Author: Brenda Pandos
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Pages: Paperback; 304
Release Date: July 30, 2011
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Nothing of note
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Mermaid enthusiasts, readers looking for a new twist on mermaids, romance lovers
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Librarything / Amazon / B&N
Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.
Ashlyn is about to discover what she'd thought to be true her whole life, wasn't, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.
What would you do if you found out your best friend, and coincidentally the boy you were crushing on, happened to be mermaids? Full fledged, tail possessing, swimming, mermaids. I don't know what I'd do personally, but Brenda Pandos takes us through Ashlyn's story as she discovers this world in Everblue. I'm pleased to say that this is a mermaid book that I honestly did love. Pandos takes a lore that we all know, and puts her own delicious spin on it. Hold on, you're in for a ride.
I have to confess that Tatiana and Fin are officially my new favorite brother/sister duo. Their sweet banter, the love they have for one another, and the way they take care of each other, is just wonderful. I knew I'd love Fin from the moment he walked into Ashlyn's view and she described him. He's a gorgeous, kind hearted boy. Who doesn't love those? Then we learn more about Tatiana and her spitfire attitude, and I was just smitten. The two of them scream sibling bond. Which, and I won't spoil anything big, makes the ending that much more difficult. (Insert dramatic music here.)
Ashlyn was a great character too, although I didn't fall in love with her as much as I would have liked to. I admired her ability to adapt and to fight for what she wanted. However there were times when she just felt slightly flat to me. Sometimes it felt as though she was going through the motions just to do things while she was waiting for something more important to happen. Compared to Fin, I just didn't feel she was as developed. As the story progressed, she definitely grew into her own though. By the time the ending came I appreciated her much more than the beginning. I know that in the second book I'll be right on board with her!
The relationship between Fin and Ashlyn is downright adorable. I'll tell you that right now! Again, no spoilers. Basically it's just too cute for words anyway. What I will say is that even though you hear a lot about Tatiana in the blurb, you won't really see too much of her in the story. It's not a bad thing, just letting you know. Everblue very much focuses on Fin and Ashlyn, even going so far as to alternate between their points of view in each chapter. Truth be told, I loved that. Seeing the story from both sides made it all the more engrossing and wonderful.
If you're a fan of worldbuilding in your stories, you'll love Everblue. As I mentioned above, Pandos takes what we know about mermaids (and mermen) and adds her own amazing spin to it. These aren't your run of the mill merpeople. They are so much more than that. The story that is built around them and their rich history is really what blew me away. When the ending came, with that darn cliffhanger, I was so ready for more. I cannot wait to see what happens next! I'm hoping for more Fin, more Ashlyn, and more romance.
Long story short? Get a copy of Everblue. Mermaids, romance, twists, it's all there. This book is well worth your time.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.