Title: The Mers, A YA Mermaid Dystopia (Mer Chronicles Book #1)
Author: Ami Blackwelder
Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest opinion
From Goodreads: "What lies beneath the surface? One hundred years from now, the world has changed and brought with it, new forms of life. Who are the Mers? Who is Mira? Mira always knew she was different. Growing up with Mers, she never quite fit in. When Mira breaks the rules and takes Niren across the border that divides Ellis Island and New Jersey, a border that divides two vastly different worlds, she thought the journey to find out who she really is would be an easy one.
But as the world in Jersey proves to be a convoluted mix of Aristocrats who hate the Mers, Pirates who want to sell them, and Magi who want to use them...finding her true identity will be a challenge, especially when her best friend Niren is a Mer willing to fight to the death."
My opinion: When I read the synopsis of this book I was really excited to read it - a mermaid dystopian! I was hooked! Unfortunately, while the concept was very original, I never really connected to the characters, and I felt the writing was a bit stiff, especially during the conversations. When the teens were talking, it didn't sound like any teens I know. In too many instances where there should have been contractions, they just weren't there, and I personally don't know of any kids who talk as formal as these characters did. I also felt that in the relationship between Mira and Nerin, we were TOLD too often how in love they were, instead of being shown it. That being said, I did enjoy many aspects of the plot: when Mira decided to cross the border to try to find her parents and Nerin followed her, and all the trouble they got into in Remnantville after they found out what was being done to their fellow Mers. Even though Mira was human, she was never treated like an outcast by the Mers she grew up with, and she always sided with them, no matter what. Keeping the Mers safe was her first priority, even above finding her parents, and I loved that about her.
All in all I enjoyed the storyline, I just wish I had connected more with the characters. This is the first of a planned trilogy and I will be reading the next two in the hopes that they are better fleshed out in the books to come :D