Childs, Tera Lynn. Forgive My Fins. New York: Katherine Tegen, 2010.
Not a direct adaptation of the traditional Little Mermaid tale, this YA book is part of the Fins trilogy – which follows 17-year-old Lily Sanderson, who is a half-mermaid, half-human girl living on land and dealing with crushes on two different human boys (swim team superstar Brody Bennett and the annoying, yet alluring, next-door neighbor Quince Fletcher).
Lily is the heir to the ocean kingdom of Thalassinia, and as she inches closer to her eighteenth birthday, she becomes increasingly torn between loyalty to this underwater destiny and the desire to stay on land and reinvent herself as a normal, teenage girl.
Pearce, Jackson. Fathomless. London: Hodder Children’s, 2013.
Fathomless is the third installment in the Fairytale Retellings series (which also includes retellings of Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, and The Snow Queen).
The novel follows Celia Reynolds – member of a set of triplets with magical powers — and a human-turned-mermaid named Lo as they develop a friendship . . . that turns into a rivalry as they compete for the affections of a human boy named Jude.
The narrative alternates between chapters written from Celia’s perspective and chapters written from Lo’s (as well as some written as Naida — the name for the human side of Lo’s split personality). Deals with identity, sibling rivalry, friendship drama, and self-discovery.
Fama, Elizabeth. Monstrous Beauty. New York: Square Fish/Farrar Straus Giroux, 2013.
Over a hundred years earlier (in the late 1800s), Syrenka the mermaid leaves her life underwater when she falls in love with Ezra, a human naturalist; their tumultuous romance meeting with a tragic end. Fast forward to seventeen-year-old Hester, who is investigating her family’s history of mysterious death (the women all die shortly after giving birth; is it a curse or some sort of genetic disorder?) . . . and enlisting the help of a mysterious stranger who just happens to also be named Ezra.
The novel’s plot moves back and forth between Syrenka’s past and Hester’s present – slowly revealing its secrets, twists, and turns.
Monstrous Beauty includes some explicit violence (trigger warning for rape).
Turgeon, Carolyn. Mermaid: a Novel. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2011.
For those who have ever wanted to know more about the human woman who marries the prince (to the chagrin of the ‘Little Mermaid’) in the Andersen story, Turgeon’s Mermaid delves deeper into this love triangle.
The human, Princess Margrethe, is desperate to bring her kingdom in the north to peace with its southern neighbor (a kingdom run by the very prince — Christopher — that the mermaid, Lenia, rescues from drowning), and will stop at nothing to accomplish her goal.
For readers who enjoy Mermaid, Turgeon has written other retellings of traditional fairy tales — including Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story (a novel length examination of what became of Cinderella’s fairy godmother — who has been banished to live amongst humans) and The Fairest of Them All (a crossover between Snow White and Rapunzel’s stories).