Review : The Mermaid’s Mirror
The Mermaid’s Mirror by L. K. Madigan
Pages : 336
Genre : YA, Fantasy
My Rating :
What it’s about, in my Words :
There are two things Lena has always wanted to learn : the truth about her biologic mother’s death, and to surf. Unfortunately for Lena, her father has always been opposed to both. Then she turns sixteen, and her longing for the sea gets even stronger than before : she dreams of forgotten lullabies and walks to the sea in her sleep. Against her parents’ wish, Lena decides she’ll learn to surf no matter what – therefore changing her life as she knew it.
I wasn’t prepared to love The Mermaid’s Mirror as much as I did : I had tried to read a couple of pages a few weeks ago and couldn’t get into it. Considering my state of mind at the time, I thought it would only be fair to give it a second chance, and I am so glad I did!
A quick way to describe my feel of the book would be to say that The Mermaid’s Mirror was everything I had wished Sea Change to be. While Sea Change left you with a “I don’t know if it’s real or not” question, Madigan fully assumes her magical undersea world and drags you under the waves with a wonderful cast of characters.
One of the strongest point of the book, for me, was the presence of Lena’s family. Contrarily to most YA novels right now, her parents aren’t conveniently absent from her life. Lena, her brother, her father and her step-mother form a strong clan, and from the start you can feel the love they have for each other. They’re not perfect, and like any family, they sometimes fight and disappoint each other, but you can feel that they are motivated by their love. This makes it even more heartbreaking when Lena gets to face the truth about her birth mother and has to make some difficult choices. So while there is a tiny bit of romance, it isn’t at all the focus of the book. Again, that was refreshing!
I read The Mermaid’s Mirror in a single day, even though I had a lot of school-related reading to do. Yet, I couldn’t tear myself from the page. I grew up by the sea (a cold, Canadian one though!) and Madigan’s description really brought me there. I could feel Lena’s longing as if it was my own and I absolutely loved discovering the life under the sea. I also enjoyed how the author mixed the “land world” and the “sea world” : the magic kept its magic instead of becoming something purely logical. It felt a bit like a fairy tale and it was extremely compelling to me!
In the end, The Mermaid’s Mirror was a fantastic way to not do my research (uh…) If you love tales of sea and magic, then I definitely recommend this one! It was a beautiful story of discovery, family, love and loss.