Saturday, July 14, 2012

[Book Review] Just For Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Summary (on Goodreads):
When Lily Sanderson decided to remain Crown Princess Waterlily of the mermaid kingdom Thalassinia, she knew she couldn’t just coast along in the current. But since she’s spent the last couple of years on land—with gorgeous human Quince by her side—Lily’s not sure she has the fins to lead a kingdom. Even her maddeningly pretentious cousin Dosinia seems to know more about ruling than she does.
But Lily has to dive in deep to keep her promise to Tellin, her mer bond in name only, whose kingdom is suffering in the changing ocean climate. Lily knows this is a seven seas–sized problem: from sea animals dying to oil spills and threats to humans. They’ll need to create some serious waves to make the mer community aware and get it to join together to make things right. Even if that means facing one of the iciest queens in the mer kingdoms.
Just when Lily thinks her double life on land and sea can’t get any more complicated, an ancient mer law might separate Lily and Quince after all. It feels as if the pair is up against a solid tsunami wave!
In this third installment in the series that began with Forgive My Fins and Fins Are Forever, Lily will have to find a way to balance safety and justice for the mer people as well as for the humans she loves.

Warning: Spoilers if you haven’t read the first two books (Forgive My Fins & Fins Are Forever).

I was so excited to hear that Tera was writing another Fins book. When I was done with the second book, Fins Are Forever, I felt that it had a happy ending, but I didn’t feel like Quince and Lily’s story was quite over yet. So, I was ready for this book months before it even came out.

Plot: I felt that the end of Fins Are Forever really set up this book. Lily wants to help Tellin, but it isn’t as easy as she thinks it will be. On land, she must deal with the consequences of bonding only by name yet being in love with a human. With these two main problems to start with, more open up. I enjoy a book with problems. Twisted, aren’t I? But it’s true. I can’t read a book that’s just “I love you. Blah. Blah. Blah.” I want there to be conflict. I want to fall in love with the characters because of the way they handled the conflict.    

Characters: I was so surprised at how much Dosinia matured in this book. In Fins Are Forever we pretty much saw every bratty side of her there was to see. But in Just For Fins she really steps it up. Tera Lynn Childs also does the same thing with characters that we liked all along also. Like Lily for example; She was ready to give up her throne, but last minute decided to bond with Tellin to help his kingdom. In book three, that’s only the beginning of her problems and I really like how she handles herself as a leader.  There’s a lot of other characters that do a complete 180, but that’s later on in the book. So, I guess you’ll just have to read it!

Relationships: I also really like how the team on land (such as Lily, Quince, Doe, Brody, Aunt Rachel, Shannen, and even Prithi in its own little way) work together to help Lily become a better princess. Right from the start they are there for her when she needs them.

Romance: As much as I love Quince and Lily’s relationship, I was kind of hoping for a little bit of a love triangle in the book between Quince/Lily/Tellin. But last Friday at one of her signing Tera mentioned “there isn’t a love triangle.” Nonetheless, I went in knowing there wasn’t going to be a triangle. Now after reading the book, I’m glad there wasn’t a triangle. It wasn’t needed at all. Lily and Quince’s relationship remains solid, but that doesn’t mean that a few problems won’t be thrown their way.

Creative way of writing: Once again, Tera Lynn Childs proves that she is a great writer. These past couple of weeks, I’ve read not one, not two, but three of her books (Sweet Shadows, Oh. My. Gods., & Just For Fins) and I am willing to read more. (Yes, I like her way of writing that much). I ususally can’t read books from the same author back to back and have to read some in between, but I don’t have that problem with TLC. She has a way of telling the story that leaves you happy, but also wanting to read more of her stuff.

Overall, the book was really good. I expected more twist regarding some of the issues in the water, but the outcome was very satisfying. I wonder if there will be a book four to this series. There’s some things that are left open ended that I would like to see the results. I’ll be waiting for the announcement anxiously!

5 out of 5 stars for Just For Fins by Tera Lynn Childs.  

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