Mya Belan was invisible. A social misfit tolerated at the popular table only because of her best friend Jaimie… but ignored by everyone at school.
On the night of the big beach party before senior year everything changes. Mya rescues a drowning stranger from the sea and as the amnesiac boy “John” struggles with the after affects of his accident, Mya finds herself drawn to him — first as she nurses him and then as they form an unexpected friendship.
As Mya’s social star rises, so do the mysteries surrounding John. The more time Mya spends with him the more their attraction grows. But John is harbouring secrets that threaten to tear them apart. His flawless features and enchanting charisma hide an unbelievable truth.
Could John’s secrets put Mya and her family in danger?
Silver Tides is a young adult urban fantasy — it will come as no surprise to anyone who looks at the cover for more than a milisecond that the urban fantasy element is mermaid-related. (And just stop and look at that cover for a second. Wow.) But Fodor has put a great deal of thought into the way her mythological world works, so it’s more complicated than that. (I won’t go into it though, because spoilers.)
I had mixed feelings about this book. A lot of them come from the fact that Fodor drew the short straw when she asked for us to review her book — she got me, and I’m a professional grammar and punctuation nitpicker. :p That being said, with a professional edit this book would be a four- or five-star read, and not everyone is as fussy as I am about commas, so let’s leave it at that.
Some of the prose is absolutely beautiful in Silver Tides. Examples that made me happy were: “trees doing their autumn strip tease” and “I felt happy enough to burst and splatter glitter hearts all over the room”. How could the latter not make you smile? Come on, GLITTER HEARTS! Who hasn’t felt like that?!
There’s a fair amount of time spent on mean girl highschool politics in the first half of the book, which was a bit slow going, but from about halfway through things really pick up, and by the end even some of the mean girl stuff ties into the bigger plot. (I wasn’t much of a fan of Jaime as a best friend — why would she subject Mya to the bitchiness of the popular set after the way they treat her? Mya is definitely the giver in that relationship.)
Mya’s an interesting main character — there’s a bit of a Bella-and-Edward vibe between her and John (who turns out to be a Daniel once he gets his memories back). But, unlike Bella, Mya isn’t willing to throw everything in and join Daniel in his world without question. She has her own opinions and desires, and isn’t afraid to yell at Daniel when he’s behaving like a tool. (There’s a particularly lovely threat involving three Adam’s apples that I will remember forever!)
My only beef with Mya is that there’s a bit of confusion about what she actually looks like. She is very down on her own appearance — describing herself as the fat girl, which in a first-person narrative means it’s hard for the reader to see her as she really is. And she gets bullied at school for her appearance as well. But at the same time when she dresses up she turns heads, even with the popular boys. I think the truth is that Mya is an average teenage girl, with average body issues (and some average mean-spirited peers) — and when she starts gaining more confidence, that shines through. Fodor gets credit for trying to depict that very normal scenario (instead of making her character a ravishing beauty). It was just a little hard to decode because of the first-person voice.
Silver Tides has a cliffhanger in the epilogue, which was cute and left me wondering what would happen next. It was a fun read set on the coast of Victoria, Australia. If you enjoy high school politics, the beach and a good romance, this may be the book for you.