Y.A. Fiction / Fairytale Retelling (198 pgs.)
Seventeen years ago, a fisherman rescued a child from the sea. He and his wife raised the girl, Pearl, as their own daughter, never allowing themselves to wonder where she came from.
Pearl grows into an unusual young woman. As the other girls her age find husbands, Pearl has only one friend. One very special, secret companion: Prince James.
But their friendship is shaken when a conspiracy against the royal family combines with an evil enchantment from beneath the sea. Now, when Pearl and James need each other most, bewitching magic and Pearl's mysterious past threaten to tear them apart forever.
Pearl, a seventeen-year-old outcast and fisherman's daughter, finds herself rather awkward with extremely long legs and brilliantly silver hair. Her secret confidante and long-time best friend, Prince James of Aster, insists there is magic in the world, and that Pearl may be more special then she ever gave herself credit for.
Realizing these two have feelings for each other, and helped along by pressure from their respective parents to marry quickly, Prince James tries to propose to Pearl in a sailboat out at sea, but everything goes awry. Their boat springs a leak, and Pearl and Prince James are forced to abandon ship. Pearl makes it to shore, but Prince James, while jumping off of the boat, renders himself unconscious. Prince James is saved by two unlikely beings... a mermaid named Faye (a.k.a. the Little Mermaid), and her brother Kale.
Now here's the tricky part. Turns out that Pearl, who was formerly a mermaid princess known as Adriana, was captured by the Sea Witch when she was little and turned into a human against her will. Adriana (Pearl) and Kale had been betrothed since birth, and he has been searching for her endlessly since her dissapearance. Naturally, when he sees that it's his beloved Adriana in the boat with Prince James, he goes after her, bargaining his sight for a pair of human legs from the Sea Witch.
But I don't want to write the whole book out here for you.
This novel was a fish out of water... in a not-so-good way. The one word that comes to mind througout this novel? Dry. Dry, dry, dry. Really, really skimpy on the emotion. I found myself continually asking, What makes me care about these characters? And, unfortunately, the book couldn't give me the answer.
I really, REALLY didn't like that at the beginning of some of the chapters, a little portion of the wedding ceremony between Robert and Pearl was given away. When I actually got to the wedding scene, it was very anti-climactic, because I'd been getting snippets of it ever since Chapter 1!
I guess author Debbie Viguié really liked writing her characters constantly having chills running up and down their spines, 'cause I swear there was an instant of it on every page, it seemed. That little premonition thing got really old, really quick.
I was also dissapointed at the ending. Super anti-climactic. SPOILER Pearl decides to return to the sea with her beloved Kale. True, she realizes this is what she was destined to be all along, but it's like she doesn't have one shred of emotion left for her foster parents, Mary and Finneas. It's like "Oh hey mom and dad! I'm going to be a mermaid now, separate from you. Thanks for seventeen years of being the only parents I never knew. See ya!" END SPOILER Once again, just going back to the whole DRYNESS thing!
The only part I really liked about this book was the twist that Debbie Viguié put on the story the Little Mermaid. Next to Beauty and the Beast, this is my favorite fairytale. Her interpretation of the tale sort of made up for everything else, which is why I'm giving this book a 2.5 * instead of something lower.