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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

REVIEW: EVERBLUE BY BRENDA PANDOS


TITLE: Everblue                        SERIES: Mer Tales, #1
AUTHOR: Brenda Pandos        PUBLISHER: Obsidian Mountain 
PUB. DATE: July 30, 2011      FORMAT: Paperback, 304 pgs SOURCE: Received from author (thank you!!!)
Everblue (Mer Tales #1)


She wanted her life to change... he wanted his to stay the same.
Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.
Ashlyn is about to discover what she'd thought to be true her whole life, wasn't, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.
THREE WORDS: Enchanting. Breathtaking. Romantic

MY “I JUST FINSHED THIS BOOK” REACTION:  I need Book Two now. Like right NOW…please. Oh and I wouldn’t mind having my own merman like Fin too *swoons*

MY REVIEW: This is one of the recently published books that I have been most excited about reading. I mean mermaids, mystery, and romance?! Yes please to all three! So I was so thrilled when Brenda Pandos’ Everblue not only met my expectations, but completely blew me away. I found Everblue to be a captivating, wondrously original and impossible to put down read.

Everblue is told from the point of view of two characters: Ash and Fin. Ash is a normal, 17 year old high school senior, while Fin is a 17 year old merman. Ash, and Fin’s twin sister Tatchi, are best friends. Ash and Tatchi dream of leaving Tahoe behind and going to college in Florida together. Ash simply wants to leave behind her boring normal life, while Tatchi wants nothing more than to be normal. Fin, Tatchi and their parents are forced to return to the Mer city beneath the waters of Lake Tahoe without telling Ash the truth of what they really are or even goodbye. On land, Ash must deal with missing Tatchi, her lingering crush on Fin, and the woes of high school. Underneath the everblue, Fin and Tatchi must fight for their freedom, their lives, and their people.

I’m a total mermaid fangirl, I’ll admit it. When I was little I wanted to be Ariel and I had one of those annoying creepy singing mermaid dolls from the 80’s and I used to wear diving flippers in the pool and pretend they were my fins while I tried to swim gracefully with my mermaid hair flowing so majestically behind me. You get the point…me + mermaids=true love. So the promise of a mermaid story drew me to this book, but the beautiful and imaginative story is what kept me up all night reading.

In this book, Pandos has created a whole new world of mermaids that I’ve never seen before. She has taken mermaid myths, legends, and lore and has added her own fantastically creative and original spin to produce a truly enchanting and innovative idea. As a fantasy and mermaid lover, I found her take on the world of mermaids to be quite refreshing.

Pandos writes with such breathtaking clarity, detail, and vivid imagery that her mermaid world feels incredibly real, and I was simply swept away into it. The fantasy elements are delightful and whimsical, but also smart. Beyond the fantasy elements, there’s a real depth and insightfulness to this mermaid world that come through as the complexities of mer political and social hierarchy, law, and customs are explored.

As awesome as the fantasy elements are, this is very much a character driven story. The story is told from Ash and Fin’s perspective in alternating chapters, so these characters have to be likable, relatable, and realistic, which they totally are. I found it really fascinating to get both a female and male perspective and was intrigued by the differences this made in their respective chapters. Ash has a shy, quiet, and subtle personality that adds a softness and emotional edge to her chapters. While Fin has a big, confident, unpredictable personality that adds a bit more urgent excitement to his chapters and makes them more action driven. But the two differing perspectives and vibes that these characters lend to their chapters never feel overwhelming or too contrasting; I found them to really balance and complement one another.

The supporting characters are excellent and well developed as well. Tatchi is feisty, witty, and her longing for a normal life really pulled at my heart. Callahan and Lily are two romantic interests for our main characters, and even though those relationships don’t last and I may not have wanted Ash or Fin to be with them, I really connected with these characters. I love the fact that even though I was rooting for Ash and Fin the whole time, Callahan and Lily were love interests that I actually liked and I actually appreciated the relationships and friendships they had with the main characters. And I would totally be on board with a Callahan/Lily ship! I have to quickly mention my love for Ash’s father because I do, I totally love him! He reminds me so much of my father and I just wanted to reach through the pages and hug him.

The romantic aspects are lovely and sweet, but I really liked how they were also complicated and messy and never easy. There are quite a few romantic relationships that unfold and are described in this book- some strong, some fragile, some forced, some lasting, some bittersweet- that really explore all the different stages, aspects, and facets of romantic love.  The main romantic storyline is especially beautiful because it is built on a natural and organic progression of feelings, which, without spoiling anything from the book, is very significant…at least to this reader.

One of the things I liked best about this book is that the teenage characters, mainly Ash; Fin; and Tatchi, are not simply on a fantastical, action packed journey, but a very personal and emotional one as well. It isn’t just about discovering mermaids are real or going up against an evil mermaid king for these characters; this story is also about these characters discovering who they are as individuals and young adults, it’s about them finding their own voices, thoughts, and way.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: I love this book. Everblue captivated, thrilled, and enticed me with its imagination, originality, and emotional depth. The ending left me thoughtful, excited, and so very eager for more. I’m hooked on this book and it is definitely a MUST read!

MY RATING

5/5 CUPCAKES

You can learn more about and connect with Brenda Pandos here:
You can purchase Everblue here:    




1 comment:

roro said...

so need 2 read it, recived fangs for nothing, so glad
tnx 4 doing a giveway