Review: Sea Change by Aimee Friedman

Monday, June 29, 2009

Title: Sea Change
Author: Aimee Friedman
You'll like this if: You like mermaids, Alyson Noel's Evermore and stories about the Southern elite.

If you've been to a bookstore within the past few weeks chances are you've seen this book. Personally, I've always had a secret love for mermaids. It probably has something to do with having watched The Little Mermaid one too many times as a child, but nevertheless the obsession holds strong.

Sadly, it is hard to find good mermaid novels that enamor more than they do disappoint. Thankfully, that is not the case with Aimee Friedman's Sea Change. In fact, far from it.
Background on the book:
16-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science...and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate.

There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship...and reality.

Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?

In Short:
Sea Change is a carefully crafted, beautifully whimsical retelling of the classic mermaid tale. This story is not so much The Little Mermaid as it is a tale about legacy and love.

Ms. Friedman's new spin of a tired subject is wonderfully refreshing. It's not only nice to see gender roles reversed, but also strong, level-headed female characters.

Things I Love:
The Language. It's pretty common knowledge that I'm a word nerd. There's nothing I like better than when a writer uses that perfect word to describe a place, thing or person. Ms. Friedman has total control over her word choices. It's a beautiful thing, I assure you.

- I love the main character, Miranda. I love that she vintage shops. I love that she's level headed. I love that she lives in New York. I adore her.

- Leo. Enough said.

- Gender reversal. I love that Miranda is the "human," whilst Leo is the merman. It's a nice little twist....and it works!

- Although CeeCee can be a bit much, I kind of like her. She's sweet in an incredibly over-the-top way.

Things I'm Not Crazy About:
- Generally, I loved this novel, however there was one thing that I could have done without: The Greg-Linda storyline. For me, it weakened Miranda's character a bit. I also felt that it was a bit of a crutch to use the whole Greg situation as a reason for her freak outs. Which brings me to...

- I hated hated hated that Miranda and Leo almost consummate their relationship RIGHT AFTER she tells him about Greg and Linda. Really, Leo? You're going to take advantage of that? Please...

- The weak relationship between Miranda and her brother and father. If you're going to include siblings and another parental figure into the story at least give them more play. Both of these characters felt as if they were after thoughts rather than actual important characters.

All in All:
Truthfully, Sea Change is the best mermaid novel I've read in a good long time. Although there are a few things that annoy me, all of these are inconsequential when the novel is reviewed as a whole. Really looking forward to reading more from Ms. Friedman.

As for Sea Change, it is romantic, smart, genuine and truly makes you want to take the plunge!

Rating for Sea Change by Aimee Friedman: A

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1 Comment
  1. Anonymous Said,

    If you love mermaids, you should try Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon. It's among the greatest mermaid stories ever written, in my opinion, besides the original story by Hans Christian Andersen. Also, loved Sea Change, hoping for a sequel.

    Posted on December 6, 2012 at 8:54 AM


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