Review: Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Monday, August 28, 2017

It's city-girl Maddy's first summer in the bayou, and she just falls in love with her new surroundings - the glimmering fireflies, the glorious landscape, and something else, deep within the water, that only she can see. Could it be a mermaid? As her grandmother shares wisdom about sayings and signs, Maddy realizes she may be the only sibling to carry on her family's magical legacy. And when a disastrous oil leak threatens the bayou, she knows she may also be the only one who can help. Does she have what it takes to be a hero? Jewell Parker Rhodes weaves a rich tale celebrating the magic within.

 My online Youth Adult at Heart book club read this book for the month of August and hats off to my friend Crystal for choosing it. This book has family, friends, bravery, magic, imagination, and growth. (All the same things Harry Potter had, how about that).

  • There were mermaids. Need I say more. (If you didn't guess that big fin was a mermaid you're ridiculous).
  • Maddy and Bear are squad goals. Enough said.
  •  The imagery in this book was on point. The author managed to describe Maddy and Bear's adventures, and the Bayou, and what Maddy was feeling BEAUTIFULLY but without talking to much (I'm look at you Stephen King).
  • Watching Maddy and the other members of the Bayou bond and become a second type of "family" almost brought tears to my eyes. IT WAS ALL SO LOVELY.
  • I don't know much about the Bayou (actually who am I kidding, aside from the fact that they eat a ton of crawdads I don't know a thing about the Bayou) I liked the French words that were peppered throughout the dialogue.
  • This book was about belief and imagination, something that slowly begins to dissolve as we're beat up by life. This is a story every adult and child should read.  
  • Although Maddy's older siblings kind of sucked, I would have been interested to see more of them. They're so different from Maddy (and her mom?) that it would have been an interesting dynamic to watch then interact more.
  • So I know what we were suppose to think happen at the end of the book with the... disaster (I'm trying to stay away from spoilers), but it was a tad abrupt for my taste. That being said, I still thought it was great because, MERMAIDS.
Did the mom know about the magic? I don't know! Were the mermaids and magic read? I don't know! I don't know, and I don't care, because this book is so sweet and I will suggest it to anyone and everyone I meet. My kingdom for a Novella.


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