FICTION

Mermaid Boys: Vol. 1

tr. from Japanese by Christine Dashiell. illus. by Yomi Sarachi. 176p. Yen. Apr. 2018. pap. $13. ISBN 9780316480963.
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Gr 9 Up-Prince Naru is an absolute stunner. With beautiful eyes, a broad chest, and long, luscious hair, he's the catch of the merfolk kingdom. Although he could have his pick of the eligible mermaids, Naru falls in love with a human. After rescuing her from drowning, he cannot stop thinking about her. However, mermaid and human interactions are punishable by imprisonment. Naru makes a deal with a sketchy sorcerer to become human, in the tradition of "The Little Mermaid." But that's where the similarities to Hans Christian Andersen's melancholy tale end. A classic fish-out-of-water plot unfolds as Naru struggles to adapt to human customs. Worse, the young woman he loves might even hate him. Add a romantic rival and a touch of naughty humor, and the result is a lighthearted, funny plot driven by miscommunication, tension, and social gaffes.
VERDICT An enjoyable entry for fans of romantic comedies.-Tamela Chambers, Chicago Public Schools, IL

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