I’m going back a few years for this one, but Aquamarine was on TV last week, and I was reminded how much I love this movie. Yes, it’s mostly for preteens and has lots of silly preteen moments, but at heart it’s a sweet story about friendship and selflessness.
The book is short and spare and merely a sketch of the film version, but it can be read in an hour, and the premise is mostly the same.
Hailey and Claire are twelve years old and have been friends their whole lives. This summer, however, is their last together, as Claire is about to move away with her grandparents. They spend the hot days of summer at a run-down beach club, mooning over Raymond who works at the club snack shop. One day after a violent storm, they discover something amazing: a mermaid has washed up from the ocean and landed in the club swimming pool. Now the girls must find a way to get Aquamarine back home before she “turns to dust.”
The thing I hated most about this movie was the "protagonists." More useless, poorly written, and passive heroines I have never met. These girls never do anything for themselves. They're supposed to be the heroines of this movie, but once Aquamarine arrives, they're reduced to the comic relief sidekicks and follow Aquamarine on her adventures, spying and squealing with delight. Instead of taking action and changing their circumstances for good or ill, they essentially become spectators in their own story, living vicariously through the one decent character who actually has the balls to do something about her life.
Still, the movie is pretty fun to watch, and the themes of selflessness and friendship are not lost. I recommend watching the movie if you want something light and easy, but the book doesn't seem necessary to add to your reading list, as the movie really fleshes out an otherwise quick read.