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The Girl with the Mermaid Hair Hardcover – 5 Jan 2010

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Teen; 1 edition (5 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061542601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061542602
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.7 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,893,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Delia Ephron is a critically acclaimed novelist and screenwriter. Her most recent book, Frannie in Pieces, received four starred reviews, was a Book Sense Pick, and was named to the New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age list. She is also the author of Big City Eyes, Hanging Up, and How to Eat Like a Child. Her screenwriting credits include The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, You've Got Mail, Bewitched, Hanging Up, and Michael. She lives in New York City with her husband and their dog, Honey Pansy Cornflower Bernice Mambo Kass.

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By TeensReadToo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Sukie Jamieson is obsessed with her looks - and with herself. At every opportunity she gets, she looks at herself in a spoon, or takes a "selfie" with her cell phone, all to make sure she looks her best. When her mother gives her a gorgeous antique mirror that used to belong to her grandmother, Sukie is ecstatic. She is so ecstatic that she forgets to adhere to her mother's warning: "The mirror will be your best friend, but also your worst enemy."

As Sukie's year progresses, she learns that the mirror shows not only who you are up close, but also who you are on the inside. With these revelations, she sets off into the best and worst moments of her life, dealing with everything from family problems, to friendship dilemmas, but most of all, with who she really is as a person.

To be honest, I was not a fan of this book for the first half of the story. I felt that Sukie was really whiny and fake, caring too much about herself and not enough about those around her. Everything was really disconnected and confusing, but as soon as I hit the halfway mark the story got so much better. Sukie started to become aware of her surroundings and started turning into a real person. She even got my sympathy as she dealt with situations that anyone would find tough.

While the second half of THE GIRL WITH THE MERMAID HAIR was definitely the better half, the ending really sealed the deal for me that this was actually a good book. There was tons of emotion and it was great to see things fall into place. The crazy characters became a little less crazy, and you finally got to see the amount Sukie had grown throughout the story.

One thing I definitely have to give kudos to the author for is the characterization of Sukie's mom.
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Format: Hardcover
I didn't like the protagonist Sukie Jamieson, 15 at all. She comes across as extremely self-obsessed, particularly where her looks are concerned. Her brother Mikey, 8 is the most appealing and likable character. He brings humor and logic where it is sorely needed.

Sukie, a mirror fanatic receives an heirloom mirror that once belonged to her grandmother. This is one thing she certainly doesn't need as she is never too far from a mirror or reflective glass such as a window. Sukie is irritating with her overuse of the word "selfie," meaning self portraits that she takes with her cell phone camera. Between the camera and the mirror, one would think Sukie would have an overdose of self.

Mirrors have long held an interesting place in history as being distortions of reality and images. From "The Lady of Shalott" to "Snow White," mirrors have had a rather mystical literary appeal. In "Snow White," where the haggish crone's mirror lied to her because she was in denial about her atrocious looks, Sukie is equally in denial about her atrocious personality and self preoccupation. In fact, she takes her mirrors so seriously that she envisions a parallel universe where she reigns and a quarterback named Bobo is her ideal beau.

One can view Sukie as having many reflections, including distored self images like a funhouse mirror. She comes across as EXTREMELY self absorbed and her verbiage ("selfies") reinforces that notion. One can also view her as lonely as she is stuck with herself, insecurities and all as well as her ubiquitious mirrors and camera.

Sukie questions all forms of beauty around her such as nature. In so doing, she wonders what constitutes beauty and is she capable of living up to peer, parental and academic standards?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x97864948) out of 5 stars 11 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97172234) out of 5 stars Distorted Images - Deflected Reflection 4 Jun. 2010
By BeatleBangs1964 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I didn't like the protagonist Sukie Jamieson, 15 at all. She comes across as extremely self-obsessed, particularly where her looks are concerned. Her brother Mikey, 8 is the most appealing and likable character. He brings humor and logic where it is sorely needed.

