The Mermaid's Mirror is a beautiful story about a girl who has been living with the belief that her mother died when she was four and finds out that the circumstances were somewhat different than what she knew. It's apparent early on where the story is headed, but not about the choices that have to be made or the costs of those choices.
Lena is almost sixteen and has lately been finding herself waking up in the early mornings on the beach, barefoot in her pajamas. What's more she believes she's seeing a mermaid in the water. And she is taking surfing lessons on the sly, because her father will not let her despite her deep love of the ocean. She's a natural at it and in a risky move, she surfs Magick, a place where even the best surfers are wary of because of the reefs and holes. It is there that she sees the mermaid again and receives something from her that opens up the mystery surrounding her mother's death.
I stayed up until five am reading this book, it was that good. It had some romance, not much, but it was more about family and trust and Lena having to make tough choices. She hovers between two worlds and is only allowed to choose one for the rest of her life and Fate has been cruel in putting her true love in one and her family in another. Madigan gives a fascinating glimpse into what a merperson's world would look like and what their days would be filled with and I think she does an equally good job and portraying Lena as a typical teen.
The story flowed smoothly and nothing felt contrived or out of place. Madigan's writing is easy to read and moves along at a fast pace considering I read the book in a few hours in the middle of the night. I also just couldn't put it down. I had to know what Lena's choice was because there wasn't a win/win situation for her. The epilogue is a good way to end the book, though somewhat a given considering all that has happened. I only wish that maybe a merman's head would have popped up at Magicks while Lena was there, hoping there was someway to redeem that situation. Ms. Madigan also includes a little information in the back of the book stating that Magicks was based on a real place where a surfer died.
I received this book as and E-book ARC from Houghton Mifflen Harcourt to review. I received not monetary or other compensation for reviewing this book.