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FORBIDDEN SEA by Sheila A. Neilson

When Adrianne comes face-to-face with the mermaid of Windwaithe Island, of whom she has heard terrible stories all her life, she is convinced the mermaid means to take her younger sister. Adrianne, fierce-willed and courageous, is determined to protect her sister from the mermaid, and her family from starvation. However, the mermaid continues to haunt Adrianne in her dreams and with her song.
Yet, when the islanders find out about Adrianne's encounters with the mermaid she is scorned, for this small and superstitious community believes the mermaid will bring devastation to the island if Adrianne does not give herself to the sea.

A powerful and lyrical story of one girl who must choose between having everything and having those she loves.

When Adrianne comes face-to-face with the mermaid of Windwaithe Island, she is convinced that the mermaid means her harm. After all, the island is steeped in stories of mermaids' curses and the ill-luck that they bring. But Adrianne is fierce-willed and courageous and is determined to protect her family and the islanders from danger. Yet when the islanders find out about Adrianne's encounters with the mermaid, her family is scorned. They believe that once active, the mermaid cannot be quieted until an islander sacrifices herself to the sea. But is the legend true? And will their fear make them force Adrienne to test it? This is a haunting story of love, surrender and strength.

A good, clean book any YA reader would enjoy.
Adrianne is thrust into the role of provider for her family after her father is killed in an accident. She lives on a small island with small-minded people, including her own aunt. The seemingly only tolerant people are the rich.
Everything bad happens to Adri and only gets worse. I felt myself getting it more and more frustrated for her. She takes everything in quiet determination.
Except for the mermaid who wants to drown her and her sister. She's fierce and protective.
When Adrianne finally learns what the mermaid wants, life turns for Adri. I like what the mermaid says to her (I can't tell you, it might be a spoiler) and what Adri gets to see.
The characters were well drawn, the twists good, and the good and mean obvious.

What I loved: the cover, don't you?; Adrianne's tough, determined, sensitive character; the mermaid; the story being different than mermaid stories I've heard before.
What I didn't love: not meeting a certain someone at the end; Denn being daft. Really, if Adri is his best friend, he should know her better and defend her better.

Rating: G
V: bullying, seeming danger in the water
L: none
S: none

Page 69 test:
"...didn't need a dog any more than Master Peck did. Still, i could not refuse his offer. It would only be a matter of time before Auntie Minnah took things into her own hands and poisoned Lark herself.
"Take her." The voice that came from my mouth sounded like a tired old woman's. "She's out behind the garden with Cecily."
"I sent Hannah and Trey in that direction. I think I'll let them visit for a while. I'll pick up Lark on my way home." Denn slid the sack from his shoulder and hung it on a nail on the wall. "This sack of potatoes can be the first payment. I'll come tomorrow to start working off the rest."
i looked up in surprise. "Aren't you sailing out with your father in the morning?"
"Papa and I talked it over. He felt that it would be discourteous for all the men in our family to slight Lord Durran by going off and not attending his son's wedding."
I was pretty sure Denn's desire to dance with Cora Lynn at the wedding feat might also have something to do with the decision, but I kept my opinion to myself.
Denn pulled off his cap and resettled it on his mass of red curls as he looked around the barn. "So, Master Adri, you look like you could use some help Where shall I begin?"
Denn sometime called me "Master" to tease me about my role as "man of the house" now that Papa was gone. Usually I..."


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