YA Book Review

The Mermaid by Christina Henry

The Book:

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Book Title: The Mermaid

Book Author: Christina Henry

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Publishing Date: June 19th, 2018

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group

Date Read: June 20th, 2018

Synopsis:  From the author of Lost Boy comes a beautiful historical fairy tale about a mermaid who leaves the sea, only to become the star attraction of history’s greatest showman.

Once there was a mermaid called Amelia who could never be content in the sea, a mermaid who longed to know all the world and all its wonders, and so she came to live on land. 

Once there was a man called P. T. Barnum, a man who longed to make his fortune by selling the wondrous and miraculous, and there is nothing more miraculous than a real mermaid.

Amelia agrees to play the mermaid for Barnum and walk among men in their world, believing she can leave anytime she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he’s determined to hold on to his mermaid.


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The Review:

What can I say about The Mermaid? After reading Lost Boy, I had really high expectations, and, sadly, they weren’t met. This isn’t to say that I didn’t find some enjoyment within the story, but it was not a 5 star read for me.

I really wanted to love this one. I loved bits and pieces of it, but as a whole, it just didn’t satisfy me. I loved Amelia and her strength. I loved Caroline and her childish innocence, and I loved how Christina Henry highlighted the problems of the time period where women were treated like property and not given the power and respect they deserved, but that was the extent of my love for the story.

The writing felt off. Chapter one was super hard to read because it switched back and forth from the fisherman and Amelia without enough clarity, and there was a lot of repetition. There was quite a bit of redundancy throughout the whole story, and it just didn’t feel unique. Barnum’s character was very un-enjoyable because of his greed and attitude toward. The love interest felt under-developed and really superficial, and there just wasn’t much that kept me excited.

A lot of the story felt rushed too. Especially the ending. There were a couple time jumps that just felt out of place, and I was left wanting to know more about how things resolved in the end, and what happened with the main characters.

Overall I was left wanting. Yes it had a mermaid, which is a huge love of mine, but there wasn’t enough revolving around the mermaid to make me love it. I felt like the mermaid could have been anything or anyone placed in the story. There wasn’t enough magic to make me rave about it. It was worth a read, but I wouldn’t rate it higher than 2.5 to 3 stars (or 3 mermaids).

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with this free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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