Book Review | Forbidden Sea

Title: Forbidden Sea

Author: Sheila A. Neilson

My Review:

There is a legend on Windwaithe Island, of the beautiful Lady Lauretta and how she met her end beneath the ocean’s waves. Though the stories vary, there is always a mermaid involved. When Adrianne and her younger sister Cecily come face to face with a mermaid one dark night, Adrianne knows the legend is true. Fearing the mermaid will return for Cecily, Adrianne fiercely vows to keep her safe.

Then Adrianne begins to hear an eerie song, beckoning her to the ocean’s shore. A few more encounters with the Windwaithe Mermaid, and Adrianne realizes that she is the one the mermaid has come for. The lure of the mermaid’s promises are tempting, and Adrianne is torn between her bleak existence on Windwaithe, and the life of richness she could have if she gives in to the mermaid’s call.

In Forbidden Sea, Sheila A. Nielson has written a strong heroine in Adrianne, who is more beautiful and brave than she realizes. Adrianne and her family are poor, and she is the strongest member of her family. Without her, it is likely they would not survive. But Adrianne is bullied and treated unkindly by her peers, only finding solace in her friendship with Denn Young, whom she has been in love with for her entire life. The mermaid’s return to Windwaithe Island and her interest in Adrianne only makes her more of a social pariah, and all seems hopeless for Adrianne.

The first half of Forbidden Sea was incredibly sad to read. I could really feel Adrianne’s pain, and I wanted to reach into the pages and comfort her. Denn is a lively character, and I wanted him to wake up and see that there was no better match for him on Windwaithe than Adrianne. As the novel progressed, I somehow knew that Adrianne’s sadness would dissolve and that she would find her way. I didn’t know exactly how everything would come about, so I was kept on the edge of my seat wondering what path Adrianne would choose.

Forbidden Sea is the perfect Young Adult novel for anyone looking to read a strong heroine. It has elements of romance, adventure, and a fantasy world that will delight and surprise.

*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*


Jen currently lives in Utah with her family, and enjoys reading and writing in her spare time. She is active on popular book websites including,, and

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