Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ARC Review: Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper

Published Date: November 25th, 2011
Finished Date: November 14th, 2011
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing
Format: eARC from Publisher
Series: The Sea Monster Memoirs #1
My Rating: 4.5/5

Blurb from Goodreads:
Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters—until she becomes one.

When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious.

Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people—until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process—or she might open the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans.

Young Adult fans of Mermaids, Selkies, Sirens and Gorgons will love this tale of the sacrifice one makes for genuine love. Love that could be lost at any moment to the ever-changing tides.

My Review

TANGLED TIDES is a beautiful and enchanting story that swept me up in its currents, immersed me in a magical world filled with mythical creatures, and at the end left me gasping for more. It is truly every girl's childhood dream come true. Lol, at least for me it was. The Little Mermaid has always been my favourite Disney movie (I still watch it now and then), and to say that I am addicted to TT now is a gross understatement.

Yara Jones lives in Eden's Hammock, and recently, there were lots of freak storms happening there. She was having a hard time lifting, heaving and dragging one of her Uncle Lloyd's mermaid statues outside to board up her window so as to protect it from the crazy winds when one of the most handsome guys she's ever seen walks up to her front door and offers his help. Topless. Lol, just had to add that.

After Yara invited Hot Topless Guy, Treygan, into her house to weather the storm, Treygan told her to trust him and wish for him to bring her to some place safe. She feels this dreamy sort of lull, and did as she was told. After some time, Yara wakes up and finds herself underwater, breathing, and has grown a tail in place of where her legs used to be. All of a sudden, her wish for a safe place doesn't sound so good anymore.

The story now will be mostly about Yara discovering a whole new world that she was now, and had always been, a part of, a mystical place where everything seemed like magic. But all is not flowers, daisies and gayness - Yara's found out that her "human" boyfriend, Rownan, back at Eden's Hammock wasn't human at all, in fact, he was very much a part of her new fishy life, and that she actually has a destiny to fulfil, one that involves her dying at the end. Turns out that Yara's birth was never meant to be, but through some unwonted means, she was, but because her parents committed a grave mistake, almost half of the mermaids' and selkies' population have been thrust out of their paradise home, out into the modern world where they can only survive by smoking a special type of weed that was very limited in supply, and Yara must be the one to right that wrong.

Big destiny for a seemingly small mermaid to handle, huh, especially when Yara was just getting comfy with the idea of being one of the "monsters" herself, and of course, to a cobalt-eyed, sexy mermaid that had introduced himself in a storm and welcomed her into her new life, with new friends, and new love. A life that she will want to help save even if it means sacrificing her newly-found beloved fishy existence...

I seriously can't do this book any justice, it was so good! So good that I was hooked throughout the 3 days of reading it (I took so long because of my exams). And how did Edward Cullen phrase it again? Right, "you are my personal brand of heroine". Yep, that sounds about right. That was Tangled Tides to me.

One thing that stood out was Hooper's writing style. It was so smooth and flawless, so... appropriate! One example:

“Gentlemen.” I nodded.

Pango spit a mouthful of water at me and flicked me with his tail. “Don’t gentle man me. You two sped ahead so you could discuss our newest Goldilocks. You better share some juicy porridge with Papa Bear.”

“Pango, there isn’t that much to tell.”

Merrick rolled his eyes. “Even I’m declaring sharkshit on that one.”

Sharkshit? Lol, while I was reading it, her writing was so fluent that I didn't notice that oddity at first. And another one was, "She's tough as a seawall. She'll be fine." Loved the language; It matched the world that they were living in and made it all the more believable.

Yara was a very inquisitive and stubborn heroine. Even though she was new to the Greek-myth world, she showed no fear and kept asking questions and learning the mermaids' way of life. Treygan, her beau-to-be, and whose team I am very much in, was fiercely protective of Yara even though he refuses to admit it. He was so cool, those brooding guys with a mission in life, and who happens to be the fastest swimming merman alive. Yeah, he's so mine. HAH. Movin on.

What's even cooler is that not only is the male protagonist very macho-man and testosterone-y, even the side characters displayed similar traits! I don't want to quote it cause that part I'm thinking about is filled with surprises and humor, and of course that macho-man-ly goodness.

The plot was in no way simple or convenient. It was filled, absolutely jam-packed with suspense and action, and betrayals and such. I loved the second-guessing that everyone had to do. It was just that Hooper wrote TT in an alternating first-person/POV way, which switched from Yara's point of view, to Rownan's, to Treygan's, then back to Yara's. It wasn't confusing, not at all actually, but it took away some of thrill. For example if we didn't know what Treygan and Rownan were thinking, wouldn't you think it'd have made them all the more mysterious and, well, cool? I like that the male protagonists are usually an unknown element, someone who only the female protagonist had the ability to unlock. But the story's still cool, and I thought that Hooper's take on the gorgons and Medusa part of Greek myth is very different from the norm, and the input itself is awesome enough. And the ending! When all hope seemed lost and I had no inkling at all whatsoever of how the protagonists are going to save their sorry asses out of all that trouble and chaos, Hooper somehow made it work. And I loved it so much.

I have always, always loved mermaid novels, but have never been able to find the perfect story. Recently I've discovered THE MERMAID'S KNIGHT by Jill Myles, loved it to bits but I thought that I wouldn't be able to find any that would be able to hold a candle to it. But here I am, being proven wrong. TT is truly a beautiful underwater fairytale.

I absolutely adored the entire cast of TANGLED TIDES, and I think any YA fan would too. Try it out when it releases on November 25th, 2011.:)

My Rating
And add a .5 at the back of ^that!


  1. "you are my personal brand of heroine"

    That put a huge smile on my face. :))))

    Thanks so much for the kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

  2. You're welcome, Karen! Haha, but yeah, that's what mermaids do to me.XP


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Cyp's Abbreviation Dictionary

DNF = Did Not Finish
HEA = Happily Ever After
PNR = Paranormal Romance
UF = Urban Fantasy
YA = Young Adult

Erotica Reference

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m/f = male/female
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