Sunday, 4 October 2009

Review: Selina Penaluna


As promised, here is my review!
Selina Penaluna is written by Jan Page and has one of the prettiest covers I've ever seen. Here is the blurb:

Dropped as a baby into a deep pool on the Cornish shore, Selina Penaluna emerges a different child - a mermaid changeling - and is forever drawn to the sea. Abandoned by her mother, neglected and abused by her father, she desperately wants to escape her lonely life.

Ellen and Jack are twins, evacuated from East London to Cornwall at the start of the war. The family that takes them in are well - off and a little stuffy. Ellen relishes this opportunity to better herself, but Jack finds his new life stifling and seeks freedom in the arms of Selina, the mysterious fisherman's daughter whose wild beauty turns every man's head.

Selina's siren song has Jack captivated - but leaves his sister cold with jealousy. Can the young lovers find solace and build a new life together? And how will Ellen deal with being left behind?


The main three characters in this book are; Selina, Jack and Ellen. Selina was a pretty interesting character. She was painted as this beautiful character who enchanted those around her (very much like a mermaid). However, she had her faults like everyone else. Selina hid the troubles in her life, namely her father abusing her, and lived a dismal life. If it weren't for her hope that she would turn in to a "merrymaid" (the Cornish name for mermaid) and the attention she got from the guys, I dread to think of what would have happened to her.

Jack is Ellen's twin. He falls in love with Selina and tries to save her from the Cornish life she is living. He neglects Ellen and defies the Rosewarne's wishes that he look for someone who is of a higher class. But Jack follows his heart and is enchanted with Selina.

Ellen, who is nicknamed "Nellie" by Jack, is excited to go to Cornwall. Jack and Ellen stay with the Rosewarne's. Ellen loves staying with the Rosewarne's but Jack sees them as substitutes for their real parents. Ellen wants to stay friends with Jack but feels that Selina is stealing him away. I feel quite sorry for Ellen. All she wants is Jack and to be loved by the Rosewarne family. She tries so hard to please those around her and gets litle in return.

The book switches between the POV of these three characters. Unfortunately, the chapters don't state which character's POV it is in so you have to work it out for yourself. I found this a tad irritating, especially at the beginning when I wasn't really familiar with any of the characters. This book also switches between past and present. I think this is one of the reasons it took me so long to read this book. i don't like having to work when I read a book, it is meant to be relaxing.

The plot of this book was actually quite good. I genuinely wanted to know what would happen between Selina and Jack. Selina seemed drawn to the sea whilst Jack wanted to go back to London. The main plot of this book though is a mystery. But I can't say anymore without revealing a main part of the story. For those of you who want to know, READ NOW: Selina and Jack go missing. It is assumed that Selina and Jack have drowned on a stormy night when they tried to go out on the boat. There is a search for the bodies. I refuse to reveal anymore. SPOILER OVER.

I also really enjoyed the ending of this book because it sort of confirmed what I thought. Although I got one part totally wrong. You'll have to read the book to find out if you can work out what happened.

This book took me a couple of months to read. I must confess that I was trying to schedule reading in between working and the first few weeks of sixth form (who knew AS level was so hard). But at the same time, there was something too easy about putting this book down. Everytime I picked it up I grew interested. And yet I could easily forget about it.

This book focuses a lot on imagery. If you like descriptions of the location then this would interest you. But the story isn't that the fast. At the start I wasn't too keen on the long-winded descriptions. However, at the end I found myself picturing everything in my mind. I could see it as a film and how it would be played out.

Characters: 9/10 - the characters were really intriguing and I like the way they were all connected
Hookability (ability to keep you reading): 4/10 - some interesting parts but two months is a long time
Plot: 7/10 - pretty good plot but a litle slow


Overall: 20/30

5 comments:

  1. Great review, Kate! It's nice to have you back. I didn't really like this very much.

    AS levels ARE really hard aren't they (I'm A2 now), I was shocked at how hard they are!

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  2. Great review, Kate! It's a shame you didn't enjoy this book completely. I was thinking about reading this book, now I'm not so sure. Hmm. Nice to see you blogging again! :) Good luck with your AS Levels!

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  3. Great review, Kate, and brilliant to read your reviews again!

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  4. Wow. Have you compared that cover to the one for North of Beautiful? They used the same stock shot of the girl only flipped. It's always so funny to see when they do that...that was a bad one, too...

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  5. So Many Books, So Little Time - I was warned a little about AS Levels. But I didn't realise they were REALLY hard. Argh. This book was a bit iffy with me.

    Jo - I thought this book sounded good. I have mixed feelings about it. I've missed the blogging community.

    Chicklish - Thank you :D

    Amanda - I haven't. I think I've seen the comparisons on a blog before though. I really like the picture :)

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