By: Christina Henry
It seems like there are a ton of mermaid/sea creature books out this year and I’m going to read my fair share of them. Though to be honest what drew me to this one was the P.T. Barnum angle as much as the mermaid.
*I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amelia has lived among humans in a small coastal Maine town since she fell in love with Jack though her original desire was to see and explore the human world. Now since Jack’s death grief stricken she’s asked to travel to New York and join Barnum’s Museum as his mermaid.
Neither he nor his associate Levi believe she actually is a mermaid but that’s beside the point for Barnum.
Wanting to get back to her original plan and realizing that she probably needs money to see the world Amelia agrees to this and becomes part of the show.
This book is less of a fantasy than something like The Surface Breaks it’s mermaid in our world and I quiet enjoyed that. Amelia is smart, smart girl. Not only does she have wishes and desires she stands up for them and herself with Barnum and she forges a relationship with Levi and Charity that allows them to do the same. Amelia recognizes her power early on and doesn’t see any reason why she shouldn’t use it.
I thought Henry really makes this character work using her to point out how it was for women at this time period and it doesn’t sound out of place. Seeing her get the better of Barnum was one of the most enjoyable parts of this book.
I’m not an expert on the life of Barnum but I do believe this is a more realistic look at him than The Greatest Showman considering some of the stories that I’ve heard.
Her show is a huge success for them both but unfortunately in the human world Amelia (and Barnum) soon learns not everyone is thrilled with her existence and its meaning. The strange thing is before that element was introduced I had no idea how this book was going to end.
Also- and this is just me- I could have done without the romance.
This is a good summer read. It’s a good weekend by the pool or of course the beach. Not going to blow your mind or change your life but enjoyable and good characters- especially Amelia- nonetheless.
Recommend: Yes. Mainly for the character of Amelia.