{Review/Giveaway} REAL MERMAIDS DON'T HOLD THEIR BREATH by Hélène Boudreau

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Yesterday, I interviewed Hélène Boudreau!  

Tomorrow, I'll be reviewing the latest book in the series, so stay tuned for more!

In December, Jade stopped by to share her recipe for Peanut Butter Cup S'mores for the holidays.
Mmm, Mmm, yummy!

The final book in the series will release later this year!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

THE MONTH LEADING UP to my fourteenth birthday was the most exciting time of my life. 

1. I found out my mom hadn't drowned but was actually a mermaid. 
2. I discovered I was part mermaid too.
3. I rescued my mom from a bunch of mer-freaks in Talisman Lake and freed her into the ocean so she could have a chance to become human again. 
4. I had my first kiss. 
5. Did I mention my first kiss? 

The month since my fourteenth birthday, however? Not so exciting. 

My mom was still floating around in the ocean somewhere, and I  had no idea if she'd ever make it back home.  Plus, it was getting harder and harder to keep my mer-secret from my best friend Cori and I hadn't seen my crush Luke since he left for camp weeks earlier, so I was beginning to feel like I'd dreamt the whole first kiss thing up.
(page 1-2, US paperback edition)

The second book in the Real Mermaids series, REAL MERMAIDS DON'T HOLD THEIR BREATH, doesn't let me down, remaining as humorous and fun as the first book, REAL MERMAIDS DON'T WEAR TOE RINGS, does.  Jade continues to embrace the insecurities of adolescence the summer she turns fourteen.  From the woes of whether or not a crush likes you back to chatting with your dad about the appropriate age for dating, Real Mermaids continues to tackle the issues most important to tweens while still building a fun underwater adventure story.

While RMDHTB builds off the world set in RMDWTR, it could be read as a stand-alone. Hélène Boudreau does a good job summing up the events of the first book, which reminds me of when I actively read books in this genre.  Sometimes I loved reading the sum-ups and catching up (Unless it was Sweet Valley or the BSC, and then it just got redundant), and this aspect was like a throw-back.  Jade hasn't seen her crush Luke since the night he kissed her at the pool party, and it's been a month.  Sure, he's been away at camp, but he got back on Sunday and he still hasn't so much as texted her.  What's a girl to do?  On top of that, after believing that her mother drowned, only to find out she was a mermaid being held prisoner below the sea, Jade and her father must try to find her before it's too late.  The tidal pool where she's currently residing, however, is about to be filled in as the area is bulldozed for a mall expansion project.  Jade has to figure out a way to stop the construction--and fast--or else she won't have a chance to reunite with her mother, this time for good.

There's so much more going on in this book.  The first book introduced readers to Jade and suffered with her as she learned about growing up and becoming a girl.  That was all, in a sense, world-building, because the world of Real Mermaids flourishes and expands in the second book.  There was a surprise toward the end of book one that creates new interesting situations in book two, and we learn more about life under the sea, which makes this book fun for all mer-fans.  This book is also more environmentally conscious, creating a sub-plot designed to make young readers think.  Overall, this book is just as sweet and fun as the first, a perfect "growing up" book for tweens.
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I love the scripty font used for the Real Mermaids part of the title.  The way the "M" curls makes me stare, then stare some more.  LOVE.  I like the uniform way this font is used on all four book covers.  It's part of the title, yet also signifies that this is the series title, and not just the book title.  This is also the font used for each chapter heading inside the pages.  Home run font!
I think the way the model is standing in front of the chalkboard with an image of a mermaid tail drawn onto it behind her is super cute and fun. It doesn't really fit the theme of this book in the series because it takes place during summer break and not at school, but it's so much fun to look at!   It's just...interesting and different.  

Even the typography, which I went on about in the first paragraph, manages to look perfectly chalky, as though it's on the chalkboard, too! 

The chalkboard continues onto the back cover and even the spine, and it's just FUN to look at!
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Hélène Boudreau
Release Date: Out May 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Received: For Review

Jade begins her summer confused. Yes, there's that whole "will this be a leg-day or a tail-day" kind of confusion, but Jade's got even bigger problems: it's been three weeks since Mom returned to the ocean with no news of her whereabouts. Plus, it's been twenty-one days since Jade first kissed her mer-boy Luke and now-nothing. 


But Jade doesn't have time to figure out the weirdness of boys or how to use her shiny new tail. (Seriously, being a mermaid should come with a handbook.) She has to come up with a plan to get her missing mermaid mom back on dry land.

The only problem is...Jade is afraid of the ocean.  But even aqua-phobic mer-girls have to take the plunge sometime...

The SEAquel to Hélène Boudreau's critically acclaimed REAL MERMAIDS DON'T WEAR TOE RINGS is as energetic and fresh as a salty sea breeze

Ready to check out the Real Mermaids series?

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky is generously giving away a package of the first three books.

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