We pick up a few weeks after Lily and Quince are have their bond severed after the accidental kiss in the prequel, Forgive My Fins. The bond, however, opened Lily's eyes to how she really feels about Quince and they have become very close in a very short time. In Fins are Forever we are joined by Lily's cousin Dosinia (or Doe as she's called) who has been exiled from their underwater kingdom of Thalassinia by Lily's father, King Whelk. As an exile Doe doesn't have any of her mer-powers and must rely upon Lily for guidance on living in the human world. If you read the first book you will know that there is no love lost between the two girls and it is very begrudgingly that Doe accepts Lily's advice and teachings.
As a result of Lily's relationship with Quince she has decided to forfeit her reign as a mer-queen to live on land with the boy she loves. The life altering decision must also include what she will do with her life (instead of ruling Thalassinia like it was always expected). Along this path of decision-making Lily must find out the reason Doe was exiled and why she did what she did and determine the real reason her guppyhood friend Tellin has sought her out after all these years. Does he really want to just renew an old friendship or is there something more he isn't telling her?
I have to say I was a little disappointed with this sequel. I remember really enjoying the first book--so much so that I went right out and found out what other books had been published by Tera Lynn Childs. Don't get me wrong, some of the things I loved about the first book were still around in this book (the use of underwater world words in place of curses or exclamations such as "Holy bananafish" or "son of a swordfish") and the fun interactions of Lily trying to juggle living life on land and having her roots undersea.
Even with those entertaining and quirky characteristics of the series, for some reason, they didn't seem to shine as brightly as in the first book. I felt the a small part of the story was a bit repetitious from the first book (in the first book Lily and Quince accidentally kiss and bond and must go to her father for a separation and in this book Doe kisses Lily's ex-crush Brody and is bonded with him but, because Doe's stripped of her powers Lily must take Brody to her father in Thalassinia for the separation ceremony). The actual heart of the story was different but the same initial conflict was almost the same. I kept thinking there could have been a different way of getting to the ultimate point of the story rather than having Doe and Brody do something that Lily and Quince already did in the first book.
I feel like I'm judging the book by that one little part but, really, I didn't feel that any of the rest of the story packed enough punch to overcome my issues with the recycled plot point. That's not to say that I hated the book--I still think it was well and funnily written. The characters were amusing, although I think we, as the reader, should have been given a bigger investment in Doe's change of heart towards humans. The story took place over a very short time period and it seems like Doe did a 180 in her feelings for the race that killed her parents in a very short time with very little to change her feelings besides kissing and becoming bonded to a human.
I read the first book a while ago and with all the books I've read in between I can't recall exactly what I was feeling when I was finished but the emotional roller coaster Lily and Quince went on and how it was written was enough to verbally recommend it to several of my friends and co-workers. With this book, though, I think it was a good conclusion to Lily's journey from being a (so-called) fish-out-of-water who didn't know what she wanted to a confident mermaid knowing what her future holds. But, as a stand-alone book (and it really shouldn't be because it heavily relies upon knowing the first book to finish the story) I don't think I would recommend it as highly as I did the first one.