Book Review: Drown by Esther Dalseno

The little mermaid never felt like she fit in with her beauty-obsessed, emotionless, underwater world, so, when she finally gets to go to the surface and falls in love with a beautiful, depressed prince, she eventually decides to trade her voice for legs and start a new life at the palace. But, while she discovers the joys and pains of love, relationships, and humanity above ground, a mysterious virus starts spreading among the merfolk, and the little mermaid must decide what, and who, is most important to her.

Book Review: Drown by Esther Dalseno | books, reading, book covers, book reviews, fantasy, fairy tales & folklore, retellings, The Little Mermaid, mermaids
Title: Drown: A Twisted Take on the Classic Fairy Tale
Pages: 228
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads


Have you ever read any of the classic, original fairy tales? Because this book was very much a fairy tale, just like the old ones, in both writing style and story, but with more depth.

In short: It was tragic. It was captivating. It was magical.

It was also fairly true to the original Little Mermaid story, and the author succeeded in trying to capture the essence, but she still added her own twists that made it interesting and different, like the self-harming, orange-obsessed prince, the charming, mysterious uncle, and the unique origin of the merfolk.

The POV was a little difficult for me as it was omniscient but also kind of flittered around into the minds and POVs of many different characters (or maybe that’s always how omniscient is and I’ve just never read it before?), but I think it contributed to the fairy tale vibe of the book that’s exactly how the originals are too. So it wasn’t bad, just something I had to get used to when I started reading.

Overall though, I got pulled in by the pretty writing and couldn’t stop because I had to know how the story was going to end, especially when things took a bit of an interesting turn. *SPOILER ALERT* I didn’t trust the Uncle at first, but, when I found out he was the one playing music for her and giving her flowers because he knew they made her happy, I completely shipped them. I so badly wanted them to end up living happily ever after together! *END SPOILER ALERT* And I never did stop cracking up at how the little mermaid thought the Uncle’s beard was a parasite and how she would eat fish from the aquariums when no one was looking. Plus, is this not one of the most gorgeous covers ever?!

If you’re looking for something magical yet classic to pull you away from reality for a little while, this is just the book to do it!

As a side note—I already had a mermaid-ish playlist that I was listening to while reading, but I had the most PERFECT song/scene combo happen. “Deep Sea” by Oh Land + the beginning of Chapter 4. Try it. Trust me. It will be magical.


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