Grade: 3.5 stars out of 5
What’s more embarrassing: pimple of day; bathing suit with nothing flattering the body; getting your first period while bathing suit shopping; running into a hot boy on your way to buy pads; run into your dad literally and buys you pads. Well, that’s not as bad compared to finding yourself having fins instead of feet. Some girls have all the luck.Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings is like no other coming-of-age story that I have read yet. It’s charming yet exciting with an adventure of lives at stake. The battle to save her family was impressive for a middle grade novel with such a cute cover.
Jade is a well-spoken narrator with enough spunk to keep the readers’ interest. Jade has a lot of her plate, but she is far from being that whiny tween a reader would hate to read about. I love Jade because even when she’s down, she’s not down for the count. Her best friend, Cori, helped with the character development of Jade as well as being a relatively, how do you say, a good friend! With so many things going wrong, Jade has at least one good positive thing in her life.
My only problem was with the male interest Luke. I found the ending to be too pitched perfect and a bit hard to swallow in terms of believable. It’s the happily ever after many of the readers’ want, but if were hinted more and his past clarified I would have bought the situation.
Source: Sourcebook Fire
Published: 1 December 2010; paperback
1. Was Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings based on a life experience?
Well, I’ve never spotted a real mermaid in the wild (yet!) but the backdrop for the story was definitely inspired by childhood boat trips from when I was a girl. My dad is a lobster fisherman and he’d take us from our little island off the coast of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to the mainland where we’d sail through a canal and a boat lock to get to a fresh-water lake. I was always amazed by the purple jellyfish I saw on the ocean side, compared to the white jellyfish on the lake side of the boat lock. I often wondered; did the purple jellyfish know about the white ones and vice versa? That was the inspiration from my mer-world in Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings.2. I noticed that the synopsis included Jade's father Googling on his Blackberry, do you think the advancement of technology only give more options to humiliate kids? Or does technology make things more private rather that say, his father asking a sales assistant in the store?
Moms and dads have been embarrassing teens since the beginning of time. Jade’s dad, however, ramps up ‘mortification’ to a whole new level, one Google-search at a time. But Dad is just trying his best to navigate his young daughter through the hormone-charged trials of puberty so it’s all with the best of intentions; making it (almost) forgivable.3. Why mermaids? Why not vampires, angels, demons, werewolves?
Many people have negative opinions on technology; how the twitter/ facebook/ texting culture seems to alienate people in their own little multi-media bubbles. I, on the other hand, think technology has helped bring people together in really neat ways. Sure, some people take it too far—believing everything they read on Wikipedia, texting at the dinner table or talking loudly on cell phones in public places—but for the most part, I love having so much information and connections at my fingertips.
I have two daughters and one day we were talking about phobias. I have a fear of heights so we were laughing about how funny an acrophobic bird would be, or an arachnophobic spider, or an aquaphobic fish…which led to a silly discussion about aquaphobic mermaids. That was it! The idea stuck. Hemaphobic vampires just didn’t seem as funny.
You can find more about Helene at her website.