Author: Anna Davies
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ARC, 321 pages
Date Published: May 1, 2012
Source: Big Honcho Media/Publisher
Description (Taken from Big Honcho Media):
In the wake of a tragic boating accident that killed her friends, 16-year-old Miranda is consumed by guilt. She has no memory of how she managed to survive the crash, only the murky dreams of a strange boy in the dark water. Her only refuge is in the late-night swims she takes alone— until one night on the beach when she meets Christian, a boy who seems eerily familiar, but keeps many secrets.
The more she fights it the faster love pulls her under. Soon she finds herself in over her head when the dangerous true nature of Christian’s secrets rise to the surface.
Wrecked is a seductive contemporary reimagination of The Little Mermaid, with a paranormal twist, from debut author Anna Davies.
From the first page, we meet fun-loving, realistic Miranda. She’s a girl with a great life, despite losing her parents as a child. She lives on the idyllic island of Whym with a wealthy grandma and a great younger brother. She has great friends and a wonderful boyfriend, but small town superstitions run rampant, and when a tragic ‘accident’ causes the death of half of her group, Miranda is devastated.
This mermaid story never truly feels like it’s a mermaid story. Sure, there’s some alluring mermaid and betwitxmen (never heard of them before) lore, but it’s more about Miranda coping in the aftermath of great loss. I could be a little biased here, but I believe the greatest strength that Wrecked has, is that in light of all the fantastical elements, the story comes across as quite realistic; it seems more like a contemporary read than a fantasy read.
All in all, Wrecked has a lot of great things going for it. Miranda is a strong, even though she may see herself as weak; she’s easy to relate to, even though she’s experienced trauma that few ever will. The other, more minor characters are all presented in a very skewed, one dimensional way, but it still works out.
Miranda’s savior and the mermaid element in the story, Christian, doesn’t have quite the depth that is needed to really connect with him; and he brings in that insta-love aspect that so many YA books have, but I got over that easily. Because when he’s around Miranda, he changes her, helping her move past all the terrible things in her life, and I can get behind a guy (or betwixtmen) who can do that.
Wrecked was an easy, enjoyable read, with some new (at least to me) mermaid lore. It’s not the most inventive tale or something full of constant action, but the emotional punch it packed was surprisingly realistic and effective. Regardless of the fact that I really did enjoy it, I have to say that I hated the ended. It felt far too rushed and anticlimactic. Aside from that though, it’s a mermaid story that even fantasy haters will enjoy.
Opening line: In many ways, Whym Island is like any of the hundreds of tiny islands dotting the South Carolina coast. ~ pg. xi
Favorite lines/passages: And she’d never solve the mystery of how the hell the accident had happened. And really, it didn’t matter. Mermaids or not, it had happened, people had died, and now survivors were left to pick up the pieces. It was just one non-enchanting fairy tale. ~ pg. 297
*This is the ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy
3.5*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.