Thursday, February 14, 2013

Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels by Hélène Boudreau (with Author Interview and 3-Book Giveaway!)

Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels by Hélène Boudreau
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
ISBN: 978-1402264580
Published Feb 2013
Trade paperback, 240 pages
Ages 9+

This is the third book in the Real Mermaids series about a tween who discovers she's an aqua-phobic mer-girl. Once again, this book picks up where the last one ended. Jade begins high school and shortly afterwards strange things begin happening when the Mermish Council declares that all land-dwelling mers must return to the ocean. But the Fall Formal dance is around the corner and tradition calls for the girl to ask the boy to the dance. Jade is so nervous about asking Luke because she doesn't think she's a good dancer, but before she can worry about that, she's needed back in the ocean if she's to help the people she loves from disappearing from her life for good.

Jade continues to be true to her character using her wits and boldness as she fights back against the Mermish Council. Boudreau introduces some of the usual issues about first going to high school—not having any friends in the same classes, boys, and friendships. My daughter will be entering high school (middle school for those of you in the US) next year so this was right up her alley. Many of the same characters from the first two books are back and all the plot threads are tied up nicely in the end. There were a few surprises, as with the last two books, making this a fun and adventurous book to read.

Although Jade is fourteen, she is very close to her parents and this book involved the grown-ups as much as the kids. Of course, the kids save the day, as it should be in a kid's book. It shows the teens sharing a good relationship with the adults in their lives, and I have to say that as a parent this was refreshing to read. I think that's why both my daughter and I enjoyed this series so much. Fantasy for the whole family.

There were times when we were a little confused about the whole Mermish Council affair, but in the end, it didn't detract too much from our enjoyment of this story. Real Mermaids is a feel-good series with a flawed but lovable teen, her close-knit friends, a seaside town with secrets, and the charming way it all works out in the end.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read. There is a short kissing scene at the end of the book between two fourteen year-old teens.

Reviewed by Laura and Daughter

And now let's meet Hélène Boudreau...

Please help me welcome one of our favorite authors to our blog as she briefly shares some fun facts about the Real Mermaids series.

LCR: Hi Hélène! We are so excited to have you on our blog to chat with us! My daughter and I have LOVED your Real Mermaids series. (Aquamarine is one of my daughter's favorite movies.) We actually read your books together and thought they made a great mother/daughter reading experience. 

HB: Wow! That’s so amazing to hear. I started writing the Real Mermaids series when my own daughters were about 6 and 8 and now they are almost 10 and 12 so it’s been a great mother/ daughter experience for us as well because they are usually my first readers. I actually dedicated this latest book in the series to my oldest daughter because she really helped me during the revision process.

LCR: We were wondering about a few things... Why did you decide to write a story about mermaids? 

A few different things came together to affect that decision but mainly I remember sitting around with my daughters after reading Mélanie Watt’s picture book Scaredy Squirrel. The book is about a neurotic squirrel who’s afraid of everything. We were getting a bit silly, talking about birds that were afraid of flying or fish that were afraid of swimming, which led to the idea of an aqua-phobic mer-girl. It just seemed like such a ridiculous idea that I just had to see where it led. Little did I know; it would lead to this book series!

LCR: Scaredy Squirrel is one of my son's favorite books! It's hilarious. My kids think it so cool that you got the idea for Real Mermaids from this book. Okay, now my daughter was wondering, Are all the characters made up or do some reflect people you know?

HB: Most of the characters are made up or are a mish-mash of different personality traits I’ve encountered in real life. The only character I sort of based on an actual person was Jade’s dad, who was inspired by my engineer husband. I personally think I nailed it, right down to Dalrymple Baxter’s ‘answer man’ personality, his love of gadgets and his sweet, adorkable nature but whenever I read those scenes out to my husband he looks at me blankly and says, “Huh? That’s nothing like me.” Typical engineer. LOL

LCR: My hubby is an engineer too. I totally get what you're saying! Are you planning on writing another series? 

HB: I have a few ideas in the works but I’m mainly working on the fourth book in the Real Mermaids series at the moment. It’s called Real Mermaids Don’t Sell Sea Shells and it will be out this fall!

LCR: Yay! We can't wait to read it. What's your favorite ice-cream? 

HB: Butterscotch ripple! Or Grape Nut. Oh, also love Lemon Chiffon! Do I have to pick just one?

LCR: Lemon Chiffon! Sounds so exotic...If you could travel back in time where would you go? 

HB: That’s easy. I would travel back in time to last week right before I forgot to tighten the lid on my spinach smoothie before turning on the blender.

LCR: LOL I thought I was the only crazy mom who made green smoothies. One last question... Your name made us wonder if you're French Canadian or have roots in Quebec? France? 

HB: I am indeed French Canadian from a small Acadian town in Nova Scotia, Canada. Actually, the setting of Port Toulouse in the Real Mermaids series is based on a town called St. Peter’s near where I grew up.

LCR: We visited the Maritimes last summer but didn't get a chance to visit Nova Scotia. Thanks so much for taking the time to satisfy our curiosity! We look forward to reading more of your work. 

About the author:
Hélène Boudreau never spotted a real mermaid while growing up on an island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, but she believes mermaids are just as plausible as giant squids, flying fish, or electric eels. She now writes fiction and nonfiction for kids from her landlocked home in Ontario, Canada. Her first book of this series, Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings, was a 2011 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award finalist.

Connect with Hélène: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

And now for the giveaway!

As part of the Splash into Spring-Fling Blog Tour Sourcebooks Jabberwock is giving away all three books in the Real Mermaids series to one of my readers.

Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings, book 1 (Read our review)
Real Mermaids Don’t Hold Their Breath, book 2 (Read our review)
Real Mermaids Don’t Need High Heels, book 3


Leave a comment stating why you want to win these books. Include an email address. If you do not include an email address (ex. myname at gmail dot com) your entry will not be valid.

Extra entries:
MUST be a separate comment or it will not count.
1) If you are a follower, new or current, leave a comment telling us so.

*Buttons for following found on top left-hand corner of blog.
*Giveaway ends March 1, 2013. 
*Open to Canada and US. 
*Please read my Giveaway Policy before entering my giveaways.

Thanks for reading our blog!

Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher for sending us this book for review. We were not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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