Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Summer Reading Recommendations: 11 Books About Mermaids, Sirens, and Selkies

I have a friend, his name is Evin, and he really, really likes mermaids and sirens and the ilk.  Which got me thinking- I'll create a recommendation list of books that feature these creatures.  And since it's (finally!) summer and these books all make me think of summer, it's doubly perfect.

Love is a risk worth taking.
Years ago, Kahlen was rescued from drowning by the Ocean. To repay her debt, she has served as a Siren ever since, using her voice to lure countless strangers to their deaths. Though a single word from Kahlen can kill, she can’t resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again. 
Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude…until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. And though she can’t talk to him, they soon forge a connection neither of them can deny…and Kahlen doesn’t want to.
Falling in love with a human breaks all the Ocean’s rules, and if the Ocean discovers Kahlen’s feelings, she’ll be forced to leave Akinli for good. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.
Up first is The Siren by Kiera Cass.  I bought this book right when it came out because I adore the Selection series.  I haven't read this yet, but I've heard really good things.  This one features sirens (as the title might make it seem).

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...
Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.
I never got around to reading this one, even though I picked it up from the library once.  I haven't seen that many reviews for it, either.  The covers are really nice and I adore the titles.  It's a whole trilogy, so if you're interested in seeing the rest of the books click here

Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.
Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.
This has been on my TBR list forever!  I actually really want to read anything by this author because all of her things sound really interesting.  Judging from the cover alone, this is a darker mermaid book and I'm all for that!

Fall under the spell of Wake—the first book in an achingly beautiful new series by celebrated author Amanda Hocking—and lose yourself to the Watersong.
Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.
Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.
Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.
I have had this series (along with a few other series' my Amanda Hocking) sitting on my shelf for ages.  It's a gorgeous hardcover book and it's something that sounds really interesting to me.  Why I haven't picked them up, I don't know.

Serafina, daughter of Isabella, Queen of Miromara, has been raised with the expectation - and burden - that she will someday become ruler of the oldest civilization of the merfolk. On the eve of the Dokimí ceremony, which will determine if she is worthy of the crown, Sera is haunted by a strange dream that foretells the return of an ancient evil. But her nightmare is forgotten the next day as she diligently practices her songspell; eagerly anticipates a reunion with her best friend, Neela; and anxiously worries about Mahdi, the crown prince of Matali, and whether his feelings toward her and their future betrothal have changed. Most of all, she worries about not living up to her mother's hopes.
The Dokimí proceeds, a dazzling display of majesty and might, until a shocking turn of events interrupts it: an assassin's arrow wounds Isabella. The realm falls into chaos, and Serafina's darkest premonitions are confirmed. Now she and Neela must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the mer nations. Their search will lead them to other mermaid heriones scattered across the six seas. Together they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence.
I don't know too much about this series but I do know I love the covers and that the fourth (and final?) book has just come out.

For as long as she can remember, twelve-year-old Emily Windsnap has lived on a boat. And, oddly enough, for just as long, her mother has seemed anxious to keep her away from the water. But when Mom finally agrees to let her take swimming lessons, Emily makes a startling discovery - about her own identity, the mysterious father she's never met, and the thrilling possibilities and perils shimmering deep below the water's surface. With a sure sense of suspense and richly imaginative details, first-time author Liz Kessler lures us into a glorious undersea world where mermaids study shipwrecks at school and Neptune rules with an iron trident - an enchanting fantasy about family secrets, loyal friendship, and the convention-defying power of love.
I remember when this series was insanely popular in early middle school!  I never picked them up (even though I wanted to) but I had a friend who adored them. I know they're mostly about mermaids, but if I remember what she told me, book four delves into sirens and they're all pretty quick and fun reads.

Beckon the sea,I'll come to thee....
Shed seven tears,
perchance seven years....
At the age of ten, Gwen Cooke had a strange encounter with a boy with dark, slightly tilted eyes. He came to her on the beach, whispered strange words in her ear, and then disappeared. Shortly thereafter, her family moved away from their seaside home and Gwen never saw the boy again.
Now seventeen, Gwen is returning to her childhood home. Her nana asked her to come. But Gwen knows it's time to go back for another reason: She yearns for the sea. Perhaps the sea itself is calling to her. Perhaps the memory of the boy and his haunting words are drawing her back to the place they met. Perhaps it's time for her to face her destiny.
This is another that I've wanted to read since I was little but never picked up.  It's about Selkies I think.  Which is freaking awesome!  I read Terri Farley's Phantom Stallion series when I was a wee thing, but I think this is aimed at an older audience.

