ARC Book Review: Waterfell by Amalie Howard

Posted October 13, 2013 by Debby in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Book Review: Waterfell by Amalie HowardWaterfell by Amalie Howard
Series: The Aquarathi #1
Published by Harlequin TEEN on October 29th, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Mermaids, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley


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?

1 Stars

Dear publishers and authors,

Consider the following warning label:

WARNING: This book contains instalove. The protagonist falls head over heels for the love interest in less than 10% of the novel for some undeniable and yet inexplicable reason. And after that, 90% of the protagonist’s thoughts and actions concern this undying love. It will be insufferable. You will hate it. Stay away.
For the love of god. Please start using this label. Because I’m getting sick of going into these books expecting an actual plot and having it center on nothing but the irritating ramblings of a love sick teenager. And that was just the beginning of the immense list of issues I have with this book.

Nerissa is a thoroughly unlikable character. So in a thoroughly original turn of events, Lo, short for Lotharius, is a new guy at Nerissa’s school, and from the moment they lock eyes, Nerissa just can’t stop thinking about him. But the way this instalove is set up becomes even more annoying when you factor in Nerissa’s personality. She’s so darn attracted to him, but the whole thing is set up as if she can’t stand him. For the first half of the book, it pretty much goes like this:

Nerissa: *stares at new guy*
Lo: … *stares back*
Lo: …Hi.
Lo: I like you.
Nerissa: UGH I HATE YOU. *storms off*
Nerissa: God I don’t get that guy. Oh but he’s so pretty. With his deep blue eyes and hair the color of wet sand (literal statement, I don’t get how that’s attractive). You can tell he’s strong by how skinny he is and his long fingers (..yeah.). Could I possibly like him? Naaaaaaaaaaaah.
*process repeats*

So I already couldn’t stand Nerissa for her stupid and inexplicable attraction to Lo, who showed absolutely no personality – and contrary to how she asserts that he is arrogant and douchey, he displays no such behavior aside from an odd snarky comment here and there. But then this ex-friendship with Cara is introduced. Nerissa and Cara used to be friends until a guy Cara was crushing on asked Nerissa out and she accepted. However, instead of Cara being a bitch to Nerissa, Nerissa makes Cara’s life a living hell, pretty much. She completely shuts Cara out during a hockey game, refusing to pass to her when she was open, and in general just keeps narrating about how rude and bitchy Cara is. Cara barely does anything aside from glare at Nerissa. But of course then Lo becomes friends with Cara, so Nerissa doesn’t like that. And then later Nerissa’s best friend Speio starts dating Cara and Nerissa doesn’t like that.

Are you *headdesk*ing with me yet?

Honestly I don’t know why I didn’t just drop this book. I knew within 50 pages that it wasn’t the book for me. But it went quickly, and I guess I felt like that made it tolerable?

The plot is near nonexistent, as most of the novel focuses on this annoying romance that had me rolling my eyes and scoffing constantly. There’s one infodump chapter around midway through the novel where Nerissa explains exactly what kind of creature she is and where she comes from, which is all rather vague, nonsensical, or confusing… then it goes back to the romantic melodrama, because *gasp* Nerissa realizes she actually is in love with Lo. I know. Shocker. Then the end has a few chapters of battles and plot but it’s way too late in the game to save the show. Sadly, all the plot twists regarding the identities of several characters I had called practically at the very beginning of the book. Yeah. So no big shockers there either. What a waste of time.

About the only ray of light in this sad excuse of a novel was Nerissa’s friendship with Jenna. It was actually a very healthy and nice female friendship, and it stood totally apart from any relationship/boy drama. Sadly, this was overshadowed by Nerissa’s illogically intense hatred of Cara and the bitchy narrations associated with that element. And of course, all the rest of the book.

Summing Up:

I thoroughly disliked this book and sped read it to get it out of the way as soon as possible. It’s just not worth it. Annoying instalove, hateful main character, bland love interest, minor plot, vague worldbuilding through infodumps… *sigh* I just want a good mermaid book. I know it’s possible. Please. Someone. Prove me right.

