I’m always scouring the local library, kindle store, and bookstores in general for books about the sea. Anything will do, but I’m particularly intrigued by merfolk. The sea and stories about it are fascinating! (Hilarious irony: I am like deathly afraid of giant sea monsters/water monsters in general. I’m completely, 100% serious. Nessie? Total believer. No evidence needed because HELLER GIANT SEA/LAKE/WATER MONSTER. Kraken? Giant squid? Five levels of NOPE. Noooope.)
My most recent search led me to Hannah.
I’ll be frank like I usually am: The title didn’t exactly speak to me. The cover also didn’t evoke a compulsory, ‘WOW I need to read this book’! Even the synopsis left me feeling a tad blasé. But (but but) it was about the sea, and it had a mermaid… #priorities #necessary
So I start reading, and immediately I’m taken in by the narration, which is somewhat reminiscent of Chime by Franny Billingsley (and by somewhat I mean very loosely and I really don’t know why it struck me as being similar at all as I write this review…but shameless promotion for Chime because it’s pretty much my all time favorite work of fiction). Lasky’s prose has a sensual lyricism that complements the subject matter, and she employs an impressive amount of water-related imagery. She blends the obvious motifs–music and freedom–in too, but in her own, unique way. It captivated me; definite kudos!
The characters are wonderfully realistic and flavorful. Ettie=easily the greatest character (no bias here >.>), but Lila is entrancing in her own right. I loved that everyone had their own place and distinct qualities.
True to her nature, Hannah is more difficult to discern. Lasky reveals Hannah’s inner dialogue and discovery well for the most part, and I connected with and rooted for Hannah, but when I finished reading the story, I thought her to be vague, fleeting, ephemeral. Almost intangible. Which was kind of cool…and also kind of meh at the same time.
The ending was so open-ended as to be inconclusive, and some loose ends weren’t addressed. It was abrupt and rather off-putting. I turned the page expecting to get more story and BAM. Done. Finished. The (not) End.
Another thing? Maybe other people followed this story and Hannah’s journey (etc.) without issue, but I was often confused…and also frustrated and a bit miffed. Sometimes things that could have been explained weren’t simply to raise tension, which isn’t necessarily bad, but when it’s also clichéd I just kind of looked at it and went, “Really?”
Some things aren’t ever explained. Again, not always a bad thing, but I LIKE ANSWERS. Throw me a bone, Lasky. Maybe it’s because it’s Book 1 and I’m just an impatient koala. We shall see when I get my hands on Book 2! 😀
I disliked how esoteric certain passages were. Yes, the sea is mysterious and has deep secrets. Yes it should (maybe) feel like something beyond, or at least otherworldly, but I shouldn’t be scratching my head wondering what is going on/what just happened and have to re-read (and still not really get it).
All in all, it was an ok book. Great prose; interesting storyline; mermaids(!). I was much more impressed with Lasky’s wolf works, but I liked Hannah enough to read the next installment.
Have you ever read Hannah (or the others in the series)? What did you think? Any sea-worthy suggestions to add to my tbr pile??