Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Release Date: Dec. 1, 2010
Source of my copy: publisher
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Freak of nature takes on a whole new meaning...
If she hadn't been so clueless, she might have seen it coming. But really, who expects to get into a relaxing bathtub after a stressful day of shopping for tankinis and come out with scales and a tail?
Most. Embarrassing. Moment. Ever.
Jade soon discovers she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mom. But if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown?
Jade is determined to find out. So how does a plus-size, aqua-phobic mer-girl go about doing that exactly? And how will Jade ever be able to explain her secret to her best friend, Cori, and to her crush, Luke?
This summer is about to get a lot more interesting...
Our heroine in Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings was 13-year-old Jade. She finds out she's a mermaid after a crazy day at the mall where she first got her period while trying on bathing suits. If that wasn't bad enough, she bumped into a cute boy while shopping for feminine products with her dad. Jade just wanted to forget about her stressful day by taking a nice relaxing soak in the tub when she came out with scales and a tail instead. It turned out her mom was a mermaid who was washed ashore during a hurricane and was breathing air for too long that her lungs and gills changed and couldn't live as a proper mermaid anymore. But a year ago, Jade's mom mysteriously drowned and now it's just Jade and her father. Still grieving from her mom's sudden passing, Jade had to wonder if her mom was once a mermaid how could she have drowned?
There are two words to describe this middle-grade read: cute and fun. Jade was very likable and brave and she had a unique voice. I really liked that Jade was plus-sized, adorably awkward and had insecurities about herself but she didn't spend time whining about it--many young girls can definitely relate to her character. She also had a great relationship with her dad and I liked his character as well. You kind of feel for the man because he's trying his best to raise his daughter but Jade doesn't hesitate to go to him when she is in trouble and he was always there to help her. Other characters I liked were Jade's best friend Cori (she's the kind of best friend you want your heroines to have) and her crush Luke. The twist in the end was unexpected but made the ending all the more sweet. I thought the author did a good job mixing real-life "firsts" with fantasy. Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings had plenty of humor, action and a mystery. Younger girls will especially eat it up and wish for more of Jade's story. 4 out of 5 stars