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Water so Deep
by Nichole Giles
Seventeen-year-old Emma Harris is drowning on dry land. No one knows what’s happening to her, and she’d like to keep her evolution from human to mermaid a secret, but the truth is getting harder and harder to hide. From her adoptive family, from her friends, and especially from the irresistible James Phelps. Her time in the ocean is spent dodging a possessive merman, while her time on land is split between caring for her special-needs brother and squeezing in every last possible moment of human life. She soon realizes falling for James is unavoidable when he constantly comes to Emma’s rescue and somehow manages to see through her carefully constructed icy facade to the vulnerability she lives with every day. Everything about James makes Emma yearn for a life on land she just can't have. When Emma’s brother disappears on her watch, James is the only person she trusts to help her save him. But even if they can save her brother, nothing can prevent her return to the sea. Whether she likes it or not, Emma is changing—unable to breathe without yielding to the tide—and it's only a matter of time before she's forced to surrender forever.
My Thoughts: I've been obsessing with mermaids lately that this book immediately caught my attention. The cover was stunning as well for it made me gravitate towards it. I haven't read many mermaid books, but the few that I have were enjoyable. Thus, I was highly looking forward to reading Water So Deep.
The plot was interesting and it opened up with a bang. I was immediately drawn into the story with the first chapter on Emma's horrific experience with her ex-boyfriend. I was not expecting this sort of beginning. I wanted to know more about Emma and see how she would move on from this traumatic event. At the same time, I was curious to learn how everything was going to unfurl as the day for Emma to go live in the ocean was nearing. I kept wondering how her family was going to react when she had to disappear. I also wondered if Emma's family would learn the truth about her becoming a mermaid.
What I love best about this book was the relationship between Emma's brother, Keith, and her love interest, James. Keith had Autism and he was starting public school for the first time. His innocence and naivete melted my heart and made me want to wrap my arms around him. Since I work with students with special needs, I could easily picture Keith and understand what he went through. Next, there was James. Even though he was the new kid who had to act the "player," he had a true heart. He didn't go along with the way the popular kids thought. Instead, James stayed true to himself, which allowed him to befriend Keith. I admired the way James was able to understand, be patient, and not judge Keith's disability. It made me wish that more teenage children were as accepting as James was. Also, the way these two characters interacted with each other left me grinning. Ms. Giles did a fantastic job with James' and Keith's relationship.
As entertaining as this book was, it was not perfect. I found myself disconnecting with the story many times, I found Merrick to be annoying, and the ending had me scratching my head. I also wished that the idea of Atlantis was more fleshed out. I found myself having many questions that went unanswered. I hope there's a second book so these questions and the ending can get resolved.
Overall, this was a well told young adult mermaid book. It was not perfect, but I still had fun reading it. I was captivated with the majority of the plot and I absolutely loved the relationship between James and Keith. This is a great book for anyone seeking a fantasy read. I rate it:
About the Author
Nichole Giles, the author of the Descendant trilogy, has lived in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Texas. She loves to spend time with her husband and four children, travel to tropical and exotic destinations, drive in the rain with the convertible top down, and play music at full volume so she can sing along.