Lena has lived her whole life near the beach — walking for miles up and down the shore and breathing the salty air, swimming in the cold water, and watching the surfers rule the waves — the problem is, she’s spent her whole life just watching.
As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Lena vows she will no longer watch from the sand: she will learn to surf.
But her father — a former surfer himself — refuses to allow her to take lessons. After his near drowning years ago, he can’t bear to let Lena take up the risky sport.
Yet something keeps drawing Lena to the water . . . an ancient, powerful magic. And one morning Lena catches sight of this magic: a beautiful woman — with a silvery tail.
Now nothing can stop Lena from seeking the mermaid, not even the dangerous waves at Magic Crescent Cove.
And soon . . . what she sees in the mermaid’s mirror will change her life forever.
I love mermaids and YA mermaid novels hold a special place in my heart. Books like Forgive My Fins and The Tale of Emily Windsnap are all great novels and each author presents a unique and interesting take on mermaids. And LK Madigan was no exception. The plot of The Mermaid's Mirror was highly original and kept me interested from page one.
I really liked the main character, Selena ("Lena"). She is just an ordinary girl with an incredible wish to learn how to surf; but also with a ton of family secrets she will uncover as the story goes on. Lena lives with her father and his wife (who is basically Lena's mom since she has raised Lena since she was 9) and Lena's half brother, Cole. Lena's family was all great and I loved how realistic and happy they were. Lena's parents only wanted the best for her and Cole was adorable. He brought a smile to my face every time he appeared. There are quite a few mysteries surrounding Lena's family though. Like why won't Lena's dad, who once ruled the ocean with his surfboard, not go into the sea or let Lena learn how to surf? And why is Lena suddenly having odd dreams, passing out, and waking up in the middle of the night on the beach with no recollection of how she got there?
In addition to Lena's family, she has two close friends- Pem and Kai. I never especially liked her boyfriend Kai and I think he was a little too weird. They were better off as friends, in my opinion. Surfing was tied in to the novel as well as it's Lena's dream and both Kai and Pem surf. It was extremely interesting to read about all the surfing terminology and picturing all the characters riding the waves.
At first, the book moved a little slow, but as it progressed more and more secrets are unveiled and Lena's life isn't as simple as it seemed. The more you read the more you will be sucked into The Mermaid's Mirror and realize what a creative and original novel it truly is.
I can't say more than I have without spoiling anything, so all I'll say is that you should definitely pick this up. It's not the best mermaid story I've ever read, but it's certainly original and kept me reading. The ending was a little sad, I wished it didn't have to turn out that way. Overall, though, I recommend this to all readers and I'm definitely planning on picking up Madigan's debut, Flash Burnout.
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars