Friday, June 10, 2011

Lost Voices by Sarah Porter

Title: Lost Voices 
Author: Sarah Porter 
Source: ARC via NetGalley; 304 pages
Publication Date: July 4th 2011
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Official Blurb:
Fourteen-year-old Luce has had a tough life, but she reaches the depths of despair when she is assaulted and left on the cliffs outside of her grim, gray Alaskan fishing village. She expects to die when she tumbles into the icy waves below, but instead undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid.
A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in—all of them, like her, lost girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: the mermaids feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks. Luce's own remarkable singing talent makes her important to the tribe—she may even have a shot at becoming their queen. However, her struggle to retain her humanity puts her at odds with her new friends. Will Luce be pressured into committing mass murder?
The first book in a trilogy, Lost Voices is a captivating and wildly original tale about finding a voice, the healing power of friendship, and the strength it takes to forgive.   
My Rating: 4.5 stars
My Thoughts: 
Ever since watching Disney's The Little Mermaid at the ripe old age of two, I've been enamored with the idea of mermaids (enamored is actually an understatement), but I'm sad to say that I had never read a book about mermaids before. For that matter, I hadn't really even heard of any, so when I saw the cover of Lost Voices on NetGalley, I had to check it out. 

Lost Voices is a beautiful tale about mermaids, but very unlike Disney's light-and-fluffy rendition. The mermaids in Porter's stunning debut novel take on a persona much more similar to that of the sirens of Greek mythology, who lured sailors into sinking their ships with enchanting songs. Also, each mermaid has suffered a horrible past of abuse as a human girl, thus leading to her transformation. These topics, as well as some of the girls' views of humankind are immensely dark and depressing, but Luce's character and Porter's often-lyrical writing style manage to keep the book from being too heart-wrenching. 

I absolutely loved Luce; she is strong, hopeful, and forgiving despite the terrible things she's been through at the hands of others. The book was excellently written. The author was very descriptive, making every detail -whether it be happy, sad, beautiful, ugly, or otherwise- come alive like a movie in my mind. 

I couldn't put this book down and finished it in about two days. It was definitely a page-turner! I'll be keeping an eye out for the sequel. As a word of caution though: I might not recommend this to the younger readers of the YA spectrum due to some of the mature / disturbing situations mentioned.

Warnings: some mature content such as abuse & rape
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