The Girl with the Mermaid Hair

The Girl with the Mermaid Hair

4.1 6
by Delia Ephron
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Click. Sukie Jamieson takes a selfie after her tennis lesson. Click. She takes one before she has to give a presentation in class. Click. She takes one to be sure there's nothing in her teeth after eating pizza at Clementi's. And if she can't take a selfie, she checks her reflection in windows, spoons, car chrome—anything available,

See more details below

Overview

Click. Sukie Jamieson takes a selfie after her tennis lesson. Click. She takes one before she has to give a presentation in class. Click. She takes one to be sure there's nothing in her teeth after eating pizza at Clementi's. And if she can't take a selfie, she checks her reflection in windows, spoons, car chrome—anything available, really. So when her mother gives her an exquisite full-length mirror that once belonged to her grandmother, Sukie is thrilled. So thrilled that she doesn't listen to her mother's warning: “This mirror will be your best friend and worst enemy.” Because mirrors, as Sukie discovers, show not only the faraway truth but the truth close up. And finding out that close-up truth changes people. Often forever.

Acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Delia Ephron crafts a powerful novel of truth, beauty, and the secrets about family and friends that lie beneath perfection.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sukie Jamieson, the vain yet glaringly insecure teenage protagonist of Ephron's (Frannie in Pieces) second YA novel, has a lot on her mind. Is her hair—“worthy of worship”—in its proper place? Does the slope of her nose accentuate or detract from her almost-perfect profile? Will star quarterback Bobo, who tells her, “I really like your body-fat ratio,” ever ask her out? Matters get only slightly less trivial when her faux-glam mother returns from an extended stay at the spa with a facelift (but even less self-esteem), and her father gets beat up by an unknown man. Ephron keeps the reason for the assault under wraps for quite a while, and the gravity of Sukie's parents' collapsing marriage is overshadowed by Sukie's complaints about her image and want of friends, and her mother's plastic surgery woes. The parallels to the descent of a certain Oscar Wilde character are obvious, and teens who use this book like Sukie uses her grandmother's antique full-length mirror, which cracks and erodes over the course of the novel, may be similarly conflicted about what they see. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
Ephron pokes fun at the notion that the rich and handsome lead perfect, happy lives. Beautiful 15-year-old Sukie (Susannah Danielle Jamieson) is in love with her image. She constantly admires herself in any reflective surface, and when nothing is available, she snaps a "selfie" with her cell phone. The possibility that she might be unoriginal and uncreative nags at her. When Sukie is given her grandmother's full-length mirror, she spends more time in front of it fantasizing about life than experiencing it. Sukie's family is so dysfunctional they seek advice from their dog. The author adeptly creates atmosphere without scrimping on plot and humorously explores the effects of narcissism and parental infidelity on families and a teen's self-esteem. Fans of Frannie in Pieces (2007) will enjoy the inclusion of characters Frannie and Jenna, who save Sukie from despair. Utilizing Frannie's artistic flair, the trio takes the now cracked mirror and uses it to create art. Having begun deliberately, the story moves quickly to its satisfying conclusion. (Fiction. 12 & up)
VOYA - Deborah L. Dubois
Fifteen-year-old Sukie is obsessed with beauty and perfection. She checks herself out in any reflective surface she comes across, and when she cannot do that, she takes a selfie—a photo of herself with her cell phone. She is thrilled when her mother gives her a full-length mirror that belonged to her grandmother. Soon her life in the mirror is more real to her than reality. Sukie is a lonely girl whose self-absorbed mother just got a facelift and whose father is cheating on her mother. Sukie holds impossibly high expectations of herself. As her life falls apart, the mirror "splinters into a patchwork of cracks." When Sukie reconnects with old friends Frannie and Jenna, she finds that real life is better than the life in the mirror. Sukie is not very likeable at first, but as more of her character is revealed, the reader begins to care. Many teens will relate to Sukie's preoccupation with her looks and what others think of her. Those willing to continue past the first few chapters will be rewarded with a story about truth, self-image, relationships, and the power of friendship. Fans of Frannie in Pieces (Laura Geringer Books/HarperCollins, 2007/VOYA October 2007) will appreciate the return of Frannie, Jenna, and their other friends as secondary characters Reviewer: Deborah L. Dubois
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Narcissistic, naive, beautiful, and rich, 15-year-old suburbanite Sukie learns that being real is preferable to being perfect when a series of messy truths (primarily discovering her father's affair) challenge her illusions. The central point of the novel—the teen's vanity—is exhaustingly revisited between minor forays into plot-furthering events; probably three quarters of the book's pages are devoted to the protagonist evaluating her pose, stride, clothes, hair, make-up, voice-modulation, etc. Readers may disagree as to whether this makes Sukie significantly realistic and empathetic or simply an over-the-top vehicle for Ephron's message. The only two supporting characters given more than cursory outlines are Sukie's parents, who are also shallow, blithe, and self-obsessed. There is also some half-baked hocus pocus with an image-morphing mirror and an omniscient dog. This title will hit home with some girls and preach others to sleep. Strictly an additional purchase.—Rhona Campbell, Washington, DC Public Library

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061990588
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/05/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
990,207
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
13 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >