Hi, there! Happy Wednesday for you 🙂 Despite being the queen of scheduling of late, this post is being written live, as I just NEEDED to talk about my last finished book: Shearwater (Part One), from Derek Murphy! I requested an ARC version of the book to help on its promotion, as all the money that Shearwater makes will be donated to organizations that help cleaning and preserving our environment 😀 To learn more about this awesome campaign, please click here.
Clara is regular 15-year-old teenager living in Arizona. Her dream is to become a famous singer someday and she already kicks asses in her school with this talent. On the night of her presentation, her parents suffer a car accident and die, shattering Clara’s reality.
Clara’s mother apparently had had her share of secrets, as Clara sees herself being shipped to Ireland, into the arms of a grandfather she didn’t even know she had until now. As she hangs around the small city that she now had to call home, more mysteries come to light. Her grandmother ran away and a priest disappeared. Her mother ran away after a town boy died. A mysterious note appears pinned to Clara’s front door.
And adding to all this turmoil, there was Sebastian, the other new boy in town. He was way different than anyone Clara had ever met, with this aura of perfection around him. Moreover, he seemed to know exactly what was going on and purposefully hiding it from Clara.
Not for long. Clara would get him good.
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
When I was a child, I wanted to grow up and become a mermaid. Like when you want to be a doctor or teacher, I thought I could be a mermaid. I learned how to swim very early in life and it was the only sport that I ever kicked ass in school – I guess, in a way, I became a mermaid, haha! So it was only natural for me to show interest on Derek’s cause and, of course, to read a mermaid themed book.
Actually, I don’t know how this is only my second mermaid book in my life (the other one was Of Poseidon, from Anna Banks). Anyway, I was enchanted! Murphy’s writing was so fluid and easy to follow; Clara was such a nice heroine… I was hooked since page one! It’s a shame that I couldn’t get over some small problems during the story, so I gave it four stars 🙂
The narrative style was first person from Clara’s point of view. It’s not my favorite style, but it worked, as Clara has many mysteries in her hands. Her awareness of the world helps to maintain the wonder that she feels in Ireland and every time she discovers something knew or gets an answer. Thankfully, I also didn’t develop extreme personal problems with her, so we’re cool, haha! I still think it would be nice to see things through Sebastian’s eyes, but I can survive if it never happens 🙂
The plot was something else! Despite being pretty obvious since the beginning of Clara’s changes that she is a mermaid (or merrow, as Murphy describes Clara’s kind in special), all the other mysteries surrounding her were downright maddening. You ached to have answers just like Clara, haha! I’m still on my toes to know how this is going to end, but so far, so wonderful. At this point, it is useless to talk about loose ends, as part two isn’t here yet 🙂
There were a few small things that bothered me in the plot. First is that I saw it all coming with the mermaids and stuff. Usually, this doesn’t bother me, but as Clara was so slow, it got old fast. Second is that I don’t think a love triangle was necessary in this book, so I got really unmotivated to see that one is forming; to me, it sounded forced, specially after everything that Clara and Sebastian went through together. And the third thing is a bit stupid, but it’s there nevertheless: Clara’s grandpa’s cat hated her when she arrived and started to like her overnight, without any more explanations. This bipolar change of scenarios had me rolling my eyes a bit. I told it was stupid, sorry ^^”
Now, the characters. I surprisingly have no hard feelings for Clara. She pissed me of at times, but she never did something too stupid, not on my opinion. She makes mistakes on the same percentage of all of us, haha! At the same time, the things I had against her were part of the reason why this isn’t a full five stars book for me. Clara says she’s sarcastic and have a morbid sense of humor since the beginning of the book, but 189 pages later I’m still looking for a significant number of remarks to prove her true to her word. She wasn’t a stupid empty-minded girl, but trust me, she is so not sarcastic. Not even inside her own head, the place where we spent all the story in. Another thing was that she posed as a strong female (and really was one in several scenes), but anyone could make up her mind. It was SO ANNOYING!
Hear us, Clara? More strength of mind, if you will. And, to close my complains on her, I have to point out that she was too slow. Honestly, I think Murphy got too heavy on the “I don’t know who I am” thing. It’s okay to have some moments, to doubt yourself in such a different situation from what you’re used to, but this was too much for me. Clara was too dense to figure out that she is a mermaid for my tastes. After she found out, I almost thrown my hands to the heavens and my problems with her pratically almost over, haha!
Now, I also own her some appreciation. Clara wasn’t an over-power character. She has gifts and obviously is special, even among other merrows, but she didn’t go and stopped the world with her powers; she’s training. It may sound a simple thing, but I was really afraid that she would become a bitch-op kind like this:
Not the case at all!
And then there was Sebastian. He strongly reminded me of Stefan Salvatore, from The Vampire Diaries. He is a peaceful merman, but too scared of all the consequences of the world. I’m not saying that he should just throw his life in the garbage because he met a girl (and I loved him for not doing so), but this is rare. On the other side, we had Ethan, a. k. a. Sebastian’s Damon Salvatore. They are not brothers, this is a pure matter of personalities. Ethan seems to be a good boy on the inside, but I didn’t really liked him. Which, thinking better, is odd, as I usually have a thing for bad guys… Oh, well. Sebastian is different from my regular type of guy, but I’m more in love with him than Clara is, haha!
Oh, another strong point of this book: there is no insta-love, something way too current on young adult novels. Until this moment, I’m not sure how Clara really feels about Sebastian and I’m good with it 🙂
To close the character’s section, I’d like to talk about Rosin and Clara’s friends. I don’t know what happens with this girl Rosin, but I felt that she disappeared after a while, like in vanishing style. Allf of her existence is a bit weird, actually. Maybe we understand more about her on the next part, but so far I feel like she was a throw character in the plot, without any real relevance or enough evilness to justify her part. As to Clara’s friends, I loved both! I think they were good sidekicks, even being in the dark regarding her real self.
Overall, I loved the way Murphy has built his mermaid world and the way he used Ireland’s mythology and legends 🙂 It’s one of the strongest points of the book and you feel like you need to know it all because it is that cool, haha! The romantic element also really pleased me, despite everything ❤ If you like young adult novels and mermaids, please, just read this one. You won’t regret it!
That’s it, haha! Thanks for reading 😀 Oh, there is another thing about this book: Derek is hosting a huge mermaid giveaway to celebrate the release of the book, on January 26th, and you can find out how to win awesome mermaid goodies here 😀