This book is adorable and delightful. Marina doesn't know she's from the sea as her mother died giving birth to her and her father just doesn't talk about it. They live in the city where her neighbor lavishes her with designer clothes and hand bags and fancy cars, and, kind of like a wealthy benefactor from an Austen novel, is always there when Marina needs to dress or drive to impress. While her scientist father spends a year in Afghanstian, she is sent to live with her eccentric tofu eating aunt and her goth designer son. As Marina learns about herself and her past, she helps those around her find their true selves. This is especially true of her relationship with her cousin Cruz and his friend Megan. Through Marina they both learn that outside their small town they are normal and wonderful.
I enjoyed that this book is set in a real town (that I would love to visit someday), you can see pictures on Anderson's official blog.
I also enjoy how Anderson writes a story where the main issue isn't the fact that Marina is part mermaid, but the fact that she was never told. I also like that her relationship with Ethan, a delicious blonde surfer boy, is forged through the water and a mutual secret.
This book has a cliffhanger and happy ending at the same time with everyone wrapped up in self assurance and coupledom.
You know come to think of it, if Jane Austen were a modern woman who wrote about mermaids (fun to think about right!?) I bet she would have written a book like this one, or at least she would have been inspired by it.
I look forward to reading the rest. I hope there are only four.
There are a handful of issues that bug me (for instance, Marina's father, who is not existent throughout the book, wins the Nobel Prize and I'm supposed to care and how many times can we have hospital stays, really), but they do not, in any way, harm the story.