After discovering one of Carolyn Turgeon’s works entitled Mermaid, I found myself enjoying the story and decided right then and there that I’ll be trying her other works, too. With the recent release of The Next Full Moon, I did not hesitate to immediately buy it from the Book Depository once it was available.
This thoroughly compelling, gorgeously told tale begins as the weather turns warm enough to swim in the local lake. The school year is coming to an end. Ava is on the brink of becoming a teenager. And her longtime crush, Jeff, is most definitely taking notice of her. Everything is going beautifully, happily, perfectly for Ava… until she starts to grow feathers.
Is she some kind of freak? Or something truly special?
When my package arrived, I was quite amazed with the book cover. It’s not the usual type of paper board used in paperbacks, but instead, the cover is printed in a glossy paper board. I must say, it certainly suits the storyline. Add to that, the cover illustration also gives out a magical element to the readers.
The book centers on Ava and the swan maidens. It’s somehow a fairy tale retelling of Swan Lake set in modern times and is more catered to the children and young adult, hence the lighter storyline as compared to Mermaid and the original version of Swan Lake. Ava will turn thirteen in a few weeks and she starts to notice some out-of-ordinary changes in her body in a weird yet beautiful way. Of course, like how any other teenagers would react, she freaks out. This would be bad for a person who’s just in the process of building her self-esteem and confidence, but the insecurities begin to fade once Ava has found the answers to the mystery behind her changes.
I have come to love the personalities of the characters because they’re so realistic and relatable. Teenagers who are in the phase of puberty have certainly experienced what Ava goes through. There are some points where I can actually see myself in her. Just like Ava, I’m an introverted person who’s afraid of what others might think about me. On the other hand, despite the inevitable judgmental world around me, I try not to let the negative things affect me. As the story progresses, Ava proves to be like that, too, one who can be herself, and I admire her for that strength. There are some scenes, though, that Ava tends to exaggerate and overthink things, which kind of annoys me a bit, but I don’t think it’s not unusual for a teenager to act that way. Anyway, moving on, as I read the book, finding out that Ava loves spaghetti bolognese makes me smile from ear to ear because it has become one of my favorite dishes lately. I cannot deny the fact that it has triggered my craving for that dish.
Moreover, the relationships shared between Ava and her father, as well as her and Morgan’s are inspiring enough to yearn for that kind of relationship with our own father and friends, too. It’s hard to come across someone like Morgan nowadays. She portrays to be a true friend – a trait so rare that once obtained, one will surely regret letting it go or taking it for granted. Aside from this, Ava’s father shows to be an imperfectly perfect father in his own way. He proves to be a loving, caring, faithful, and gentle with a good-sense-of-humor father to Ava. Who could ask for more?
Carolyn Turgeon definitely did an amazing job creating this story. Plot-wise, as much as it is light, it contains some depth in it. The book evidently breaks away from the status quo we often see in some stories and TV shows. In this book, a popular guy in school surprisingly likes someone like Ava – unpopular and dorky, yet she possesses something special. I must admit, the Jeff and Ava moments make me feel giddy inside and support their relationship all throughout the story. Who knows, what they have might be true love. My point is, this aspect gives the readers a notion that we can still gain equality in our society.
I also like Carolyn’s writing style. The way she structures her sentences to describe Ava’s surroundings convinces me enough to yearn to visit that kind of place someday. I’m a city girl, but I often find myself at awe with our Creator’s grand design of nature.
Overall, I guess being different has prepared Ava to become more open minded. It changes her perspective about herself, her life and surroundings. She slowly learns to accept and love oneself. She definitely got the best of both worlds. At the end of the day, this book undoubtedly gives readers hope that there’s always a silver lining beyond the ordinariness of life.