Book Review: The Tail of Emily Windsnap

review-cover-the tail of emily windsnapTitle: The Tail of Emily Windsnap [Emily Windsnap 1]

Author: Liz Kessler

Genre: Middle Grade, Children’s, Fantasy

Rating: 2 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Everybody has a secret.

Mine’s a little different, though. I didn’t even know about it until the first day of swim class in seventh grade. You see, I’d never been allowed to go in the water before. As it turns out, swimming comes naturally to me. Very naturally. In fact. So naturally that you might even say… well, it’s true.

Here’s my secret:

I figured out that I’m a mermaid.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I have to give this book a little bit of leeway because it was most definitely a middle-grade book geared towards young children. So, we’ll start off with the good—the book was extremely well edited. It was easy to read, fast-paced, and had enough humor and shocking moments to fully entertain my 13-year-old daughter (who I read it with). Emily’s adventure in becoming a mermaid and seeking out her father was an interesting plot, and it was very entertaining. My daughter loved the book!

From an adult’s point of view, though… It was cheesy. Very cheesy. The characters were one-dimensional, even pretty stereotyped at times. The twists in the book were ridiculously easy to see figure out well before the characters figured them out, and the world-building was rather unimaginative and well, silly. Mermaid reporters and underwater limo’s with seatbelts was a bit much.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a fun book, and my daughter was entertained… but as an adult, had I read this on my own, it would have easily gotten 1-star. The last few chapters of the book were a bit of a letdown, and definitely very unrealistically resolved, and even my daughter had to admit that it got pretty ridiculous. It didn’t feel like there was anything to learn from this book. There were no real life lessons or situations I could talk about with my daughter, other than the main character’s terrible decisions to lie to her mother, sneak away in the middle of the night to swim in the ocean, break into a prison (no, I’m not kidding), and generally cause havoc for all the adults in her life. She was a bratty 12-year-old that didn’t think about the consequences of her actions, and somehow avoided all of them. The book was pure fluff.

Overall I gave this book two stars, because although I wasn’t a fan of it, and it was definitely not geared towards me, my teenage daughter did enjoy it. Was it her favorite book? No. Was it a good book? Meh… It was entertainment and served its purpose, but I don’t know that I’d delve deeper into the series.

Book Review: Water

review-cover-waterTitle: Water [Water 1]

Author: Emory Gayle

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: 3 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Cora Reed and Darrien Locke are both haunted by the night Cora’s twin sister drowned. Seven years later, having never actually met, their paths cross, sparking a chain of events that will change both their lives forever.

The last thing that Cora Reed wanted was to fall in love. But this water phobic couldn’t have prepared herself for Darrien Locke, ‘the lord of the abs’ swim instructor at Camp Titus. Unknown to Cora, is the true reason she’s been asked to work there. Mysterious things begin to happen to her, plunging her already torn world into chaos. Only one thing remains steady…Darrien. But he’s not at all what he seems.

Darrien’s sole mission is to return the long lost princess to her father ASAP. Unfortunately, his job has become…complicated. When the mouthy bad tempered princess is nothing like what he was expecting, this work obsessed, emotionally void guard falls hard for the one girl he can never have.

Darrien must help Cora discover who she really is, before a power in the deep rises. But, to do that…Darrien will have to sacrifice his love for Cora and do the unthinkable.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Honestly, Water by Emory Gayle was a bit of a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, it was a very interesting story, but on the other, the execution sometimes lacked.

As far as the technical side of things went the book had some pretty obvious flaws. There were a lot of typos. I found problems with tense, spelling, omitted words, and even improper grammar. They were obvious mistakes that could have and should have been cleaned up before publication, and since the author e-mailed me specifically to make sure I had the up-to-date edited copy, I was kind of surprised by how many technical errors I still found.

That aside, there were times that the pace of the book, especially concerning the romance, that seemed rushed, and I think that because of it, there were times when the narrative voice and dialogue of the characters came off as overly dramatic and unrealistic.

that isn’t to say that it was all bad, though. I liked the characters, the world building, the plot…. so many parts of the story. I got sucked into the book and read the entire thing in a matter of a few short hours. I was entertained, and overall, I did like the book. I just think it was in desperate need of another round with the editor.

I think that if you tend to enjoy YA fantasy or romance, you will probably enjoy this book – just be aware that it is lacking a bit in the technical department.