Title: Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings
Author: Helene Boudreau
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...
My Thoughts: Oh, how I love this book! It's most definitely something I would have ate up in a heartbeat as a tween. It's cute, spunky, and original and there's mermaids...what more could a girl ask for?
From the first page, I was hooked. Jade's narrative was captivating from the beginning. She tells things as it is and the situations she gets herself into, like getting her first period in a dressing room, will make readers laugh and sympathize with her. One thing I loved about Jade is that she wasn't depicted as being the perfect skinny girl - she has some issues with her weight and while it's not made into a huge part of the novel, I know it will allow some younger readers to see more of themselves in her.
One of the things I love about middle grade is that because middle graders are more...flexible...then YA readers, things don't need to be quite as developed. If this had been a YA, it would have been expected that the romance and friendships and the whole mermaid thing was more developed and realistic. But, it's MG and because of that, it works. The romance is kept light, the friendships are realistic, and the mermaid thing is done in a way that it's realistic enough.
I also love how deeper issues, such as her mom's drowning, were mixed in to balance out the fluff. Everything worked out nicely, making this a perfect quick reader.
Overall, I highly recommend Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings. It's a great MG book and will appeal to some YA readers as well.