Author: Héléne Boudreau
Published: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2010
Genre: Contemporary fiction/Fantasy
Cover score: A
Overall Grade: A
Jade is having the worst. Day. Ever. Not only does she get her first period and embarrass herself in front of the cutest boy in school, but she comes out of a supposed "soothing and relaxing" bath with a...mermaid tail? Jade soon discovers that she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mother. But if Mom was a mermaid, then how did she drown? Jade is determined to solve the mystery--no matter how dangerous and difficult it might get. So how does a plus-sized, chocolate-addicted, aqua-phobic, half-mer go about doing that exactly? And how is she supposed to keep her massive secret from her best friend and adorable crush? One thing's for sure: this summer is about to get a whole lot more interesting...
My thoughts: Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings was a clever and fresh take on a coming-of-age story. It was colorful, it was whimsical; it was witty and heart-warming and humorous. Jade made an empathetic main character: she was relatable and funny, and her narration was sincere and heartfelt. I felt like I could really get into her head and feel what she was feeling. I loved the supporting characters, including Jade's dad, her best friend Cori, and her crush Luke. They were all interesting and unique.
The plot was fast-paced and easy to follow. I literally whizzed through this book in a day. The story had perfect amounts of fantasy, romance, and adventure, the action was simple (even though I wish there had been more buildup!), and I loved all of the useful mermaid background information. Ms. Boudreau clearly went above and beyond in building her story and characters. Plus, I loved the chocolate mug cake recipe in the back of the book--I will DEFINITELY be trying that out!!
Creative, clever, and sweet, Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings is a fresh twist on a common plot. A middle grade girl must-read!
Must-Read! Check it Out! Don't Bother