Release Date: January, 2013
Published By: Createspace
Length: 310 pages
Review Copy: Paperback, provided by author for honest review
Take a fish-phobic girl, divide her by one hot merman, add a splash of his crazy ex-merbitch, and you get one stinky school year.
Sixteen-year-old Marina Valentine is a rule-stretcher in an uptight Texas seaside town. She’s hormonally challenged, curious to a fault, hates fish, and has a dating resume that makes the queen look like a slut. It’s not that guys don’t ask her out. They do. She just has an unfortunate reaction to dating—uncontrollable gags. It’s not exactly a turn on.
One by one, her oddball friends start disappearing—much to the joy of the snobby high school royals—and Marina fears she is a walking bull’s eye. Inquiries into their disappearances lead to startling, gag-worthy discoveries. Toss in an increasingly inconvenient attraction to one of the royals—who holds the key to solving the mystery…in his fin—and it’s an anti-fish girl’s worst nightmare come true. Soon, Marina finds herself at the center of a looming underwater war that’s really going to play games with her love life.
As time closes in—and the Merpeople officially come out of the ocean—Marina must choose between the lives of her friends, the future of an underwater utopia, and the life of her first love. There’s just one problem. Where does a love-shy, fish-phobic, non-mergirl even begin…especially when her enemy may be the one person she trusted above everyone else?
This is a hoot to read right from the start and is jam packed with quirky, fun characters. You can feel the amount of connection that Sutton has with her characters and it makes the book that much more fun to read. It is no secret that I am a Mermaid fanatic but that does not make my love of a book come easy, they still have to work for it. With Finned, it would be hard not to love because honestly there is a unique main character and premise to the entire book. The humour alone would be enough for anyone to want to speed through this one and yet still enjoy it. This was more than a mermaid read for me, it was something that had soul.
Marina is happy to be banished and glad to be at a school with some of her old friends. Though she was less than impressed when she was also told never to touch a deck of cards again; meaning never do another reading. Now having her last reading, read her death isn't exactly ideal but at least she knows that it is coming for her and she can spend her last months with real people... Kind of. The new school is filled with aquariums and sea life... literally. Though Marina manages to keep her gag reflex in check most of the time fish just happens to have that effect on her. Then when things get dire, her friends are all gone and it turns out the guy she can keep her eyes off of is half fish... Well lets just say the plot can get fishier *laughs at own pun*.
I can not get enough of Marina, she is seriously amazing. This girl has some serious issues but for each one she has, she has something awesome to back it up. Like she my gag at the thought of fish, dating and other things but you want a girl with a back bone and you will call this girl. She does understand what fear is but for the most part she brushes it aside and refuses to back down from the evil (and I quote) "mer-bitch". Truth be told she really does not back down from anyone and sticks to her opinion on just about everything. She was not made up to be perfect or even close to it but there was an obvious moral base and when it came to the one she liked not being all he seemed, she took a little bit to adjust. I also liked that there was some paranormal background so having Mermaids be real wasn't really all that much of a stretch for our young Marina. The amount of stuff dumped on her did overwhelm her a little though and I can not say that I blame her because it would be a lot for any person to take in, let alone one that fish-phobic. Yes that is a hint that she is tied into everything in this new little world she has become a part of.
Troy was not the typical melt my heart guy either. I liked him but at the same time I had to question if he was good enough for the epidemically snarky Marina. Yes, I love her and no matter how Merman the guy is he needed to be good enough for her. I would like to now mention that he is a part of the Fairhair faction of this book, though that means he is a part of the nicer group it does not mean that he is supposed to interact with her. Basically this causes my blood to boil... Ridiculous reaction you may thing but when he insinuates they carry on a "secret relationship" I wanted to smack him for Marina. There is hope for the poor clueless boy though and he does manage to redeem himself and then only then did I want to kiss him... I mean not really because that would be a love triangle but the thought was there. Troy does have many redeeming qualities but I would LOVE for you to figure them out and decide for yourself.
There are so many things that made me love this one but what really tipped the scales for me was the fact that you could tell how much the author loved her characters. There is something that you get from characters that obviously carry a certain amount of their creator with them and everything in this book said Sutton Shields. No I do not know her personally but when you talk to her it all makes sense. With a wonderfully paced plot, well developed characters and with a uniqueness that had me completely consumed, Finned became a top ten Mer read almost instantly. If you love characters that could stand on their own, snark and an abundance of quirk this is the book for you!
Dear God. On December 31st, I'm going to die. Well, that really blows. Still, it was rather remarkable what a plain deck of cards and a funky, Cajun card-reading gene can uncover... remarkable and seriously crappy. Hey, if I die, I die.
He kept staring at my legs. Did my jeans offend him? Was there a dress code? Ew. What if he swings towards a pervy sort? Note to self: Possibly a pervy sort. Keep a watchful eye on Mr. Smarmy.
"No, you're not, actually...and what the hell is happening to your skin?"
Dang it. "Hive. Are you going to say anything at all about what just happened?" I asked frustrated he has taken this long. GAG.
After a brief moment, he said, "Are you gagging?"
GAG. "Yes. It's a me thing. And don't change the subject."
"Out," he had said to a bewildered Katrina. "Now." He was so fierce that no one wanted to challenge him, much less Katrina. It was such a nobody puts Marina in the corner moment, and I loved every moment.