but it's -so- vivid!

Unknown said...

Ooh great list! I've been into mermaid books lately!

I'm working on "Midnight Pearls". I've recently reviewed "The Mermaid's Mirror". I liked "Forgive My Fins" and I can not wait for the sequel! I don't know how I feel about "Sea Change"... a mermaid book I absolutely adore is Siren by Tricia Rayburn. I highly recommend it!