Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau
Release Date: Dec. 2010
Freak of nature takes on a whole new meaning…
If she hadn’t been so clueless, she might have seen it coming. But really, who expects to get into a relaxing bathtub after a stressful day of shopping for tankinis and come out with scales and a tail?
Most. Embarrassing. Moment. Ever.
Jade soon discovers she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mom. But if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown?
Jade is determined to find out. So how does a plus-size, aqua-phobic mer-girl go about doing that exactly? And how will Jade ever be able to explain her secret to her best friend, Cori, and to her crush, Luke?
This summer is about to get a lot more interesting…
The Short of It: The first word I think for this book is cute. Boudreau spins a fast paced, coming of age story that will be enjoyed by all ages although I think tweens will like it the most.
Plot: There were some cheesy and stretching moments, but honestly, it’s what makes the book so charming. Yes, most of the book is about Jade freaking about about being a mermaid (but wouldn’t you?), but the emotions and situations she goes through in every day life are something anyone can relate to. Getting tongue-tied in front of a crush? Freaking out about a first period? Afraid of losing your best friend? Check, check and check! Most of us have been through some version of those freak-outs and make Jade feel like a typical 13 year old girl. Enough so, that I can ignore the silly factor of salt bath causing her to sprout a tail and scales and the convenience of the mother-rescuing plot.
Characters: Jade can be a bit over dramatic, but what 13 year old isn’t? Despite that, she is a lovable character that I could connect with almost off the bat. I wanted to give her a hug when she started her period and then die of embarrassment as her dad Googled what to buy. While the situation with her mother was kind of eh, Jade handled it as well as any teenager could. I rooted for her as she overcame the obstacles in her way using her brain and creativity.
As a side note, I wanted to briefly mention body image. Jade several times over describes herself as “plus size”. However, I was never sure if she truly was or if that was just how she saw herself. Her best friends did make reference to hiding her trouble ares/mid-section, but I think most women today have trouble with some belly fat. I suppose I would have like to know if plus size mention size 10 or size 20, because one of them is plus-sized but the other is not.
Romance: There’s a bit of flirting and lots of crushing, but there is no true romance here. There is a promise of one, but we don’t get to see it fulfilled truly. Without going into spoilers, I will say that the thing Luke reveals is way too predictable. I had a moment of that’s cute, but overall I wish it hadn’t been put in.
Writing: I really don’t have much to say in this category. My few issues has been already pointed out, as have my compliments. However, I do want to repeat how great a job Boudreau in making a believable, fast-paced story.
Librarian-Mode: Admittedly, I haven’t read many mermaid books. However, after talking with others, it is safe to say this book would be well placed with The Mermaid’s Mirror and Forgive My Fins.
So, now it’s your turn…have you read Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings? If so, be sure to let me know what you thought.