When We Believed in Mermaids- by: Barbara O’Neal

Usually when I read fiction I read something in the Scify-fantasy realm. I decided to venture out and try something different. Broaden my horizons!

Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s being a mom, maybe it’s being on locked down with the kids for 6 months and I’m going somewhat insane. I have been drawn to more sentimental type stories. So I googled popular books and this one came up, not going to lie, the title grabbed my attention more than anything as I have always loved mermaids.

When I was little we lived in South Florida and my grandparents had a boat that we use to go out on. We would snorkel and swim between fishing sessions ( in different spots of course). I had always felt out of place and sad as a child. I never felt like I quite fit in anywhere. I wasn’t really bullied in school and I had a good home, it wasn’t perfect, but my parents provided everything we needed. I was the sweet and quite girl; because of that other kids assumed I was smart. After “The Little Mermaid” was released from Disney, I wished more than anything I could turn into a mermaid and always pretended to be one when we were at the pool or in the ocean. I think it’s all of those memories that drew me to the title.

Once I got started with this book, I couldn’t put it down. It was very well written and I didn’t get bored with the characters because the chapters bounced from Kit to her sister Josie. Showing different perspectives to the same story.

The story is about sisters who grew up on the coast of California. Their parents owned a restaurant and were not very involved with their daughters. The girls were allowed to sleep on the beach and run wild and on their own until an runaway boy came to live with them and took on the responsibility of looking out and caring for them. The three kids loved one another and would to anything for each other.

A broken family, as they grew the problems grew and the kids couldn’t hold on to one another as they became adults. While Kit was is college, Josie became a party girl and disappeared. Fifteen years later, Kit goes on a mission to find her sister and while doing so finds a happier version of herself.

It’s a beautiful story of overcoming the tragedies that life sometimes gives and about letting go of the hurt and giving yourself permission to forgive. In so doing, finding love and acceptance. Families may be living in the same story, however we see from different perspectives and still experience different circumstances.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for inspiration to let go of their hurt, find love, and who want a good cry at the end.

The Sword of Truth Series by: Terry Goodkind

When I was 24 years old I walked into a Barnes & Noble with a Starbucks in hand, just kinda wondering around wasting time. I liked to read, but I wasn’t really into reading. I enjoyed going to book stores because it always felt like there was possibility of finding something spectacular in them.

My thing was walking the rows of books (all genres), browsing the titles, waiting for something to just jump out at me and whisk me away on an adventure. On this particular trip, I remember going through the store and not really finding anything of real interest, so I started to head out and I noticed a collection of books on the Science Fiction end cap that I had missed. I studied it for a moment from several feet away, debating if I should check them out, took the last gulp of my cinnamon dolce latte and wondered over. (It’s hard to imagine now that there was a time when this was the biggest decision I had to make in a day. Go check out the books or don’t check out the books, hmmmm)

I walked out of Barnes & Noble that day with the first book of the Sword of Truth Series, Wizards First Rule and 14 years and 24 books later am still hooked. There is actually more than 24 books related to Sword of Truth series, I am 2-3 behind waiting for the price to drop. Needless to say, I am now a dedicated citizen of the world he created in these books.

I feel like anything I say about these books and about the world he created just won’t do him justice. It’s a world where magics are used instead of technology, there’s forbidden love, fighting for human rights, sick and twisted power hungry people trying to take over the world, unbreakable friendships, and most importantly, lessons to learn from. It’s the whole package.

I will admit, there were 1 or 2 books in the middle of the series, up till now, that I found a little repetitive and had a hard time getting through. I won’t say that every single one had me on the edge of my seat, but most of them do. The first 6 books of the series are by far my favorites, I listen to them on audible now while I work, and I encourage anyone looking to start a wonderful adventure to go on this one.