Thursday, May 1, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly


Pages: 320
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: May 6, 2014
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe. When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin's arrow poisons Sera's mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence."
Serafina is a mermaid who is heir to the realm of Miromara.  She is worrying about her performance at her betrothal ceremony; plus, the merman she is promised to, Prince Mahdi, isn't acting like himself as there are many rumors of him staying out all night and dating other girls.  Serafina is stressed out by all this and to top it off, she keeps have a recurring dream that is extremely ominous.  She shrugs it off as nothing but nerves until her mother is attacked and consequently her world is turned upside down.  Thankfully, Sera has her best friend, Princess Neela, with her while she is on a journey to figure out who killed her mother and started a massive war.  Jennifer Donnelly's Deep Blue, the first book in the Waterfire Saga series, is an imaginative and adorable read for middle grade girls.  

Deep Blue is all about girl power and Sera learns to encompasses that. Being that she is the next queen, she has a lot of pressure to deal with and throughout the novel, she learns how to not only deal with the pressure, but also overcome many of her fears.  I like the messages that Deep Blue has for young girls (trusting yourself, overcoming obstacles, relying on girlfriends, etc) and Sera is a fantastic heroine for middle grade girls.  I was rooting for her from the beginning!

Donnelly is one of my favorite authors and a captivating storyteller. In Deep Blue, she pulls her readers into a very imaginative world where there's a lot of mythology as well as mermaid slang. I will admit that from time to time, I got confused with the slang and references to various things in their world, but once I got accustomed to the different language, I had no problem.  Some readers may have issues with this, especially older YA readers (they may think it's a bit cheesy), but I think middle grade girls would appreciate the fun slang. 

The setting in Deep Blue is very well done.  I could imagine everything that Donnelly described and it was taking me back to my childhood obsession with The Little Mermaid. While this wasn't my favorite novel by Donnelly, I think middle grade girls, who were once a fan of The Little Mermaid will love revisiting a mermaid tale geared toward an older audience. If you know a middle grade girl or are looking for an adorable fantasy for a vacation at the beach, (you can't go wrong with mermaids in the summer!) then check out Jennifer Donnelly's Deep Blue.

Thanks to Disney Publishing, I am hosting a giveaway for one copy of the book and custom Deep Blue nail polish! There will be two winners and it's open to US only. The deadline is May 11th and please refer to my giveaway rules.  


“Pretty Principessa” Prize Pack

To learn more about Jennifer Donnelly's new series, check out the Waterfire Saga website, watch the Deep Blue book trailer and visit Jennifer Donnelly at her official website.  

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12 comments:

  1. While the slang sounds like it would actually irritate me through the novel, I really enjoy Ms. Donnelly's writing, and I've never heard of this one before. I think it sounds fun - and I've yet to find the PERFECT mermaid read. Maybe this is it?! Lovely review, Christina :)

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    1. Thanks, Melissa! I love Donnelly as well. Her writing is incredible, especially A Northern Light. Thanks for visiting.

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  2. I loved Revolution and this one sounds...cute but maybe a little too MG for me. I keep on meaning to check out more from Donnelly - maybe A Gathering Light. I've heard that's a good one.

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    1. Revolution was pretty fabulous and A Northern Light is great as well. This book is good, but very MG. You might not like it as much as you were hoping. Let me know your thoughts if you do read it. Thanks for visiting, Leanna!

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  3. This one looks like a good way to kick off the summer!

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    1. It really is…nothing says summertime like mermaids! Thanks for visiting!

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  4. I so debated picking this up, but ultimately passed. My TBR is so out-of-control and I've really struggled with any kind of paranormal creatures lately (although I do love mermaids). I didn't realize this was a MG book. It sounds pretty cute for the younger crowd. I'll have to remember this when recommending young teen books to my library patrons. Great review!

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    1. I hear you..my TBR is pretty crazy as well. It is definitely more MG and I think tweens will really enjoy it. I know at that age, I would have! Thanks for visiting, Natalie!

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  5. I'm hearing from a lot of people that this book would work well for middle grade readers which makes me a little nervous! Since I'm an older reader of YA, I'm thinking the slang you mentioned and a couple of other things will be a bit problematic for me. I still want to give it a try though, now that I know it reads a bit younger going in maybe it won't be an issue:)

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    1. I definitely think you should still give it a try, Jenny! It's a fun summertime read even though it's a little "young." Thanks for dropping by!

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  6. I started reading this but put it aside. I suppose I should give it another try and see if I can move past the mermaid slang. I have read Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs which is appropriate for young teens and I wonder if this book would be similar. I didn't realize that this was a middle grade novel but that is really good to know before moving forward!

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    1. It definitely is geared more towards MG, but is a cute read nonetheless. I haven't read Forgive My Fins, but it sounds similar. If you read it, let me know your thoughts! Thanks for dropping by, Christina!

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