(This review may contain spoilers).
This book did a really good job of holding my attention throughout. I found Elysa a character who was really easy to relate to. Although there were times I got a bit confused by how she was communicating at first, I felt really bad for her with the fact that she’d lost her voice. Although it seemed like she managed to cope, more or less, with the situation, it seemed it was all too easy to allow people to pass over her and that there were times she found it easy to allow that, rather than fight to be heard. Which I think was one of the main points in this book.
I found it interesting that Elysa’s aunt was called Ursula, since it seemed to be a nod to the Little Mermaid. Lemon was a really nice person, though, and it was pretty good to see how Kirby viewed Elysa and how the other characters in this book viewed her, too. There was a variety of different reactions to the fact that Elysa was mute and I thought it was good to see something so true to real life.
There were really only a couple of characters I had a strong dislike for – the mayor and Mr. Kane. It was pretty awful to see the way they pitted their sons together… and that Katz came across as really quite sexist. In contrast, I did like Noah… and it was a pretty awful position, since both Noah and Christian were good people… and good friends (that came across really well in their interactions with each other). I couldn’t really root for one or the other. All I could really hope for was their friendship not to suffer due to the rivalries.
I thought Sebastian was really cute in this book. I thought the author portrayed him really well and it was sweet to see how much he liked mermaids. There were times I got upset on his behalf… which is definitely one of the hallmarks of a good character.
I liked reading about the references to Elysa’s family back home. Although there weren’t many opportunities for the differences in cultures to come across, it was good to see the things like Elysa having to calculate the money in her head and her refusal to eat commercial chocolate. I would have liked to know more about her different sisters, too… though it was good to get something of her interactions with her Granna and twin sister.
I found this book to be quite emotionally moving and one that I expect will stay with me for a while yet. I’m sure I would read more books by this author in the future… especially if I get to see more of the characters.