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Between The Sea And Sky (2011)

by Jaclyn Dolamore(Favorite Author)
3.47 of 5 Votes: 4
1599904349 (ISBN13: 9781599904344)
Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
review 1: This is one of those books I am not sure where to rate it. On one hand a 2. It was ok; but I did kind of enjoy the book. I just was not impressed with it. Esmerine was a young siren who loved to read and explore. As a child she swam to the islands to play with her friend, Alander, who was a Fandarsee, a winged man. As an adult she has become a siren, the highest calling for a mermaid. Her older sister, Dosia is a siren as well. This is incredibly rare for a family for have two sirens, and quite the honor. Then Dosia disappears. Esmerine is afraid someone stole her belt, which makes it impossible for a siren to return to the ocean. Esmerine decides to go on land and search for her sister where she runs into her childhood friend, Alander or Alan Dare as he now go... morees by.Here are some on my issues with the book. I was not certain what reading level it is meant to be. I have it listen as a young adult book, however, the writing level was more juvenile fiction. I would relocate it to that section, however, the content makes it more teen. Another issue I had was there was no character development. I felt like I did not know much about Esmerine other than she liked books and was intelligent. She struggled with life on land and was in constant pain. By the end of the book I did not feel like she advanced as a character either.This book was supposed to be a love story between Esmerine and Alander. It fell flat with me here. They were old friends that acted like nothing more and acquaintances, then boom. Head over heads in love. Lastly, I felt there was not enough explanation of Dosia's story. The whole point to this journey was to track her down and to find out if she was kidnapped or went to shore willingly. This question is answered, but I still felt unfulfilled. What I did like with this story was the concept. Love between beings that tested all levels of love. I was also fascinated with the two worlds, the sea and the floating city. This is one of those books that I think needed more, more background and character development. Determine whether it is a teen or middle grade book, and I think it would have been an amazing story. I will try more by this author. I like the plots of her other stories and hope they have a little more to offer.
review 2: A 3.5, really, but I bumped it up for the worldbuilding. I especially like how the mers and the Fandarsee work - mers with their tails that they can split into legs, and Fandarsee with wings instead of arms, rather than in addition to arms, which is what I expected. The author thought of a lot, which means a lot of cool details, like how the Fandarsee pierce their wings to allow for fasteners so they can wear human-type clothes.I would have loved to see more . . . well, basically, more. Many scenes are skipped or glossed over, and I would have liked to really see them, grounded in Esmerine's viewpoint. For example, after Esmerine and Alan spend a night sleeping outside in a vineyard, and they kiss (nice scene), they spend the next night sharing a room at an inn and we get nothing. That night is completely skipped. At the end of one chapter, Esmerine is looking at the room and inspecting "their" bed, which sounds intriguing, as they hadn't shared the bed at the last inn, but they got pretty cozy in the vineyard. Then the chapter ends and the next one starts with the two already off again on their journey. There are missed opportunities for emotion and romance. It's a short book. It could have been longer and included more.My only other little complaint is that, for a book with such great worldbuilding, some of the dialog sounds quite modern. That's kind of a jolt when one is trying to get immersed in a story.It is pretty great how Esmerine and Dosia interact once they track Dosia down. I have more sympathy for Esmerine, and am glad to see her show her anger and frustration over Dosia's thoughtlessness, but I kind of sympathize with Dosia, too. The cast is well-drawn in general, with lots of fun minor characters. (I kind of love the Fandarsee orphan Swift.)The fact that Alan is half mer is used well in the story. I didn't anticipate that he would have his mother's siren belt - or that Esmerine could give Alan her own siren belt without the same effects she would have if she gave it to a human - but both things feel right. It might be a tad convenient the way the magic ends up working out, but I don't mind much.I see a fascinating parallel between humans' views of mermaids and many men's views of women. I like it when Esmerine asks with frustration why people keep thinking that mermaids are trying to seduce human men. Why can't mermaids be just trying to live their lives? less
Reviews (see all)
I liked this book but in reality, the plot wasn't that good. For anyone who loves happy endings.
It was a little short, but overall it was ok.
Great idea, but didn't get develop enough.
Loved it
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