Publication Date: July 2011
Series: 1st in a series
Acquisition: received for review
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. (from Goodreads)
I love the name of this series - Mer Tales - because that's exactly what it is. A tale of merpeople. Mermaids and mermen and the world they live in and the rules that govern them. There's more though. Action and love and friendship and devotion. It's all wrapped up together making for an engaging and thrilling story.
We are treated to 2 points of view. Ashlyn or Ash is a human, senior in high school who isn't very popular and doesn't seem to be all that sure of herself. Then there is Finley, or Fin, almost 18 and not human at all :) His sister Tatiana and Ash are best friends and have been for a long time. But as Ash discovers, there is a lot her friends haven't been telling her.
I did like this dual POV but for the first half of the book I felt like I was reading two completely different stories. Fin, Tatch and their parents leave, without telling Ash anything. So we have Ash going through the motions of high school with her rather obnoxious friend Georgia and then Fin, living in his people's underwater city, trying to fit in and figure out what is going on with his family. There is only 1 short chapter before Fin and Tatch leave so the story didn't really flow that well for me in the beginning.
And as much as I liked reading about Fin and his world, I was a little bored reading about Ash. I never warmed up to her and the way she acted, especially around the stereotypical 'hot guy' at school bugged me. This made it a little hard to root for her in the end. I would have liked to see more of Fin's world. There seemed to be a lot of layers to his people's lives and I really hope book 2 will give us more background and details.
Though, once Ash and Fin's worlds collide? Pretty much couldn't put this book down. I needed to know what happened and maybe at some points the story dragged a little but overall it didn't distract from the adventure.
Without giving too much away, I do need to say that I am not a fan at all of the romance in Everblue. It's almost calculating, as in, it has rules to follow and really? These rules take all the joy out of the relationship for me. We don't get to see the two love birds together very much until close to the end and then once they are together it's instant, I can't live without you love, which never sits well with me. But again, it's following a sort of order that the rules of the story have set forth so while it might not be my cup of tea, it makes sense for the storyline and the characters involved.
Overall, I very much enjoyed Everblue. Brenda is awesome at weaving a story together and making you feel like you're there with the characters. And while I might not have liked all the characters or elements in Everblue, I felt engaged as a reader and really, that's more important to me.
Labeled as Book One, I can only assume there will be a Book Two and I for one know I will be reading it. Not so much a cliff hanger as a pile of unresolved issues was left at the end of Everblue and I'm really excited to see what happens to Fin and Tatch and hopefully learn more about the fabulous world they live in.
4 / 5 Stars
Obsidian Mountain Publishing