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Reviewed by Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite
Flipping the Scales by Pete Tarsi is a young adult fantasy that challenges the perception of magic and reality. Meredith refuses to believe she's becoming a mermaid, even when her legs transform into a mermaid tail in front of her eyes. Scientifically, she knows it isn't possible, but she isn't sure what to do about the mounting evidence. Marina is a mermaid given permission to experience one day as a human. However, when she returns to the beach that evening to reclaim her tail, she is dismayed to find that it has disappeared. Meredith and Marina both struggle to figure out how to return to their normal selves. At first, that is all the girls can think about. But then Meredith begins to have second thoughts. What if she doesn't want to change back into a human? What if she likes this less scientific side of her and wants to stay a mermaid forever? The only problem is that if Meredith keeps the mermaid's tale, Marina will be stuck with the humans forever as well.
This is an entertaining mermaid story that does two things. Although it is a fantasy story, there is a lot of the story that is contemporary as well, talking about humans, the island, and the beach community. This helps draw readers that are more contemporary fiction fans and gives them a reason to want to pick up this book to give fantasy a try. And the fantasy side of the story is well written also. The characters are like fish out of water and readers will love the humor within this story as they both try to get back to their normal lives.