Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review: Between the Land and the Sea (Marina's Tales #1) by Derrolyn Anderson

Between the Land and the Sea (Marina's Tales #1) by Derrolyn Anderson 

Published: March 19th 2011
Publisher: Self Published
Page Count: Kindle Editon, 261
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Find the Author: WebsiteGood Reads

Buy This Book: Amazon Kindle

Add It To Your Good Reads Shelf
Something extraordinary is lurking in the deep ocean waters off the coast of Aptos, California. Just a few weeks after moving to the beach town, sixteen year-old Marina has nearly drowned twice, enchanted the hottest guy in high school, and discovered a supernatural creature. If she can manage to survive her increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might just be able to unlock the mystery of her past and learn how to appease the mysterious forces that seem to want something from her... and maybe even find true love along the way. - Good Reads
This was sent to me by the author for an honest review. 
I'd seen the covers of the Marina's Tales series floating around blogs for a while now and have read nothing but good reviews, so when Derrolyn Anderson e-mailed me I was excited that she invited me to read and review the series for myself. I'm interested in mermaids, but I haven't found a mermaid novel I've been able to really enjoy yet, so I was hoping this would be the one. And I'm happy to say I enjoyed it much more than I have enjoyed other mermaid novels I've read. 

The premise was interesting, the characters enjoyable, there was a sweet love story and there was an intriguing storyline. And I only saw two typos throughout reading, so those who have complaints about independently published books having a lack of good editing: this isn't one of them. Two typos is comparable with the typos I find in novels put out by the big boys. But there were a few issues I had:

1. The language sometimes felt very out of place and unnatural. Here are a few examples of quotes from the book:

"He was the handsomest boy I had ever laid eyes on."

"I had to find Lorelei, for now I was truly desperate to know more about my mother."

"The more I got to know Ethan the more impressed I was, for he was totally unlike any of the other boys at school."

"I felt terrible, for now he knew that I had lied to him. Lies of omission."

"I beamed at him, for his joy was infectious, and delighted me as if it were my own."

which leads me to what else bothered me:

2. Marina. She was a lovable character, but felt a little pretentious at times. I've lived in numerous countries and I've travelled to quite a few as well. When I was 16 I spent a summer in Thailand doing volunteer work, when I was 14 it was the Darien Jungle in Panama and the list goes on. I was also taught at home. It in no way caused me to talk like I jumped out of the 19th century like it was shown to affect Marina. The only way my life experiences have affected my speech are silly things, like I mix Arabic in quite a bit and my normal speech is a  mix between Russian and English or when I go to the supermarket and see the girl from Thailand we greet each other in Thai or I see the Turkish man who sells mobile accessories in the mall, I say "Marhaba!" My daughter started out with an English accent, but now has an American accent. I have an American accent, but I've been known to pronounce certain words the English way, usually because I learned to pronounce them that way. I also say things like lift instead of elevator, fringe instead of bangs, boot instead of trunk, etc. So, no, in my experience and from what I've seen of my other friends who grew up as expats: we do not talk as if we've time travelled out of another century. I actually even feel a little pretentious right now. 

But other than that, the book was actually good. The love story was very slow developing. It's funny because I always bitch about instalove and this time I was like GEEZ YOU GUYS, YOU LOVE EACH OTHER, YOU WANT EACH OTHER GOGOGOGOGOGO! -- It developed at a snail pace and I didn't exactly feel the sparks I hoped for, but the development did feel realistic and I still was able to enjoy it.

The mermaid side of the story moved a little slow throughout the book, but reared its head majorly towards the end. I really liked the descriptions and the background that we did learn in this installment of the series and I look forward to getting to know more about the world of the mermaids in future books and I definitely plan on reading more! 

I definitely recommend this for mermaid lovers or anyone who wants a clean, slow growing young adult romance mixed with some fantasy. It only costs 99 cents for the Kindle edition and I can honestly say that's a steal! 

                                           3 out of 5 Hello Kitties!


  1. LOL, LIZA! Your review made me laugh!

    I'm pretty picky about pretentious writing too! Maybe it's just me, but whenever I read the words "I am" when it's not in an emphatic sentence, I tend to re-write it in my mind so it seems more modern. Maybe I'm just picky like that. x)

    Awesome review, Liza! I really like mermaid books, so I think I might give this one a shot! :)

  2. I'm a mermaid virgin. (So to speak.) I keep hoping one of these stories will jump out at me and say "READ ME" but so far I haven't been interested enough.

    Great review! I appreciate your honesty, as always. Am chuckling over you cheering for the lovers to get together...we readers are SO picky, aren't we?

  3. I loved this review :D Interestingly, I didn't even notice Anderson's use of "for" - possibly because I went through a phase of using it ALL THE TIME in my writing when I was younger ;)

  4. I am curious about the book now.. It wasn't on my shelf of to read books but it is now. It doesn't sound like I thought it would be.
    I suppose the quotes of her phrases would not bother me if coming from a mermaid.