Sukie, a mirror fanatic receives an heirloom mirror that once belonged to her grandmother. This is one thing she certainly doesn't need as she is never too far from a mirror or reflective glass such as a window. Sukie is irritating with her overuse of the word "selfie," meaning self portraits that she takes with her cell phone camera. Between the camera and the mirror, one would think Sukie would have an overdose of self.

Mirrors have long held an interesting place in history as being distortions of reality and images. From "The Lady of Shalott" to "Snow White," mirrors have had a rather mystical literary appeal. In "Snow White," where the haggish crone's mirror lied to her because she was in denial about her atrocious looks, Sukie is equally in denial about her atrocious personality and self preoccupation. In fact, she takes her mirrors so seriously that she envisions a parallel universe where she reigns and a quarterback named Bobo is her ideal beau.

One can view Sukie as having many reflections, including distored self images like a funhouse mirror. She comes across as EXTREMELY self absorbed and her verbiage ("selfies") reinforces that notion. One can also view her as lonely as she is stuck with herself, insecurities and all as well as her ubiquitious mirrors and camera.

Sukie questions all forms of beauty around her such as nature. In so doing, she wonders what constitutes beauty and is she capable of living up to peer, parental and academic standards? Even so, Sukie remains on the periphery of life away from her mirrors and out among other people.

Even Sukie's father is a problematic character. He makes passes at other women in public, confiding in Sukie that he is an operator. He is later discovered to have had an adulterous affair. He places high expectations on her and she uses him as a mirror of sorts to determine whether or not she is looking as well as acting up to par.

Sukie's mother is very surfacy and, one could say not all that different from Sukie, but to a far lesser extreme. She is not a loving person nor is she especially kind or supportive. She is not really able to connect with Sukie and it does make one think that perhaps these two are trapped behind the looking glass and cannot pass through the glass barrier to other decisions that include other people in less self-absorbed ways.

Sukie's literary prognosis does not sound promising. She lives through her mirror induced fantasies and acts as if she believes these false scenarios are actually taking place. She manages to cut herself adrift from the people around her and reach her nadir with devastating results.

Outside the looking glass, the world is not so sharp and clear. Bobo, Sukie's idealized beau is just another lusty guy on the make. Isabella, the waitress she imagined as a friend is nothing like the way she imagined her to be. Her own internal mirror shatters and Sukie is forced to pick up the pieces and rebuild a more accurate image that includes others and their flaws instead of the make-believe looking glass world she created.

Sukie impressed me as a tragic figure. She initially comes across as a very neurotic, self obsessed personality whose isolation finally comes through later into the story. The book is extremely well written, but I admit that I just could not like Sukie or the other supporting characters except for Mikey.

Diana Ross' 1980 hit "Mirror, Mirror" could be the soundtrack of this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96ffc324) out of 5 stars The Girl with the Mermaid Hair by Delia Ephron 31 Jan. 2010
By Casey "A Passion for Books" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I'm not really sure where to begin with this review. The Girl with the Mermaid Hair was an...interesting read - much different than they type of books I normally would read. To me, it was okay. I didn't hate it, but I didn't fully enjoy it either.

I found myself getting quite annoyed with Sookie's character and even her mother's too. Sookie is the kind of person who is extremely obsessed with the way she looks. Constantly taking pictures of herself, or even looking at herself with anything that will show her reflection. If one hair on her head was out of place, she would freak. I also think that Sookie's mother is the majority of the reason Sookie is the way she is - everything had to be perfect, so of course Sookie picked up the same attitude. I would think it's unhealthy to live life having everything extremely perfect.

Overall, this was a decent novel, but not one of my favorites.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97172474) out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 10 Mar. 2010
By TeensReadToo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Sukie Jamieson is obsessed with her looks - and with herself. At every opportunity she gets, she looks at herself in a spoon, or takes a "selfie" with her cell phone, all to make sure she looks her best. When her mother gives her a gorgeous antique mirror that used to belong to her grandmother, Sukie is ecstatic. She is so ecstatic that she forgets to adhere to her mother's warning: "The mirror will be your best friend, but also your worst enemy."

