Between the Sea and Sky

Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore
Release Date: October 25, 2011
Bloomsbury Teen
ISBN13:  9781599904344

3/5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:
For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.

I admittedly haven't read very many mermaid books, but this cover is so eye-catching and I'm a big Little Mermaid fan so I figured, why not? Between the Sea and Sky ended up being a nice quick read, altough it ended up feeling more Middle Grade than  YA to me.

Reasons to Read:
  1. Sweet Relationships:
    Esmirine's family was so loving and supportive, and just present in the story, that I loved reading about them. It can be so enjoyable to read about positive family dynamics, and even though Esmirine does end up going on a journey by herself in more of an adult sense, she does so with the support and as much assistance as her family can offer her. Plus, the entire book is set in motion because of the strong attachment and love Esmirine has for her sister. Something I love reading about in books is childhood friendship; there's something so pure and innocent about it. And that is exactly what defines the connection between Esmirine and Alandare. I was so enamoured by their relationship, especially one that was not supported by anyone really.
  2. A Fascinating World:
    I loved the world Jaclyn Dolamore created with her interesting take on mermaids and the Fandarsee (people with wings) and I really would have enjoyed hearing more about it. The relationships between the different races (if I can call them that) were intriguing, as well as their curiousity with each other. It definitely gives the impression and feel of a traditional fairytale world, one where very few things are questioned and you need to accept the world as it is.
I think overall, this was just a really positive book. Kind of like a Disney movie- very happy, positive, with a tidy little ending. But that also means it's lacking an amount of depth and complexity normally found in YA books, which is why it kind of read like a Middle Grade book to me. And to be honest, the relationship between Esmirine and Alandare didn't really feel romantic at all. I could see why they were friends, but it was harder to see its progression as anything romantic.

Like I mentioned at the beginning, it's also a very quick read. Because of its short length, there also isn't time to witness much character development, or even establish a strong connection to the characters. Fast paced, nothing too shocking or dramatic, and the ending is nicely handed to you tied together in a very pretty bow. So don't expect much more from this one in terms of depth, because it really is even lighter and happier than Disney's The Little Mermaid.

I received a finished copy to review from Penguin Canada in exchange for my honest opinion; no other compensation was received. Thank you for providing me with a copy!

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Giselle said...

I'm a bit wary of mermaid books they're not my fav. paranormal beings. This one sounds ok though - and very happy! haha. I may check it out. Awesome review, Brenna!

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Natalia Belikov said...

This doesnt sounds like a WOW-blow-you-away-book but it sounds sweet enough for me to enjoy ^__^

thanks for the great review my dear =D


Anonymous said...

Excellent review, Brenna!
I'm glad you and I had the same thoughts on the title.

-Wendy from A Cupcake and a Latte: YA Reviews

Mimi Valentine said...

Aww, I love Disney movies! They're sweet and pure and definitely a blast to watch, so it made me smile when you compared this to one! :)

I actually haven't read very many mermaid books either, and I'm not sure why! But this one seems like such a nice read for a rainy day. It's too bad the romance didn't so much for you, but I'm glad that the world was fascinating! :) And I love reading about childhood friendships too!

Awesome review, Brenna! :)

A Canadian Girl said...

I'm a huge Little Mermaid fan too and since I haven't read any mermaid novels yet, I think this one sounds like a good one to start with despite the flaws you mentioned. It's happy, has good world building (Wendy mentioned that too) and there's a loving and supportive family (which I find lacking in the YA genre). I also like that I can share it with my younger cousin if it has more of an MG tone. Thanks, Brenna!

Unknown said...

Another book that sounds good and I have not know about. Thanks for the review.

Unknown said...

Mermaids aren't my favorite YA books out there. I'm glad you enjoyed the book even with flaws! Great review! :)

TayteH said...

Really? Only a 3? Well, mermaids aren't everyone's forte. Personally, I can't wait to read the book. :D But thanks for the review.

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