Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore: review

Goodreads rating: 3.63
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books

For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alander, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alander band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.


This novel was full of fluff! That's not necessarily bad. There are always those moments of sweetness, and those moments of great emotional tension. I think what bothers me in books with a lot of fluff is that it's lacking in the description area. It's all about feelings, and I really can't see myself in the place they're in. But actually, Dolamore does a decent job of giving imagery. There's just something about this one; as much as I wanted to, I couldn't love it.

I did love the idea that it's not only a human and mermaid world, but also with these strange half-human flying creatures. It added a very interesting layer to the story that I wasn't expecting, and it made it more of a fantasy book. A fluffy fantasy. Never thought I'd say that phrase. There was little intrigue, and the only thing that really kept me reading was the possible relationship between Esmerine and Alan. I didn't find myself caring very much about the sister's fate among the humans. I didn't feel like we got to know her well enough in the beginning to really care. I was much more focused on Esmerine, and even then I didn't find myself as invested as I thought I'd be.

One of the sweetest things about this novel was Esmerine's determination, which led her to her new/rekindled relationship with Alan. It had just the right amount of tension, and even though his wings kind of creeped me out, I ended up forgetting about them. They didn't define him (even though he used them quite a bit), and what mattered more to Esmerine was the past they'd had, and an impossible future that she desperately wanted. And you wanted it to work out between them, which is why I was annoyed when the happy ending was rushed. I think that's one thing that really bothered me. One minute she was questioning her sister's decision to be human, and the next she... well, you'll have to read to find out!

To be clear, 3 is a good rating for me. The reason a lot of the books I review on here are 4 and above is because of what I hear about them, which turns out to be true. But then there's this book, and a few others, that I have been given for review for an honest review, and sometimes they aren't up to par with the books that I hear are amazing. While this one wasn't my favorites of this year, it's still a light, sweet read that I would recommend to those of you who are into mermaid books.


  1. This book looks lovely, but fluff frustrates me easily. I have a very low fluff-tolerance. So I'm guessing I should avoid this one. Great review!

  2. It's not just fluff, but there's enough of it to make up for the high-tension parts.

  3. Great review NIcole. It seems like not a lot of people really love this one. I'm not to keen on mermaid books either they just bore me o_O haha.

    Xpresso Reads

  4. This is one of the only mermaid books I've read, but I hear there are some good ones, so I'm willing to give the genre a chance :)


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