Friday, November 18, 2011

To Mer or Not to Mer

Tempest Rising
Written by: Tracy Deebs
Released: May 10, 2011 by Walker Books for Young Readers

Summary: Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her-and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

Mermaids – the next big YA trend and I couldn’t be happier. What makes it even better is that almost all mermaid novels have gorgeous covers and this one does not disappoint.

But if we judged a book by its cover all the time we book bloggers would read a bunch of horrible books with pretty covers and overlook the amazing books with ugly ones. Thankfully, this is a book that you can judge by its cover and I’ll tell you why.
First and foremost this cover obviously states that the novel is about a mermaid (duh) so the reader has a vague idea of what to expect. Definitely there will be a lot of time spent in the water – as the underwater background suggests – and the plot will have a little mystery.
Ok, I’m totally BS-ing you. But really, judge away with this one.
Tempest is the type of girl who I would like to hang out with because she’s super cool and would teach me how to surf all while hanging out with really attractive guys. But there were so many times that I wanted to slap her. Especially at the end, but I’ll get to that in a moment. Other than that, I liked reading about her. I liked following Tempest through the mermaid transformation and the situation that she’s very suddenly thrust in the middle of.
I’m going to warn you, there’s a slight love triangle happening in this novel, just like the summary leads you to believe, but as the reader you know who the choice is going to be so it’s not really that big of a deal. Still, both guys are sweet in their own way and you find yourself slightly rooting for the underdog just a little bit because he is just so cute.
I really enjoyed this novel but I also went into it knowing that I would love it. There was action, adventure, love, betrayal, and a quest for answers. There were fight scenes and tears shed along with romantic sighs and quiet yelling at the characters to remove certain body parts from certain cavities. Basically it has everything that a mermaid YA novel should have in order to be great. I was kept at attention and on the edge of my seat for a lot of the novel just wanting to know what was going to happen next. In fact I read this novel from start to finish in a very short period of time due to my inability to disconnect from the pages. There were a few things that I didn’t like about this novel, though.
First, there’s the ending. Ok, I get it, really I do, but I almost screamed in frustration. I don’t want to ruin the ending so I’m not going to go into details, but what the hell Tempest? Not even a freaking “Goodbye, I love you”? If I were on the receiving end of this whole situation I would be super pissed for not being even a passing thought. One thing I did like about the novel was that it didn’t end on a huge cliff-hanger. Yes, there were several unanswered questions but I could have lived with it as a stand-alone if need be. Thankfully, it was building for at least one more, so I won’t have to make do with just one.
The villain fell a little flat for me. I was more intrigued by something else that happened very quickly than I was with the evil sea witch. I thought that the build-up for her was well written, but the entire confrontation was a little too Breaking Dawn for this reader.
And what’s with the coldness that’s the big focus for about the first five chapters and then BOOM never mentioned again. I mean, seriously, you’re forced to read several paragraphs about how cold this girl is, how she can’t stop shivering, and then all of a sudden... what? She’s not cold anymore – ever? There’s a brief moment where it’s semi-brought up but it really means nothing in the long run and doesn’t explain it. I guess it’s just me but this really irked me.
Some of the lore was a little vague for me as well, but I think that it will be explored more in the second novel which is due out next June – a novel I can’t wait to read.
Despite the problems that I had with this novel, it delivered exactly what I wanted from reading it. It’s fun, cute, adventurous, and it has such a pretty cover. I’m giving it a 7.5/10 and it’s one that I’ll definitely be passing on to fellow YA lovers who also like mermaids and magic.


Christy (Love of Books) said...

Haha - "I'm totally BS-ing you." Maybe the sun came out and she suddenly warmed up. lol. Seriously though, I haven't read a mermaid book yet. I know, I know... I will. I like her tattoo though.

The Slowest Bookworm said...

I just received this book this week. I do love the cover, but I'm hoping I love the story too!