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

No one.

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17 responses to “ARC Book Review: Waterfell by Amalie Howard

  1. musicplusbooks

    I've read like two chapters and I can totally see where your coming from. Sometimes I don't mind it but if the female protagonist is annoying too. Uuggh. I'm getting ready to brace myself. Thanks for the heads up!
    Laura @ Music Plus Books

  2. Ugh I agree 100% with your review. I DESPISED how Nerissa was so freaking mean to Lo. She was such a bitch! And the way she kept calling him arrogant? Uhh he was a NICE GUY. And the instalove.. *rolls eyes*

    Great review.. totally accurate lol.

  3. shellysrambles

    I agree with what Mel said above, this book does seem like a joke. I do not understand this Nerissa character. She goes around calling everyone mean names when she's the bitch. It seems so off! Instalove is very annoying and I can totally see the need to hate this book. Great review, and thanks for saving me from potentially reading this book!
    My recent post The House of Hades by Rick Riordan: Book Review

  4. starryeyedjen29

    Yeah, I didn't think this book sounded like it was for me. Sorry you had to go through that, but at least the rest of us know better now, thanks to you. 🙂 I've only read one mermaid book that I liked, and that was Monstrous Beauty. It was darker and the writing was quite lovely. Hope you find a mermaid book that lives up to your expectations.
    My recent post In My Mailbox #103

  5. Ohhhhh boy, this sounds like a book I would want to throw against a wall. I've never read a mermaid book actually, but mostly because the ones that sound interesting usually get the worst ratings from friends ever. So I'm holding it off until someone absolutely loves one one day. Basically, Nerissa sounds like a raging bitch, the romance sounds ridiculous and the mermaid stuff… is that even in there? Sigh. Such a waste of a cool cover.
    My recent post Mini review: Arclight

  6. You know, I could actually deal with instalove if it weren’t for “some undeniable and yet inexplicable reason.” Like, they’re young and naive and might think they’re completely in love because they don’t know any better or have anything to compare it to. HOWEVER, the whole “I hate him but something makes me stare at him all the time” thing is so frustrating. Instalove is generally an authorial cheat code, like if they’re both hot and SOME FORCE draws them together, the author doesn’t have to take the time to establish any sort of actual connection between the two. Who needs banter, common interests, senses of humor or anything when they’re both hot and/or drawn by destiny? *flips tables*


    What is that gif from?

    I could not stand how her eyes were drawn to him without her will. Bitch, you are staring like a stalker. OWN IT. YOU are doing that and no one else. Have some fucking agency.

    So glad I quit. It was also boring. Boring and disgusting and why.

    • Ugh yes yes yes. The staring oh my freaking god. It was THE WORST. x_x the “I hate him” thing was so forced. I don’t even know how I got through this whole miserable book. I’m jealous of your DNF. JEALOUS I SAY. x_x

      The gifs in the middle or at the end? The former: DOCTOR WHO HAHA WELCOME TO THE MAGIC THAT IS CLARA. The end: New Girl! 🙂

      I hated the MC so so so much. Ugh. I have scarcely hated characters more than in this sad excuse for a book. -.-

      • Lol, it was the Doctor Who gifs. It’s weird that she looks totally unfamiliar to me. And, duh, New Girl. I looooooove that show and if they make me sink Jess/Nick, I will burn their studio to the ground (only in my head though).

        She was pretty awful. *bleaches brain*

        • YAY YAY CLARA. Haha. You need to meet Clara. This needs to happen. *stares you down*

          Jess/Nick are getting less attractive to me by the episode… I dunno. I’m not that into New Girl anymore. Sadly.

          • I do plan to watch 11 at some point, but I think I’m done with Doctor Who after that. I’m honestly not too interested in old man doctor. I’m sort of iffy on the show anyway. It has some brilliant episodes and some cheesetastic why is this happening ones. It’s kinda like Buffy. REALLY uneven. Also, there’s not really any good things to ship which means Christina is often bored.

            Noooooo, I will go cry to Gillian about New Girl’s brilliance.