Title: FISH OUT OF WATER: A Little Mermaid story (The Girl Without a Phone)
Author: Jennifer Sommersby
Pub. Date: December 6, 2019
Publisher: Young Actors Project (YAP)
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Be who you were born to be …
Marina Andersen’s structured life is ruled by the Three S’s: Swim. Study. Succeed. But all this routine and order leaves little time for what she really wants to do: SING. Try telling that to her overbearing father, a former rock legend whose personal demons keep Marina’s extraordinary musical talents behind closed doors.
After a chance performance at school drops a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—and a gorgeous young rocker—at Marina’s feet, she’ll have to decide what lengths she’s willing to go to in pursuit of the one thing that reminds her heart to beat.
While navigating the rough seas of managing her father’s expectations and finding her own voice, will Marina summon the courage to show her dad who she really is inside before their family is dashed like a galleon in a storm?
Brought to you by the hugely popular YouTube series, The Girl Without A Phone, from the Young Actors Project, in collaboration with YA novelist Jennifer Sommersby, Fish Out of Water is a timeless, heartwarming tale inspired by the beloved Little Mermaid. Join Marina—alongside friends Lily and Sierra—in this fresh new adventure meant to inspire the reader to find their own song
This was really cute!
I knew nothing about the Young Actors Project before I picked this one up–all I had was the (mostly) fond memory of watching the cartoon version of The Little Mermaid over and over and OVER again with the next door neighbor I was babysitting for the summer, and thought, why not? I enjoy fairy tale retellings…
I’m glad I gave it a chance!
The fairy tale retelling aspect is very loosely done–the characters are mostly there, but the plot is quite different. The characters have a running joke that Marina’s (the main character) life parallels the Disney story (which it is closer to than the original tale, at least–thank goodness!) but it’s really just inspired by the story rather than a true retelling. The main character is a competitive swimmer instead of a mermaid, but singing is her true calling. Her voice isn’t really stolen (or signed away, depending on your viewpoint) but she does kind of make a deal with it–you’ll have to read the book to see what I mean. There isn’t a Prince Eric, but there is a cute guy, and he behaves in a rather princely fashion, at least most of the time. And Marina’s pet is an oversized (and trained to do tricks) goldfish! He’s definitely not named Flounder, though.
The grumpy, overprotective dad? He’s definitely there–even if his name isn’t Triton.
At times it almost seemed like more of a Rapunzel or Cinderella story–Marina’s dad’s insistence that she focus on his “3 S’s” (swim, study, and succeed) and give up singing leads him to try to control more and more of her life, isolating her from her friends and the others who would want to help her to nurture her other, non-swimming talents. Fortunately, she has some wonderfully supportive people in her corner and with their help finds a way to be true to herself and repair her relationship with her father at the same time.
Eventually, anyway–on the way there are almost as many heartbreaking bits as there are heartwarming, but the ending makes up for most of the angst that came before. I kind of wish there were a soundtrack, though…hint, hint… 😉
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the author:
I am a writer, copy/line editor, bibliophile, and mom of four living in the Great White North.
Represented by Victoria Doherty Munro at Writers House.
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