Vacationing in Winter Harbor, Maine, is a tradition for Vanessa and Justine Sands, and that means spending time with the Carmichael boys. This summer, Vanessa is determined to channel some of her older sister’s boldness, get over her fear of the ocean, and maybe turn her friendship with Simon Carmichael into something much more.  
But when Justine goes cliff-diving after a big family argument, and her body washes ashore the next day, Vanessa is sure that it was more than an accident. She is more certain of this, when she discovers that her sister was keeping some big secrets and Caleb Carmichael’s gone missing. Suddenly, the entire oceanfront town is abuzz when a series of grim, water-related accidents occur, with the male victims washed ashore grinning from ear to ear.  
Vanessa and Simon team up to figure out if these creepy deaths have anything to do with Justine and Caleb, but what Vanessa discovers might mean the end of her summer romance, and life as she knows it.  
A chilling, gripping paranormal romance, Siren will make you think twice before your next trip to the beach.
I don't know much about this series either, but I'm fairly certain it's about Sirens (I wonder what gave it away?).  This is another darker take on the idea, if I read the reviews correctly.

Seventeen-year-old Lily, half-mermaid and half-human, has been living on land and attending high school, where she develops a crush on a boy but is afraid to tell him of her true destiny as the ruler of the undersea kingdom of Thalassinia.
My same friend who loved The Tail of Emily Windsnap loved this series, though I never got around to reading it.  She did tell me about it in depth, because she had absolutely fallen in love with the world that was built in this trilogy.  From what I remember her telling me, it's a fantastic ride and just a bunch of fun, all together.

 Daughters of the Sea tells the story of 3 mermaid sisters who are separated at birth by a storm and go on to lead three very different lives. Book 1 is about Hannah, who spent her early days in an orphanage and is now a scullery maid in the house of rich, powerful family. She is irresistibly drawn to the sea and through a series of accidents and encounters discovers her true identity. Hannah realizes that she must keep the truth a secret but she also knows that soon she will have to make the choice - to be a creature of the land or the sea.
This is another one I wanted to read whenI was younger but never picked up.  I think it's for an older audience, but I've read some of Kathryn Lasky's books for younger kids.  I adore the cover of this one, too!

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans and absorb their positive energy. Usually, they select their victims at random, but this time around, the underwater clan chooses its target for a reason: revenge. They want to kill Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother's death.
It's going to take a concerted effort to lure the aquaphobic Hancock onto the water. Calder's job is to gain Hancock's trust by getting close to his family. Relying on his irresistible good looks and charm, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter Lily. Easy enough, but Calder screws everything up by falling in love--just as Lily starts to suspect there's more to the monster-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined, and just as the mermaids threaten to take matters into their own hands, forcing Calder to choose between them and the girl he loves.
One thing's for sure: whatever Calder decides, the outcome won't be pretty.
 This was a last minute addition to this list thanks to @henriemma on tumblr for the recommendation.

Have you read any of these books?  Do you have any more to recommend?  Let me know in the comments!


  1. Great list! I read Wake and Hannah last year at some point, and I think I enjoyed them both. The rest of these books went on my list to look for when I'm at the library next. I love mermaid/siren books! :D

    1. Awesome! When I started making the list I didn't realize there were this many around, but there really are quite a few, which was a nice surprise.

  2. I tried Wake awhile back but I didn't really care for it. I may try some of the others here some time. I haven't read much about these creatures.

    1. I've had Wake sitting on my shelf for ages, but haven't given it a try yet. I'm going to let my friend borrow it first and give it a try since it sounds like it would be right up his alley.

  3. I read quite a few of these ( Wake, Lies Beneath, The Siren, Of Poseidon, Forgive My Fins, and Monstrous Beauty), and I own an ecopy of Deep Blue, but I haven't really heard of the rest of these! I'll definitely look them up!

    1. Awesome! I've had my eye on Monstrous Beauty for a while now, even before writing up this post. Thanks for stopping by!


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