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Me on Books

Me on Books features reviews of young adult novels, the occasional middle grade or graphic novel, and promotes Canadian young adult authors as much as possible. :)

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For Darkness Shows the Stars
Diana Peterfreund
Perfect Ruin
Lauren DeStefano

Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath

Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath - Helene Boudreau Jade's summer starts off rather confusingly. She's never sure if it'll be a tail day or a legs day, she's heard nothing about her mom's whereabouts after she returned to the ocean, and while she might've been kissed by mer-boy Luke, it's been twenty-one days since and now... nothing. But she doesn't really have time to figure him out or how to use her new tail. The plan: find Mom and figure out a way to get her back on dry land. If only the ocean wasn't so big and frightening.More than anything, Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath is fun and entertaining. Jade's story continues in this book with some of the same issues as the first, like her shiny new mermaid's tail and the weird complexities of teenage boys, but there are also some new ones that keep it fresh and exciting.What I've enjoyed about both the previous book and this new one is that all of Jade's problems and experiences get an equal amount of worrying over. Sometimes, certain plot points or events get overshadows by others, but Boudreau has a way of plotting and gives readers a well-rounded mix of Jade and the things she has to deal with. Like being a mermaid, and searching for her mom, and figuring out Luke and why he's been acting weird, and some undersea troubles, and some dry land troubles. Jade gets wrapped up and weighed down by so many things, but she seems to find a way to keep on going.Jade's character is rather interesting. She's quirky and not so average (not counting the mermaid's tail). Her teen girl insecurities were perfect, because what teenage girl actually understands teenage boys? Also, it might just be me, but I kept having to remind myself that Jade is only fourteen. There were times when she felt older. Of course, there were times when her age did show.There's an apparent influx of YA novels featuring mermaids, but the humour and the intrigue of this series makes it stand out. It's not as dark as some, not as otherworldly as others, but there's something about it that made me think it was all real. That Jade was real, that her small oceanside town was real, that the ice cream store she worked part-time in was real, that everything was real. It's the fact that Jade has mermaid issues mixed with actual real-life issues that make this series one to enjoy.