Monday, July 18, 2016

Review: Flipping the Scales by Pete Tarsi

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

Is it weird for a 26 year-old to have an obsession with mermaids? I liked them when I was younger, went through a bit of a dry spell through my young adult years, and now: WHAM! I'm watching Aquamarine several times a month, am looking up mermaid tail-shaped blankets on Amazon (yes, it's a thing) and now want to read ALL THE MERMAID BOOKS!, apparently. The middle school nostalgia game is strong.

Author: Pete Tarsi
Series: Flipping the Scales #1
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: November 13, 2014
Pages: 250
Format: Paperback
Average Rating: 4.39

Meredith and Marina’s lives have been flipped upside down. When the translucent skirt that straight-A-student Meredith finds hidden on the beach gets wet, it transforms her legs into a mermaid tail. Despite the evidence in front of her, she insists that becoming a mythical creature isn’t scientifically possible.

Marina is allowed to experience one day per moon cycle among the humans. After hiding her tail on the beach that morning, she takes her first timid steps on land. When she returns at sunset to find it missing, she is left stranded and alone.

For the first time in her life, Meredith doesn’t have all the answers. As she searches for a way to return to normal before the next full moon, she makes waves among the school of mermaids. Meanwhile, Marina uncovers information about her past, and for the first time in her life, she must stand on her own two feet and take the lead on her own adventure. As Meredith senses her human side slipping away, a forbidden way to change back entices her. But it comes with a consequence: Marina wouldn’t be able to return to the ocean.

All Meredith wants to do this summer is study and stay as far away from the ocean as possible, but when she accidentally puts on a mermaid fin disguised as a skirt, college becomes the least of her worries. Meanwhile, without access to her tail, Marina must learn how to walk, talk, and behave like a human until she is able to return to the water. The best part about this book, for me, was the fact that it was so lighthearted and easy to read while also showcasing an incredible friendship and exploring the benefits and repercussions of stepping outside of your comfort zone. Despite the seriousness of losing the only world they have ever known, the switch allows both Meredith and Marina to enjoy a part of their lives they have continually shied away from. Meredith must learn that sometimes it is okay not to have all the answers, while Marina discovers that the best experiences in life do not happen when all you want to do is play it safe, and I think that this is a great idea to get across, particularly to younger readers experiencing the same sort of problems and worries (minus the tail).

The language was a bit difficult for me to follow at times - one of the characters uses text speak during her conversations, and I kept having to stop and figure out what certain things meant (mostly because I am an old lady, apparently, and am completely out of touch with current slang), and I did feel like the romances in this book were a bit unnecessary and did not really add much to the story.

  • Of the five girls, I think I connected to Jill the most. A lot of her reactions to things that were going on were the same as mine, and I feel like she was the most mature of the group. None of them seemed like the were sixteen/seventeen, but Jill was definitely the most level-headed and calm, which was surprising, considering that is supposed to be Meredith's territory.
  • My favorite part of the book was when Meredith was with Marina and Lorelei's school, and was learning all about the mermaids and how they swim/interact with one another. The underwater politics was something I would definitely have liked to learn a bit more about! 
  • I really enjoyed how loyal all of the girls were. A lot of times, books with high school girls as the main character(s) will use arguments and backstabbing to create drama, but there was none of that in this book (I mean, there was one instance of questionable decision-making, but it wasn't followed through), and I found that really refreshing. Lorelei and Marina's friendship was probably my favorite, but they were all great.


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Overall, this book was a great tale (ha) of friendship. It has a lot of heart with some great lessons, and is a fast read. There is a bit of mystery mixed in with all the adorable craziness regarding one of the girls' parents, which sets up for a second book very nicely, and I am interested in seeing how that eventually plays out. Definitely pick it up if you're looking for a cute, summery read!

Now, please excuse me. I am going to go and watch Aquamarine for the hundredth time while singing Part of Your World...

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