Friday, July 8, 2011

Funny Fins and Merry Mermaids

Fins Are Forever
Lily is really Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia, an underwater mermaid kingdom where her father is the king. But Lily has chosen to give up her throne in order to stay on land with the boy she loves, her next-door neighbor and once archenemy, Quince. Now, in Fins are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs, Lily prepares to officially give up her throne, graduate high school, take the SATs, and follow through with a life above the surface as a "terapod" (mermaid on legs).

It was only a short few weeks ago when Lily chose to be unbound from Quince in order to give him freedom from being a merman and solidify her life on land. When a strong earthquake hits her small Florida town, it raises suspicions when the epicenter isn't even on a fault line- it is close to Thalassinia. But Lily doesn't have time to worry about that with the SATs coming up and being her only hope for college and a future as an un-princess on land. When her annoying, self-centered cousin Dosinia arrives at her doorstep having been exiled from Thalassinia, Lily's father makes her responsible for teaching Doe to respect humans. Although Lily can't get out of Doe what she did to get exiled, she knows it must be bad since the king never uses exile unless totally necessary.

Doe insists on making Lily's life miserable in small ways, but really crosses the line when Lily finds her with Brody (Lily's 3 year crush until she realized he wasn't her type and she was really in love with Quince). Doe and Bordy had clearly made out which is of course in direct violation of girl-code, but more importantly for a mermaid means now Doe and Brody are bonded and Brody is slowly transforming into a merman. For a girl who hates humans so much, being bound to Brody seems like punishment for Lily rather than something Doe really wanted. Now Lily must take Brody down to Thalassinia to be unbound.

When she gets to the kingdom, Lily's father agrees to the unbinding, but tells Lily she must do it since both Doe and Brody must be present. While in the kingdom, Lily runs into a guppyhood friend, Tellin, who is a prince of a neighboring mermaid kingdom. He begs Lily to bind with him, in formality only, in order to bring their kingdoms together and allow her to keep her throne. Lily is tempted, but her love for Quince is too strong to bind with another man. When Lily returns to land, she realizes the best way for Doe to have respect for humans is to stay bound to Brody (the same "punishment" her father gave her!). Now she must find a way to help Doe (without strangling her int he process), study for the SATs, and stop feeling so sad about losing her place as the next Queen of Thalassinia. Can she keep it all together?

This was a very cute follow up to the first book. While these aren't ground-breaking stories that will win countless awards, they are certainly fun and exciting reads. It is a good book for a young middle school student or an immature high school student. The content is completely clean, as is the language. The story is engaging enough to hold onto even the most unengaged reader. This is probably more of a "girl" book, but the content might be fine for either gender. I love Tera Lynn Childs. Her books are like a good chocolate milkshake on a warm summer day- a perfect guilty pleasure that will put a smile on your face!

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