December 26, 2011

Power of a Pelt • Selkie Girl

Selkie Girl book cover
Selkie Girl by Laurie Brooks
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 14, 2008
Source/Format: Ashley at What's Your Story (Thanks!) || Hardcover

Elin Jean has always known she was different from the others on her remote island home. She loves the seals that live in the waters surrounding the island and abhors the annual tradition of killing seal babies to thin the population. And if that isn't enough to set her apart, her hands - with their thin webs connecting each finger - have marked her as a freak. Someone to be avoided.

Elin Jean's parents have never been open with her about why she is so different, and why she must stay away from the other islanders. But it's just a matter of time before she discovers the truth about her past and the mysterious circumstances of her birth. And when she does, she will face a choice, as the child of a most unusual union. Partly of the land, partly of the sea, she must search both worlds and dig deep inside herself to find out where she belongs, and where her future lies.

I'm going to be honest here: when I first picked Selkie Girl out of the ones Ashley was selling, I had no idea what the story was about. It was the cover that drew me in, with its wonderful combination of colors and the beautiful illustration. It was the first book I read out of the ones I got from Ashley and I have to say that I enjoyed it.

The Characters

Selkie Girl's main character Elin Jean is interesting, and the story is basically hers. She's different from everyone else on the island, with her webbed fingers, love for the seals and being intensely drawn to the sea. She's strong in the convictions that set her apart, but her longing to belong and fit in also haunts her. I sympathized with her when she was teased or mistreated by the island's people; but I admired her strength to stand up for what she believed in. It did drive me a little bit crazy how crazy her own emotions were and how she sometimes made the strangest (i.e. most unreasonable) choices in the situations she faced. But overall, I liked her well enough.

The Story

The prologue of the book was intriguing enough to make me want to read the rest. I thought the mythology was very well-written, including enough about the people and about the selkies. There were many instances that I was as frustrated as Elin Jean when I couldn't figure out what was going on or what would happen next, but I figure the author was just trying to build up the tension. The language the author used took a little getting used to, but at some point, it stopped bugging me. 

In conclusion...

Selkie Girl was a good read, with an intriguing main character and mythology. However, it wasn't particularly remarkable.


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