Publish Date: July 04, 2011
Pages: n/a (304 - hardcover)
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Others in Series: n/a
Synopsis from Goodreads:
What happens to the girls nobody sees—the ones who are ignored, mistreated, hidden away? The girls nobody hears when they cry for help?
Fourteen-year-old Luce is one of those lost girls. After her father vanishes in a storm at sea, she is stuck in a grim, gray Alaskan fishing village with her alcoholic uncle. When her uncle crosses an unspeakable line, Luce reaches the depths of despair. Abandoned on the cliffs near her home, she expects to die when she tumbles to the icy, churning waves below. Instead, she undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid.
A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in—all of them, like her, lost girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. The mermaids are beautiful, free, and ageless, and Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: they feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks.
Luce’s own talent at singing captures the attention of the tribe’s queen, the fierce and elegant Catarina, and Luce soon finds herself pressured to join in committing mass murder. Luce’s struggle to retain her inner humanity puts her at odds with her friends; even worse, Catarina seems to regard Luce as a potential rival. But the appearance of a devious new mermaid brings a real threat to Catarina’s leadership and endangers the very existence of the tribe. Can Luce find the courage to challenge the newcomer, even at the risk of becoming rejected and alone once again?
Lost Voices is a captivating and wildly original tale about finding a voice, the healing power of friendship, and the strength it takes to forgive.
Most people expect happy endings from books. Well, do not get your hopes up when picking up Lost Voices. I do not believe there is a single pinpoint of happiness in this entire novel.
Luce, a young girl of fourteen, has had a tough life. Her mother is dead and her father has been missing for years. She lives with an uncle who is a raging alcoholic. One night after being assaulted by her uncle, Luce slips off the edge of a cliff and plunges into the freezing Alaskan sea below. She should have died but instead has somehow transformed into a mermaid.
Now is where you would expect some happiness to come into Luce's life, but such is not the case. She meets a tribe of mermaids, all young girls, a feels she may have finally found the family she has always wanted. I can't decide whether Luce's life was more terrible as a human or a mermaid. The girls were all dark, mean and vengeful... even toward each other! After everything Luce had been through, I had hoped she would begin to stand up for herself against a bunch of girls her age. Unfortunately, Luce allowed them to tear her down and trample all over her.
The synopsis talks about "finding a voice, the healing power of friendship, and the strength it takes to forgive." I wish this had happened and there had been some great moral to the story, but I felt like that didn't occur. I feel like Luce only lost her voice the longer she stayed with the mermaids. I feel as though the healing power of friendship did not exist, as there were no true friendships with these girls. There were absolutely no redeeming qualities for any of the characters and the way they treated one another was appalling. As for the strength to forgive, I feel like that leads the pages to be filled with hypocrisy. If the girls had the power to forgive, then they would not have treated each other the way that they did. They would not have so easily killed humans for things they may, or may not, have done.
As I mentioned earlier, do not expect a happy ending from Lost Voices. While the characters may be mermaids, they are more like the mythological sirens. There is no awe-inspiring moral to this story and I feel that the characters did not learn from the situations that occurred in their life.
I really wanted to like Lost Voices, I really wanted a great mermaid story. Even after finding the darkness that resided in this novel, I was hoping to find some redemption for the characters... but I didn't. This is one I would definitely recommend for an older crowd versus younger teenagers. I appreciate the opportunity that HMH gave me to read Lost Voices, unfortunately it just wasn't my cup of tea.
Buy Lost Voices
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository