Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs
June 28, 2011; HarperCollins Childrens Books
On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mergirl, true, but signing the renunciation will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being-human thing once and for all.
Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, the waves start to get rough. Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody?
The seafoam on the raging surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up—Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her own dreams?
Tera Lynn Childs’s sequel to Forgive My Fins offers another tail-flicking romance with plenty of fun, sun, and underwater adventure. (courtesy of Goodreads)
Forgive My Fins was an adorable tail (spelling on purpose) of a mermaid discovering who she should love and whether love is worth giving up your home at sea for a landlocked life. It was light, fluffy, and loads of fun. Fins Are Forever, the sequel, is similarly adorable. It is not as good as the first book, but I still enjoyed it.
Things are going great at the start of Fins Are Forever. Quince and Lily are in love and swimingly happy. Pretty typical start to a second book. Then Lily's cousin Doe shows up and threatens to ruin everything.
Lily is floundering throughout much of this book. She always thought she'd go back to her sea home after school. Now that that isn't going to happen, she has to plan for a human future. That means college. But is that what she wants? She doesn't want to go back to the sea again or does she?
We meet new characters in this book and get to know old ones better. Doe's actions are pretty shocking. She thoughtlessly uses people. However, she isn't a flatly awful character. I was pleased that the author gives an explanation for her hatred toward humans and allowed her personality to grow. I also liked how Lily grew in this novel. She starts out much more confident than she was in Forgive My Fins, but she still has a long ways to go toward maturity. By the end of the book, she is beginning to have a grown-up, long-term view and makes decisions by thinking about someone else than herself. I was not a fan of Quince here. I loved him in the first book, but he's an after-thought in much of Fins Are Forever. Par for the second book course, I suppose, but since he was one of the main things that made Forgive My Fins loveable, it's extra disappointing to miss out on extra Quince moments. The main new character is Tellin, a guppyhood friend of Lily. I loved his character. Is he a good or bad guy? Honest or manipulative? It's hard to say for much of the book. Nice to have a complex character.
The plot is good and bad. On the good side, we learn more about the mermaid world. There are other kingdoms, for example. And the human world has affected mermaids more than we realized in the first book. Things aren't all sunny. The author did a great job of exploring how Lily has the potential to affect her subjects' lives for good and the consequences of doing so. It takes the book slightly beyond it's main fluffy nature. On the bad side of the plot, there were a lot of events that were too outrageous to be believed - even for a mermaid book. Doe and Brody's relationship ended up being a stretch. And certain conflicts were cleaned up too neatly at the end.
Regardless of its flaws, Fins Are Forever was a cute continuation to the series. I don't take these books too seriously, so I'm willing to accept some silliness. I'm curious to see where the series goes from here.