Official Review: Marijuana Mermaid by David-Matthew Barnes

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any young adult books.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
Stephanie Elizabeth
Posts: 2320
Joined: 18 Jul 2018, 15:41
2021 Reading Goal: 15
Currently Reading: We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
Bookshelf Size: 145
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-stephanie-elizabeth.html
Latest Review: The Pretty Place by Laura Leslie

Official Review: Marijuana Mermaid by David-Matthew Barnes

Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Marijuana Mermaid" by David-Matthew Barnes.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


After a troublesome past in Chicago, seventeen-year-old Leah Cassels is being sent to live with her father in California. Her mother hopes this will be good for Leah by changing her current trajectory. When she arrives in Seaside Heights, it doesn't take long for her to fall victim to the lure of Monica and Sabina. The girls have it all—beauty, affluence, and power.

At first, Leah feels grateful for all the attention and how easily she's transitioned into her new school. Still, when things seem too good to be true, they usually are. Monica has proven herself to be quite the vindictive friend—turning people against one another, engaging in illegal and dangerous activities, and tearing others down without a morsel of regret. Monica is the epitome of mean, and Leah knows that if she has any hope of graduating without a criminal record, she needs to distance herself from the girls.

Still, Monica keeps upping the ante, and Leah is worried that she'll be the next person to get on her bad side. What will Leah do?

Marijuana Mermaid by David-Matthew Barnes is a YA novel about friendship, family, and identity. Told from the first-person perspective, readers follow Leah Cassels as she tries to find her place in a new town where fitting in is everything. On top of being the new girl, Leah must adapt to her parents getting a divorce, her father's new wife, and Monica's attempts to control her every move.

My favorite thing about the book was the main character. Leah is funny and likable, but flawed which I think will be relatable to teen readers. Like many kids her age, she is struggling with being a product of a broken family. I definitely think that some of her poor choices are a result of this, and I applaud the author for addressing the plight of being a kid with divorced parents. I also loved her quick wit and her ability to stand up for what she believes in—if something didn't sit well with her, she wasn't afraid to voice her opinion, even if it didn't win her any popularity points with Sabina and Monica.

I loved the book for the most part, but I disliked the rapid pace of events in the last quarter. Several new conflicts were introduced and quickly resolved, which I think took away from the story. Relationship changes, medical emergencies, disappearances, saying goodbye, etc., were all things that seemed to happen or be resolved at a dizzying rate. Making the book longer or slowly weaving these into the storyline could have steadied the frenzied pace.

Marijuana Mermaid had no spelling or grammar issues, and I can happily report that it was professionally edited. The book was engaging, and Leah's character resonated with me, but as stated earlier, I was disappointed with the rushed pace, particularly towards the end of the book. With that being said, I have chosen to give the book a rating of three out of four stars.

I would recommend the novel to teens who love books about what goes on in high school. This book definitely reminded me of the movie Mean Girls. It had some funny moments and some darker ones, so if you like that type of movie, you'll love Marijuana Mermaid. On the contrary, for readers who didn't have the conventional high school experience, this book may not resonate with you.

******
Marijuana Mermaid
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
User avatar
teacherjh
Posts: 1561
Joined: 15 Apr 2018, 23:16
Currently Reading: The 7 Experiment
Bookshelf Size: 300
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-teacherjh.html
Latest Review: The Mindset by Ace Bowers

Post by teacherjh »

Too much teen drama for me and I'm thrown off by the title. Still, I can see the appeal to teenagers.
User avatar
Jasy95
Posts: 143
Joined: 26 Sep 2020, 11:29
Favorite Book: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars
Currently Reading: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Bookshelf Size: 30
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jasy95.html
Latest Review: The Guardians of Erum and the Calamitous Child of Socotra by A Ali Hasan Ali

Post by Jasy95 »

Thanks for the great review! Sounds like an interesting story.
Eddy E
Posts: 51
Joined: 10 Dec 2020, 09:48
Currently Reading: In the Meantime
Bookshelf Size: 13
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-eddy-e.html
Latest Review: The Great Awakening by Arthur F Seymour

Post by Eddy E »

To be honest what can be gleaned from the title is totally different from the explanation in the review but reading further the part that I feel was relatable to many homes is having to as a child adapt to a parents divorce. I believe it does more psychological damage than actually spoken of.
Great Review !
User avatar
Stephanie Elizabeth
Posts: 2320
Joined: 18 Jul 2018, 15:41
2021 Reading Goal: 15
Currently Reading: We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
Bookshelf Size: 145
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-stephanie-elizabeth.html
Latest Review: The Pretty Place by Laura Leslie

Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

teacherjh wrote: 25 Mar 2021, 15:08 Too much teen drama for me and I'm thrown off by the title. Still, I can see the appeal to teenagers.
Thanks for reading and commenting!
User avatar
Stephanie Elizabeth
Posts: 2320
Joined: 18 Jul 2018, 15:41
2021 Reading Goal: 15
Currently Reading: We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
Bookshelf Size: 145
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-stephanie-elizabeth.html
Latest Review: The Pretty Place by Laura Leslie

Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

Jasy95 wrote: 25 Mar 2021, 15:37 Thanks for the great review! Sounds like an interesting story.
Thank you :)
User avatar
Stephanie Elizabeth
Posts: 2320
Joined: 18 Jul 2018, 15:41
2021 Reading Goal: 15
Currently Reading: We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
Bookshelf Size: 145
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-stephanie-elizabeth.html
Latest Review: The Pretty Place by Laura Leslie

Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

Eddy E wrote: 25 Mar 2021, 15:43 To be honest what can be gleaned from the title is totally different from the explanation in the review but reading further the part that I feel was relatable to many homes is having to as a child adapt to a parents divorce. I believe it does more psychological damage than actually spoken of.
Great Review !
Thanks for your comment!
User avatar
Smmwallace
Posts: 204
Joined: 12 Jan 2021, 13:40
2021 Reading Goal: 50
Currently Reading: Devil Among Us
Bookshelf Size: 75
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-smmwallace.html
Latest Review: We are Voulhire: The Fires of Virko by Matthew Tysz

Post by Smmwallace »

Being a parent of a teen myself, I think this book sounds very relatable to teenagers. It seems like there's always one in the bunch that's the troublemaker, lol, so I like that the main character stands up for herself and what she believes in. Thank you for your informative and great review!
User avatar
Eutoc
Posts: 578
Joined: 15 Sep 2020, 01:39
2021 Reading Goal: 25
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 28
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-eutoc.html
Latest Review: Living Strong With Cerebral Palsy by Amanda Forry-Fino

Post by Eutoc »

Nice review. Tho I don't think I'd be reading this anytime soon.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson
User avatar
LeighBee
Posts: 111
Joined: 27 Sep 2020, 18:51
2021 Reading Goal: 100
Currently Reading: Mistborn
Bookshelf Size: 28
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-leighbee.html
Latest Review: We are Voulhire: The Ascension of Akistry by Matthew Tysz

Post by LeighBee »

I like the title but I'm not seeing how it fits in with the novel, but maybe that would give away too many spoilers. I don't love teen drama books, but at the same time, my niece is experiencing bullying at her school so I am on the look-out for books that would help her see herself not as the person who deserves to be treated poorly, but as a person who doesn't deserve it. Thank you for your review!
User avatar
Suzer6440 xyz
Posts: 461
Joined: 02 Jun 2019, 21:33
2021 Reading Goal: 25
Favorite Book: The Girl Who Lived
Currently Reading: Waves Break (on Unknown Shores)
Bookshelf Size: 143
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-suzer6440-xyz.html
Latest Review: How My Brain Works by Dr. Barbara Koltuska-Haskin

Post by Suzer6440 xyz »

Thanks for the review . I’m looking forward to reading this
User avatar
zulfiyya
Posts: 102
Joined: 12 May 2020, 00:29
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 12
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-zulfiyya.html
Latest Review: Protectors of the Black Prince by Curtis Stephen Burdick

Post by zulfiyya »

Great review! This book wouldn't be my cup of tea though, but I could see many teens enjoying this book.
User avatar
Noriel DM
Posts: 90
Joined: 04 Mar 2021, 04:41
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 20
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-noriel-dm.html
Latest Review: Customer Service Is DEAD by Mitche Graf

Post by Noriel DM »

The character of the protagonist is what I like in here. You did a great review of the book. Thank you for an interesting review.
We are all unique in our own ways :D
User avatar
Precious Naiti
Posts: 222
Joined: 29 Jan 2021, 05:36
2021 Reading Goal: 25
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 5
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-precious-naiti.html
Latest Review: We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz

Post by Precious Naiti »

I loved reading the review. The title of the book captured my attention and the review shows me that the book does not disappoint. Seems very interesting and entertaining.
Post Reply

Return to “Young Adult Fiction Books”