THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE QUEEN Nerissa Marin hides among teens in her human form, waiting for the day she can claim her birthright—the undersea kingdom stolen from her the day her father was murdered. Blending in is her best weapon—until her father's betrayer confronts Nerissa and challenges her to a battle to the death on Nerissa's upcoming birthday—the day she comes of age. Amid danger and the heartbreak of her missing mother, falling for a human boy is the last thing Nerissa should do. But Lo Seavon breaches her defenses and somehow becomes the only person she can count on to help her desperate search for her mother, a prisoner of Nerissa's mortal enemy. Is Lo the linchpin that might win Nerissa back her crown? Or will this mortal boy become the weakness that destroys her?
Hiding in plain sight amongst humans, Nerissa is the future Queen of her people. Problem is that her father was murdered and his crown stolen, and his killer is just waiting for the day that she comes to age to take everything from her too. She decided to give up her place amongst her people long ago, much to the dismay of her guardians, but her hand is forced when she's challenged for her crown. Quickly her life turns from human things like field hockey to hard core training to give her a fighting chance. But she's got a distraction waiting in the wings in the form of the very human Lo, the one thing she can never have. Romance between humans and her kind are forbidden, but she's never much been one for the rules. Crown or safety, following her heart or the rules, Nerissa has a lot of hard choices on the path ahead of her.
I have a really hard time with selfish characters. There are a lot of flaws that I can over look, but selfishness, especially in those characters who act entitled, just completely turns me off. Nerissa was an extremely spoiled and selfish character who absolutely grated on my nerves. At one point in the book she does something unforgiveable and excuses her actions by saying that they gave her no choice. In all actuality, they were just following orders and protecting her. She had a choice alright, a choice not to act like an entitled brat. I honestly despised her so much that I had a very hard time getting through the first 50 pages, but luckily the rest of the story dragged me in enough to keep holding on. I'm glad I did because as the book went on, Nerissa started to grow and mature, and quite frankly get over herself. Don't get me wrong, her situation was pretty crappy, but honestly it didn't excuse her behavior, so I was really glad to see her start to wise up to her own actions, even if it was slow coming. By the end of the book I found her to be somewhat respectable, but she still has plenty of room to improve. It will be interesting to see after that ending and her new circumstances, how her behavior continues in the next installment, but only time will tell.
Getting onto the rest of the cast of characters. I absolutely adored all of them. From her faithful to the core best friend, Jenna, to her surly body guard, Speio, as well as his incredible parents, and even the love interest, Lo, who was full of secrets and mystery himself. Each and every single one was fully fleshed out to the point that they all seemed real. It's one of the biggest reasons aside from the unique mythology that I was so hooked by this book.
The world behind Waterfell was absolutely unique and incredible. There's several twists to the uniqueness that I would love to talk about her, but I can't because they aren't revealed until later in the book. But just let me suffice it to say that this isn't your ordinary mermaid book. It's that and so much more, you just can't compare it to anything else. The world building is rather impressive, and despite the complicated web that was weaved in the world building, it never once became overwhelming. When you combine that with the fantastic cast of characters, WATERFELL was one heck of a read, that I'm very glad I didn't let the selfish narrator turn me off from. I'll definitely be checking out the next installment.
(Received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley)