Fiction, Not So Goodreads, Review, YA

I Was Hoping for Mermaids and All I Got Were Manatees



by Kat Rosenfield

2 stars

This review was done long ago and is a part of my “Not So Goodreads” of 2014.


Inland is about Callie who at the age of nine watches her mother drown. Or supposedly drowned. Or commit suicide. I’m not really sure (and I have to give blame to the Author Kat Rosenfield on that account). Rush forward nine years later and Callie is a pale, doughy, asthmatic wheezing of a thing. Her father thought that it would be best if his daughter would forget that tragic event that took place nine years ago, so he moves them inland. Hence the name of the book. Unfortunately that doesn’t last very long. Dwindling saving account and the with the ongoing medical bills that have acquired over the years from taking care of his sick daughter, he takes a job offer that he can’t really refuse. So off they move to the Florida coast, where miraculously, Callie gets better. No more taking pills, need of an inhaler, no more trips to the hospital.


And so this is where I thought the story would began about mermaids. But no, it was a boring and underwhelming mess of a story. So slow paced that it took me four days to read and I’m a fast reader.
Don’t get me wrong, Kat Rosenfield does a wonderful job with her writing. The description and prose were beautifully written but I wonder what the point is if the story was so bland and vanilla. That characters (major and minor) were a disappointment. I didn’t care about any and I do mean any of the characters of this book. They were just names written on a piece of paper. With the exception of Bee. The six year old chubby ball of energy. Although she is briefly and I mean briefly mention in the book I liked her the best and wanted to know more about her than of Callie and her tragic family history.

Yet I don’t really know anything about Callie or her family history except that all the woman get a calling and you can’t control it. Unless you want to live the rest of your life with an oxygen tank. I’m still wondering where the mermaids are in this story. You get a glimpse but never the full story or the meaning behind them. To be quite honest I don’t think they were mermaids in the traditional sense, more like creatures from the black lagoon. Nothing beautiful or memorable about them.

The other problem I had with this story were the friendships and relationships that Callie sort of developed as the story moved along. For one I just never believe her and Ben girlfriend/boyfriend dynamic. It seemed forced. Just something that the author wanted to put in there just for the sake of being put in there. It seems that all YA books have to have some sort of romances even if it doesn’t need to be in the book in the first place. The same can be said about the other friendships. There was nothing real to them or about them.

The last problem I have and it’s a big one. The ending. It left me confused and frustrated. I don’t know who is worst. Rainbow Rowell with her Eleanor and Park ending (a postcard) or Kat Rosenfield (with her ending that wasn’t really an ending). I’m starting to wonder if this whole entire book was a metaphor for mental illness instead. Usually if I don’t understand a book the first time around I will read it again but I think I suffered enough. I’ve learned my lesson. Never buy a book best on the beautiful cover and the carefully but brilliantly written synopsis. This is one of the book that definitely will go to goodwill. Hopefully someone will like it. It just wasn’t for me or to my liking.


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