02. The Girl with the Shark Teeth by Cerrie Burnell

Here is another book that caught my attention from the book cover. I went into Waterstones just after Christmas and they had a sale on – buy one, get one half price – and I rather madly went insane buying lots of books.

The synopsis for this book is as follows:
Minnow is different from the other girls in her town and there’s plenty to set her apart: the blossom of pale scars which lie beneath Minnow’s delicate ears, the fact that she has an affinity with the water which leaves people speechless, and that once – she is sure – in deep, deep water, her body began to glow like a sunken star. 

When her mum gets into trouble and is taken from their boat in the dead of night, Minnow is alone with one instruction: sail to Reykjavik to find your grandmother, she will keep you safe. Minnow has never sailed on her own before, but the call of the deep is a call she’s been waiting to answer her whole young life. 

Perhaps a girl who is lost on land can be found in the Wild Deep. 

Mermaids have always intrigued me, I find it interesting how the myth has passed down through the generations and always wonder how it first came into being and enjoyed this telling of them in a new way.

Ability to read – I plodded along quite happily with this, I understood what I was reading and was eager to discover what kind of mermaids – or in this case merfins – would be featured in the story. I always try to read with an open mind and try not to guess what is going to happen before it has. With this one, I was always one step behind what I thought would happen, which was amazing. This was another easy book to get into, I didn’t get jolted out at any time, nor did I have to reread sections to understand what was happening. I found the story plot to be interesting and entertaining.

Characterisation – Minnow was a puzzle that I was curious to uncover. She appeared to be shy and bland at the start of the story but I quickly grew to lover her bold and brave attitude, the love for her Mother and the determination she had to save her. I didn’t know at first, when the Shark’s Teeth were going to come into play and was oddly surprised when the final piece of the puzzle dropped. Minnow was an easy character to like, she cared for those around her but also had hero qualities that are so sought after. She was brave and determined but she was also fearful and humble. I enjoyed watching her curious nature come into play and see her emotions pushed to the forefront as secrets came to light.

Visualisation – I was easily able to visualise the story from the beginning. I could clearly see the boat as well as feel Minnow’s emotions as her Mother was led away. For all the details and the descriptions, this book allowed me to build a picture for myself that was speared by what was written rather than dictated by. My version of the wild deep was dark and brooding but also light and flirtatious. Minnow was such an interesting take on a myth that has been written about so much and yet she was able to bring forth a new image for me to focus on. Minnow is a very lovable character.

Uniqueness – This books definitely put its own spin on the myth of mermaids. It’s always a worry when reading about popular book topics, that everything will get repetitive and roll into each other. I definitely felt like I was reading something genuine and different here, Cerrie’s take on mermaids was refreshing and interesting. The level of detail on the other creatures that reside in the wild deep was also a welcome addition, as was the explanation of why it is kept a secret. Reading this left me awed and inspired and with the sense that justice had been rightly served.

Hannah xoxo

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