Deep beneath the sea, off the cold Irish coast, Gaia is a young mermaid who dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy. She longs to join his carefree world, but how much will she have to sacrifice? What will it take for the little mermaid to find her voice? Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale is reimagined through a searing feminist lens, with the stunning, scalpel-sharp writing and world building that has won Louise her legions of devoted fans. A book with the darkest of undercurrents, full of rage and rallying cries: storytelling at its most spellbinding.
Genre: Fantasy, Retellings, Young Adult, Feminism
One look at the cover I was sold. One look at the synopsis and I was in mermaid heaven. A Hans Christian Andersen The Little Mermaid retelling? Yes, please!
For those who aren´t familiar with the original The Little Mermaid version…
The original tale is nothing like hippy dippy, all sunshine and rainbows Disney Little Mermaid. Hans Christian Andersen wrote a brilliant tale that´s carries a more tragic theme than a happy one. Something I appreciate in classic fairy tales. It´s raw and emotional. So, you can guess the level of excitement I felt when I saw this gem?
`The Surface Breaks` by Louise O´Neill is a decent modern retelling that had me feeling all kinds of feels. I mean, anything between confusion and anger. I think it´s safe to say that I was confused about certain scenes and a tad bit disappointed by other scenes.
I believe it would be highly unnecessary to give you a quick run down on the story because everyone knows ( in a nutshell ) what happens. So, I´ll just give you a quick list of likes and dislikes about the book.
What I liked….
- The Writing! Good golly. Great writing.
- The sea witch. She had the most depth from all the characters.
- The fact that it´s a retelling.
Retellings aren´t easy because authors who attempt to retell a successful classic are going to be confronted with an already large and strong rooted fan base. Retellings are judged and criticized more. In my opinion, the author did a decent job with her retelling. If only….
What I disliked...
- The pace is slow
- The negativity
- The in – your – face – feminism
- The man – hate – parade
- That this was a retelling gone wild
Although I think the author did fairly okay, that doesn´t mean I liked what I read.
While I´m totally for feminism being included in modern literature, I´m not a fan of the in – your – face – feminism. We get the picture. Move on. This is a story about a mermaid. A fairy tale. Stick to the original moral of the story and get the hell on with it. This actually killed it for me.
I truly dislike when authors lose focus and include their beliefs like the author did in this book- Just for the sake of including something interesting.
This book made me feel the same way I felt at my last U2 concert. It´s the music that´s important. Stop being political before every song, for Christ´s sake. I didn´t pay almost 100 euros to listen to politics. Watching the news on TV would´ve been cheaper. And I didn´t pay good money to read about man hating. I could have had that for free watching SJW on Youtube.
Meeh. Let´s just say that I´ve read better retellings before. This one isn´t one of the better retellings.
Would I recommend this book? That depends. The book itself looks fabulous on a bookshelf. If you´re a book collector then YES! If you´re one of those blinded by hatred feminists out to destroy the male race.. then yes. If you´re like me and expect to read a retelling with a modern touch then no, I would not recommend this read.
Would I reread this book? No.
The Cover – 5+ stars ( What a beauty. )
The Story – 2-3 stars ( Yeah, no. It´s a retelling gone batshit unbelievable. The aggressive feminism ruined it for me. )
The Characters – 2 stars ( All except for the sea witch were a big fat NOPE for me. )
My emotional state after finishing this read – Bummed.
This book can be purchased on Amazon.com