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Book Review: Mermaid in Chelsea Creek by Michelle Tea

Mermaid in Chelsea Creek

I totally bought this one because I typically really like Michelle Tea’s writing and I’d heard that pigeons were involved.

I’m happy with my purchase. The book itself is beautifully bound (in that classic McSweeney’s way, but with lots of pigeons too embossed on the cover too), and the story itself is comprised of the awesome writing style that Tea is known for (she can write a nasty old creek from a forgettable sludge pit up to a fucking rockstar of dangerous  mystery and intrigue), as well as a story with elements that I haven’t read anywhere else.

The general shape of the story is outcast girl in a no-good town finds out that she’s sorta magical and just might have to save humanity or something. There’s a lot of this these days (yay for strong young female characters, you know), but Tea takes it to a totally different level. There’s Polish-ness and teenage hijinks and androgyny and a dirty town and general dirtiness and PIGEONS. That Talk. Furthermore, the magic in Mermaid in Chelsea Creek is unlike the magic in other YA girl-saves-humanity-type books. The end is a bit of a cliffhanger, and I’m bummed that I have to wait until next year for the sequel. . .

Get a library copy or find one at a local bookstore


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