As Sukie's year progresses, she learns that the mirror shows not only who you are up close, but also who you are on the inside. With these revelations, she sets off into the best and worst moments of her life, dealing with everything from family problems, to friendship dilemmas, but most of all, with who she really is as a person.

To be honest, I was not a fan of this book for the first half of the story. I felt that Sukie was really whiny and fake, caring too much about herself and not enough about those around her. Everything was really disconnected and confusing, but as soon as I hit the halfway mark the story got so much better. Sukie started to become aware of her surroundings and started turning into a real person. She even got my sympathy as she dealt with situations that anyone would find tough.

While the second half of THE GIRL WITH THE MERMAID HAIR was definitely the better half, the ending really sealed the deal for me that this was actually a good book. There was tons of emotion and it was great to see things fall into place. The crazy characters became a little less crazy, and you finally got to see the amount Sukie had grown throughout the story.

One thing I definitely have to give kudos to the author for is the characterization of Sukie's mom. Her mother was such a mean person that by the end of the book I really had an extreme dislike for her. For me, the fact that the author was able to make me feel this infuriated with a character is really neat, as it means she made her real.

In the end, this was a good story of friendship, loneliness, and finding the true beauty in yourself that is sometimes very hard to find.

Reviewed by: Tasha
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96feca20) out of 5 stars where have all the heroes gone 24 April 2011
By simple sellers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book was in the "teen" section. I don't know why. It is more for adults, at least I thought so. Sukie is 15 , goes to prep school,looks like barbie except for her "ramp" nose, and has clothes that would rival carrie bradshaws.
But Sukies life is really sucky .She has no friends, because she is a snob. She craves food, but is afraid of getting fat, so she dreams about food. She even writes a report of how ugly everybody at her school is and reads it out loud to the class. That was the hardest part to read, when she referred to everyone in very demeaning nicknames, and which teachers really need to get lipo or hair extensions. She even refers to one particularly nice student as frankenstein. ( the only thing that got me through this part, was Sukie's little brother, and her dog, who acts like bryan , on family guy.)
Ephron could just left it like that, but she keeps going. She writes in a very light, plain spoken , non preachy style. She delves into how this girl,who doesn't like being mean, but has no idea how to be nice. I felt bad for Sukie, the girl has no one to look up to. No one to tell her what good manners are.She uses this teenage girl as a vehicle , deals with how mean the internet has made us. How we skewer people anonomously, not realizing how we might cause them to make life changing decisions. ( Like really bad facelifts) She includes all kinds of rock music from the 80's and 90's . I am glad she wrote about this topic, I hope people will look at themselves on the inside.I also hope it will prompt other adults to be heroes to kids like sukie. So they don't turn into " mean woman"
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x971a42a0) out of 5 stars Loved this book! 28 Feb. 2010
By Anna Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Sukie Jamieson is an outstanding high school student, perfect daughter, and classic overachiever. But with an appearance-obsessed mother, mysteriously-absent father, and her own inability to make friends, not all is perfect. When her mother gives her a full-length mirror once belonging to her grandmother, she finds it shows more than meets the eye. Does the mirror reflect reality, or Sukie's fears and longings?

The writing in this book is absolutely wonderful, and the character development is excellent, right down to the dog, Señor, who seems more perceptive than Sukie's self-absorbed parents. There are many funny and heartbreaking moments throughout the book, such as Sukie reading an article in a magazine about nose types and then determining(and not liking) her own "ramp" nose.

One of the pleasures of this novel is the way it takes hold with each turn of the page. From the intriguing beginning to the satisfying ending,the author tells the story with uncommon insights. I highly recommend this book for any age.
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