Book Review: Between the Sea and Sky

Book Review: Between the Sea and SkyBetween the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore
Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books on October 25th 2011
Pages: 240

For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.

"A fish may love a bird, but where would they live?"
-Drew Berrymore, Ever After
This quote instantly came to mind as I read this summary. Fish.. Bird.. forbidden love. It was all there like a siren song. Begging me to read it.
Esmerine is not like her fellow mermaids. Most are content with becoming sirens. The highest honor a mermaid can hope to achieve. But not Esmerine. She longs for more. The lands that are described in the books she reads. Seeing what secrets the human world possesses. And reuniting with a long lost friend.  All this seems out of reach until Esmerine's sister does the unthinkable, forcing Esmerine to follow her heart… to land and the secrets this world holds.
Between the Sea and Sky reads like no other fairy tale I have ever read. Think The Little Mermaid, both in the Disney and classical version, mixed with I don't know what. Here happily ever afters are not just a page away. It something that one has to work hard for. And no one realizes this quicker than our MC, Esmerine.
Dolamore accomplishes a lot with Between the Sea and Sky. It is not just a retelling. It is more. Taking plenty of liberties with one of my favorite tales, The Little Mermaid, while creating something completely new. Dolamore's imagination is stellar. Every time I thought I knew where she was taking the tale, it went in a new direction. The worlds are colorful. Lush. I felt like Dolamore perfectly captured these places on paper in an inviting way, continuously making me want more.
Final Verdict: 
Between the Sea and Sky is beautiful. From its cover, to the writing, to the characters. All of it is exactly what I expect out of Dolamore. If you are looking for a twist on the classical The Little Mermaid, then look no further. Between the Sea and Sky has it all.
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