Dear publishers and authors,
Consider the following warning label:
WARNING: This book contains instalove. The protagonist falls head over heels for the love interest in less than 10% of the novel for some undeniable and yet inexplicable reason. And after that, 90% of the protagonist's thoughts and actions concern this undying love. It will be insufferable. You will hate it. Stay away.
For the love of god. Please start using this label. Because I'm getting sick of going into these books expecting an actual plot and having it center on nothing but the irritating ramblings of a love sick teenager. And that was just the beginning of the immense list of issues I have with this book.
Nerissa is a thoroughly unlikable character. So in a thoroughly original turn of events, Lo, short for Lotharius, is a new guy at Nerissa's school, and from the moment they lock eyes, Nerissa just can't stop thinking about him. But the way this instalove is set up becomes even more annoying when you factor in Nerissa's personality. She's so darn attracted to him, but the whole thing is set up as if she can't stand him. For the first half of the book, it pretty much goes like this:
Nerissa: *stares at new guy*
Lo: ... *stares back*
Nerissa: YOU'RE SO ARROGANT AND ANNOYING.
Nerissa: STOP STALKING ME.
Lo: I like you.
Nerissa: UGH I HATE YOU. *storms off*
Nerissa: God I don't get that guy. Oh but he's so pretty. With his deep blue eyes and hair the color of wet sand (literal statement, I don't get how that's attractive). You can tell he's strong by how skinny he is and his long fingers (..yeah.). Could I possibly like him? Naaaaaaaaaaaah.
So I already couldn't stand Nerissa for her stupid and inexplicable attraction to Lo, who showed absolutely no personality - and contrary to how she asserts that he is arrogant and douchey, he displays no such behavior aside from an odd snarky comment here and there. But then this ex-friendship with Cara is introduced. Nerissa and Cara used to be friends until a guy Cara was crushing on asked Nerissa out and she accepted. However, instead of Cara being a bitch to Nerissa, Nerissa makes Cara's life a living hell, pretty much. She completely shuts Cara out during a hockey game, refusing to pass to her when she was open, and in general just keeps narrating about how rude and bitchy Cara is. Cara barely does anything aside from glare at Nerissa. But of course then Lo becomes friends with Cara, so Nerissa doesn't like that. And then later Nerissa's best friend Speio starts dating Cara and Nerissa doesn't like that.
Are you *headdesk*ing with me yet?
Honestly I don't know why I didn't just drop this book. I knew within 50 pages that it wasn't the book for me. But it went quickly, and I guess I felt like that made it tolerable?
The plot is near nonexistent, as most of the novel focuses on this annoying romance that had me rolling my eyes and scoffing constantly. There's one infodump chapter around midway through the novel where Nerissa explains exactly what kind of creature she is and where she comes from, which is all rather vague, nonsensical, or confusing... then it goes back to the romantic melodrama, because *gasp* Nerissa realizes she actually is in love with Lo. I know. Shocker. Then the end has a few chapters of battles and plot but it's way too late in the game to save the show. Sadly, all the plot twists regarding the identities of several characters I had called practically at the very beginning of the book. Yeah. So no big shockers there either. What a waste of time.
About the only ray of light in this sad excuse of a novel was Nerissa's friendship with Jenna. It was actually a very healthy and nice female friendship, and it stood totally apart from any relationship/boy drama. Sadly, this was overshadowed by Nerissa's illogically intense hatred of Cara and the bitchy narrations associated with that element. And of course, all the rest of the book.
I thoroughly disliked this book and sped read it to get it out of the way as soon as possible. It's just not worth it. Annoying instalove, hateful main character, bland love interest, minor plot, vague worldbuilding through infodumps... *sigh* I just want a good mermaid book. I know it's possible. Please. Someone. Prove me right.