Marijuana Mermaid is a coming-of-age novel offered to me for review by Love Books Tours through an e-ARC. I took this novel for review as the main protagonist Leah’s character description in the blurb interested me.
Details of the Book:
Book Published Date: 20-April-2021
Length of the Book: 248 Pages
Book Links: Amazon
After getting into trouble at her high school in Chicago, seventeen-year-old Leah Cassels moves to a small seaside town in California to live with her father. Leah’s efforts to leave her past behind are put to the test by new friends Monica and Sabina, two popular girls who seem to have it all. While secretly dreaming of becoming the new star of an underwater mermaid show at a local theme park, Leah lands a part-time job at the park’s snack bar where she meets Ray Junior. As their new friendship begins to grow, Leah comes to the realization that there’s more to him than meets the eye. Encouraged by Ray Junior to stand on her own, Leah tries to distance herself from Monica and Sabina, unaware of the consequences of doing so.
My thoughts on Marijuana Mermaid:
Leah moves into a new small town called “Sea Side Heights” during the last year of her high school. This book is about her struggles to make her presence established both in the school as well as in the family. She has to get used to her new step-mom, reestablish her relationship with her dad.
While she starts making new friends she kept getting the advice “You are the company you keep“. How many times we would have heard this phrase in our teenage years? Author, David sketches the Leah character so deftly that while reading this book the reader could easily associate Leah to the next door girl or even see themselves in her shoes.
Leah’s struggles, while she tries to fit into the new school and make new friends has come out in a very natural way. Her anxiety in finding out a new job, her disappointment in her step-mom is as typical of any teenager we could find.
David has created the suspense right at the beginning of the novel and keeps unraveling it layer by layer in Leah’s life. The same goes with her other two girlfriend’s life as well. The characters unravel their different shades slowly that the reader gets hooked to the book.
As typical to any coming of age novel, in this book also, we can get to get to read Leah’s crushes (Jeremy) and also her love interest (Ray). Crush need not be real love and real love just doesn’t happen overnight and needs time and understanding. This principle is clearly picturized in the book, with all the ends neatly coming into a tight knot.
Leah’s strong character comes into a clear picture with her decision “I was in danger of being guilty by association.” and to rectify the same, she tries to cut all her ties to her two friends, who befriended her initially in the “Sea Side Heights”. She also tries to make amends with both her mother as well as her other friends. This is one thing I loved in Leah.
About the Author:
David-Matthew Barnes is an award-winning author, film critic, playwright, poet, and screenwriter. He writes in multiple genres, primarily young adult, romance, thriller, and horror. He is the bestselling author of twelve novels, five produced screenplays, three collections of poetry, and more than sixty stage plays. He has written about and studied many film genres, with a special focus on film noir and horror movies.
You can reach him on the social media here:
Instagram: David Matthew Barnes
LinkedIn: David Matthew Barnes
Facebook: David Matthew Barnes