Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: Forgive My Fins

Title: Forgive My Fins
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Category: Young Adult
Page Count: 293
Release Date: May 19, 2010
Series: n/a
Source: Library
Challenge: n/a 
Quick Rating: 4/5
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Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid, like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid - she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview High School ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, lands has its problems - like her obnoxious biker-boy neighbor, Quince Fletcher - but it has that one major perk: Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type - the instant they “bond”, its for life.

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily ever after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

I have a confession to make. I love mermaids. So anything that has mermaids in it, I want to read, and I’ll probably love. Even if the writing is horrible, I’m still going to squeal like a little kid because there are mermaids in it. Blame Disney and The Little Mermaid.

And now you can also blame Forgive My Fins, because it was amazing. My first instinct when I finished this was to fan girl squeak and just give it a five-star rating, but I’m going to try to be a little more objective, and not let my undying love for anything under the sea to get in the way.

One thing I appreciated about Fins was that every question I had was eventually answered. While I know this is going to be a series (or at least one sequel), it felt like a complete novel. There were no dangling loose ends between the main characters. I had no lingering doubts or questions. And I loved it. I hate when a book just has so many threads flapping in the wind, waiting to be tied up in more installments. The intricacies of Child’s mermaids were explained to the fullest, such as how they transform, how they hide their mermaid-ness, etc. (My only lingering curiosity was how exactly her parents managed to have a kid without “bonding”? No kissing? Seems suspicious…Or, at least, very unromantic.)

And speaking of the mermaids, how awesome are they? The can transform from mermaid, to finkini (scaly bikini), to human with no problem.  They love sushi and eat with underwater chopsticks, called seasticks. And the slang. I laughed so hard at the swear word replacement. Carp for crap. Frogging for, well…you know.

As for the story and the characters themselves, it was all just so cute. I quickly became addicted to the conflict between Lily and Quince, and I stayed up way too late to enjoy their bantering. Quince’s feelings were painfully obvious to me, even from the very first few pages. I spent a lot of time swooning over him, and wanting to smack Lily at the same time for being so completely oblivious. My only true problems were with elements of the story itself…

*Beware - spoilers ahead!*

I did think that Lily’s father delaying their separation three times was a little much. Two was funny, but by the third time, I was just rolling my eyes. I also wish Lily had found out Brody was a scumbag in a much more dramatic way. Not just a light bulb clicking on because he was, well, fascinated about her being a mermaid. I wanted it to be a kiss with no sparks, or his “player” tendencies to come out right in front of her.

As for her reuniting with Quince at the end, I think it also needed a little spice. “Woohoo!” I mean, really? Who says “Woohoo?” I wanted drama, and romance, and tears, and confessions of undying love, and passionate kissing. And all I got was a ’woohoo’ and some twirling. So maybe there was a kiss, but it wasn’t the fireworks of realized love that I was hoping for.

And what was with the overly sinister ending with Doe? It just felt…really weird and out of place. I know it’s probably setting up for the sequel, but it was really jarring, and totally threw me out of the happy Quince and Lily mode.

Regardless, I cannot wait for the sequel. I’m picking it up as soon as it comes out!

The Final Word: A cute, light romance that’s a quick read, and even more quickly addicting. If you like mermaids at all, it’s a must-read.


Cover Thoughts: While it’s definitely pretty, I kind of wish the “mermaid” on the cover was blonde, like Lily. But the makeup is to die for, and I love the swirly font like crazy.

Tea: So I’m choosing something I’ve never tasted before, so I have no clue whether it’s completely disgusting or not, but it’s just so perfect for a mermaid book. Kinjyo Jirushi Konbu Cha is a Japanese powdered seaweed tea. You know mermaids would totally drink this stuff!

Memorable Quotes: 
(Featuring a couple of funny quotes. Honestly, this book made me laugh so much, it’s ridiculous.)

“The last thing I need right now is Shannen telling me one more time that -
“You’re a coward, Lily Sanderson.”
- I’m a coward.
Son of a swordfish.” (pgs. 3 & 4)

“There are no straight lines or geometric shapes to give away the fact that all the structures are actually mermade. (Get it? Mermade. Like mermaid, but…oh, never mind.)” (pg. 89)

“Swoon? Ha! I don’t swoon. Get anxious and tongue-tied? Yes. But I got over the whole swooning-at-the-sight-of-him thing ages ago. Last month I think.” pg. 159


  1. Looking forward to the sequel as well! I didn't know what to expect before I picked this up a while ago but I was more than pleased!

  2. I loved this book and I am so glad other people love it too! I can't wait for Fins #2, Fins are Forever!


  3. I've been meaning to read this one for some time. I'm currently reading Tempest Rising, and it's my first mermaid book. I'm enjoying it and look fwd to more. Thanks for the insight!