(Mer Tales, #1)Written by Brenda Pandos
Published by Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Released July 30, 2011
Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.
Ashlyn is about to discover what she’d thought to be true her whole life, wasn’t, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever."
My Thoughts:I will say up front that I am a HUGE fan of all of Brenda's work and my expectations were high going into this book. Needless to say, I was not disappointed! Recently there have been quite a few mermaid themed YA books released, but Everblue tops the charts! The story was absolutely captivating! The characters were so engaging and well developed. Brenda consistently does a great job creating characters that you can connect with and love (especially the guys!- Go Brenda!) Speaking of that.... my favorite character by far was Fin. He was absolutely adorable! He is the twin brother of Ash's best friend Tatchi and also her secret crush. Unfortunately, she doesn't know he harbors those same feelings for her. Under normal circumstances acting upon their feelings wouldn't be a big deal, but Fin and Tatchi's family is far from normal and they are hiding a secret that Ash would never imagine! They are from different worlds but the pull they feel for each other will force Fin to make difficult choices where Ash is concerned. Choices that could have far reaching consequences. I also liked Ash's character. She was the 'all american' high school student- smart, nice, and captain of the swim team (hello... perfect match for Fin!). She also shows tremendous loyalty to her friends. Once she realizes that Tatchi and Fin have disappeared, she stops at nothing to find them. The story also introduced us to other characters that I enjoyed. Tatchi was awesome! I loved her strong will and readiness to go against the grain to choose her own path in place of one being chosen for her by the Mer and their politics.
Brenda also did an incredible job creating the worlds both above and below the ground. Her attention to detail enables the reader to form vivid images of the settings as they read and that really helps draw you into the story. The Mer's world (Natatoria) was so mystical and majestic. It's beauty radiated off the pages. I feel that the story perfectly combines typical teen angst with the fantasy mermaid/merman portion. The ending was also good and it left me very eager to get my hands on the next installment in the Mer Tales series! I throughly enjoyed reading this and I am so proud to be able to call Brenda Pandos a friend! Make sure to check out the rest of the tour stops and go out and get this book. You won't be disappointed!