Forgive My Fins

AUTHOR: Tera Lynn Childs
SERIES: Fins, book 1  
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
ISBN:  9780061914669
PAGES: 293
SOURCE: My library
GENRE: Fantasy, Romance
OVERALL RATING: Highly Recommended

SUMMARY: Lily Sanderson is keeping lots of secrets. She is secretly in love with Brody, the gorgeous star of her high school swim team. Her father does not really live in Ft. Lauderdale. And, oh yeah, most nights she takes a salt bath so she can transform into a mermaid.  With only a few weeks to go until graduation, Lily knows she need to declare her love to Brody so he can join her in her undersea kingdom of Thalassinia, where she will assume her full duties as mermaid princess and sole heir to the throne.

WHAT I LIKED:  As a daughter of the 80’s, I grew up obsessed with the movie Splash, which tells the story of a beautiful mermaid in love with a human bachelor in New York. So, Forgive My Fins already had the mermaid-Splash-thing going for it before I even started reading.

I stayed up until 4am last night reading Forgive My Fins, reading almost all of it in one sitting. I started reading around 10pm, fully intending to read for 30 minutes or so before I went to bed. I had to get up at 5am after all. Yeah, I ended up skipping the summer staff development class I was supposed to attend today because of this book. It was that good.

The story is very easy to get into, and the major characters easy to like. I found myself really rooting for Quince and Lily, right from the very beginning. I love the cursing–it’s all fish terms like “frogging” instead of “frigging” (or worse) and “carp” instead of “crap.” Very creative. While some fishy dialogue seemed a little cheesy initially, it was endearing and sweet and cute and I liked it anyway.

I’m glad that Lily admits that living on land makes her more irritable. Without that explanation, I would have thought she was too hot-headed. She is always so angry with Quince, and it is so obvious from the very beginning that he’s only pestering her because he likes her. Knowing irritability is a side-effect of land-living really keeps Lily’s character sympathetic.

Without giving too much away, I felt so emotionally connected to the characters that a particular part at the end left me completely heartbroken when it happened. It was a hand-over-my-mouth moment. So sad. 

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: The only thing I didn’t love was the Epilogue. It kind of comes out of nowhere and seems only tangentially related to the book. Oh, well; it sets up the sequel, I guess. And I have no doubt I’ll be reading the sequel.

Also, my advice is to NOT start this book if you don’t have time to finish it in one sitting. I do not recommend missing staff development (or work or school) so you can stay up to finish it.


  • Language: very mild (it’s all fishy-cursing); one GD
  • Sexuality: mild; some kissing
  • Violence: none
  • Drugs/Alcohol: very mild; Lily takes an aspirin for a headache

SEQUEL: Fins Are Forever

READALIKES: Aquamarine (Hoffman); Hannah (Lasky); The Deep (Dunmore); Ingo (Dunmore)

STATUS IN MY MS LIBRARY (GRADES 6-8): We have six copies; it’s popular and is on the current year’s Lone Star Plus list. Now that I have read it and loved it, I probably won’t have to worry about shelving it much because it will be on constant hold.

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