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 …
(Synopsis taken from goodreads)
Title: The Mermaid's Mirror
Author: L.K. Madigan
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Mermaids
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: October 4, 2010
My Rating: 5/5
Lena has always wanted to surf, and decides for her sixteenth birthday, what better present than surfing lessons? She asks her dad, Brian, if he would teach her to surf, as he was a surfer back in his day. His near death experience is one of the primary reasons why he won't teach her. Regardless of his experience, she still yearns to take up surfing. Something keeps drawing her to the beach, and she just wants to be able to surf, and become one with the sea. One night, she sees someone out in the water, something who she thought, was only found in fairy tales. Without her father's knowledge, she takes surfing lessons and shows that she is quite proficient at the sport. All the while, she is hoping to see the mythical creature again, therefore proving that she isn't losing her mind.
This book may be slowly paced for some; however, I absolutely loved it. I loved the sense of unity that we see in Lena's family. She has a tight bond with her little brother, Cole, and has a relatively good relationship with her parents. She is a teenager though, and does act out. Her character is believable. She does things that I may not condone, but given the circumstances, I can understand why she did them. This book is one that should be devoured slowly. It unravels at its own pace, allowing the reader to glean insight as Lena does. Her family unit is strong, and doesn't take a backseat to the story. We are brought in to feel the emotions that run through every member of her family, therefore making this a more poignant read.
Lena has her flaws, but she is a well-sculpted character. She is further enhanced by decisions she makes near the end of the book, which in my estimation, make her evolve into a better character.
The plot meanders, ebbing in and out like the tide. This book by no means is a fast-paced read. The description of the mermaids and their world, as well as the surfers' slang, captivated as well. It felt like an honest representation of the surfing world.
The only complaint I had was with the ending. It seemed rushed, and somewhat callous (but that's because I was immersed in the characters lives and have a bleeding heart). It does leave the book open for another novel. There is so much left to be explored, and I truly hope there is a follow up novel. This is definitely an author to watch.
All in all, this novel was refreshing, captivating, and exceedingly well-crafted. I think that it will be a favourite among those who are ready for a change from vampires and the like.
Disclaimer: This book was obtained through netgalley, free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for sending me this copy to review.