I found this story to be entertaining and engaging. The characters were well-rounded and realistic. I liked Marina. She seemed like a real teen who resented having her life rearranged by her father. Her reluctance to go to live for a year with her aunt and cousin in a small Northern California beach community and attend the local high school. She is clearly intelligent and independent. Once she arrives in Aptos she becomes reconciled to her new situation and begins to make both friends and enemies. She even meets a boy - Ethan - who intrigues her. There are strong elements of wish fulfillment in this story. Marina has an adopted aunt - Evie - who is the embodiment of any fairy tale's fairy godmother. Evie is rich and famous and determined to give Marina anything she wants even before she knows she wants it. Marina is used to the wealthy lifestyle of fancy cars and designer clothes. But she isn't spoiled. She is also a very accomplished artist.The story takes a turn to the paranormal when Marina sees and talks to a mermaid who calls her "Sister." I liked that the mermaids were not just portrayed as humans with tails. Lorelei was not human. She didn't understand human culture. She was a creature of nature. Marina was fascinated with her and the mermaids were equally fascinated with Marina. Marina has to fight against the mermaids' desire that she give up her human life and live as a mermaid with them. Marina also develops a love of the sea and surfing. Ethan is an excellent surfer and teaches her and then is astonished at how quickly she learns it. It becomes almost an addiction for her. The book is filled with both adventure and romance as Marina needs to decide which holds her more strongly - the land or the sea.