Reviews and quotes

Quotes from young readers, about Three Wishes:

'An exciting novel that I thoroughly enjoyed reading..It kept me guessing and I couldn't put it down!'

'I loved this book! It was very exciting and nerve-racking! '

'It was one of the best reads I've had.'

'I couldn't stop reading, it kept me in suspense! I love the setting of the stories, France is such a breathtaking place. '

'You don't want to stop reading, you really want to find out what happens! Also it is written so well that you feel the emotions that are described...'

'I loved your book, it's so cool. I had a great time reading it. I read it like 5 times already and not getting bored yet.'

'I absolutely love your book, it's fantastic! I love that I wasn't sure who was bad.'


 Reviews from magazines and newspapers and other writers:

'Silver shoes, a French castle, a dark mystery and a thrilling love mystery feature in a modern-day fairytale to relish.' (Australian Women's Weekly, May 2008)

'This is an absorbing mystery with romance thrown in with a well-rounded storyline.' (Good Reading Magazine, May 2008)

'Three Wishes captures the ultimate desires of many young female teenagers--travel, money and romance with an adventure thrown in for good measure. Curiously, there is a genuine blog space given in the book with frequent references throughout the story. This blog supports the story and is an innovative connection to cyberspace, while maintaining the written work of the novel.' (Viewpoint Magazine, Winter 2008)

Based on the premise be careful what you wish for, Three Wishes is a modern fairytale with a touch of mystery. Like all typical 'chic lit' books, this one features a girl, a boy(or two)and a great pair of shoes. Rose is a 16 year old girl whose life is dramatically changed when she learns of her long-lost grandfather who lives in the French countryside. News of her new-found family is made even more exciting when she discovers she is the next living heir to her family's fortune. Excitement soon turns to horror when Rose goes to France only to realise there is someone who wants to kill her.' (Sun-Herald, June 22, 2008)

'This book is a terrific marriage of fairytale and internet thriller and even has its own blog, written by the heroine of the story, Rose. The adventures come thick and fast and the characters spring to life on the page. The action moves from Australia to France and we find many ingredients of the traditional fairytales sitting very well in a modern setting.' (Adele Geras, British author of Troy, Ithaka, and many other books.)

'Three Wishes is likely to attract the interest of many a teen girl. It's well-written, a captivating and absorbing story, and a fascinating blend of fairy tale and thriller, perfect for modern teens.'

(Magpies Magazine, July 2008)

'Warmly written with plenty of action, you may well not want to put this book down! Recommended for secondary readers. Enchanting.''

(Reading Time Magazine, August 2008)

'I loved this book! I would just love to discover I was the long-lost granddaughter of a French count and heir to a chateau..Very cleverly told, filled with romance, mystery, suspense and a pair of silver shoes(I just happen to own six pairs of silver shoes myself.)  ' (Kate Forsyth, bestselling Australian author of The Gypsy Crown, The Puzzle Ring, The Witches of Eileanean, and many more!)

Quotes from young readers about Pop Princess:

Your books are heaps mad, read the first two and going to read the next one! I love the way you write your books!


I just finished reading Pop Princess. I usually avoid reading mysteries but I absolutely love your books. I can't wait for Cupid's Arrow to come out!

(Sugar Addict)

I love both your books, they totally suck you in so you can't stop reading them!



More quotes and reviews of Pop Princess:

'The stage is set for adventures, glamour, danger, etc. All terrific fun without being mindless..Well-written, vivid and engaging and Lucie is a delightful first person narrator.' (Adele Geras)

'Romance, intrigue and a fairytale ambience make this book, the second by Isabelle Merlin, a must-have for girls of lower secomdary age. What more could be asked for than a month in Paris, shopping, staying in an apartment on the Champs-Elysees, wandering the streets and eating French food. But all is not what it seems..all comes to a fast-paced, exciting conclusion..' (Magpies Magazine, May 2009).

'With strong characters and an intriguing plot played out against stunning Paris locations, Pop Princess is a satisfying and suspenseful read. Continual twists and turns make it impossible to know who to trust. A special feature is a website where readers can listen to Arizona sing. Recommended. ' (Sun-Herald, Sydney, April 5 2009)

'Imagine being paid to move to Paris and be the best friend of a famous Australian pop star. Many teenage girls wiould trade their mother for such an adventure, and for them this book will prove a great escape. There are good guys, bad guys, romance and danger. It's a joy ride through Paris, French cuisine and teenage romance.' (Herald-Sun, Melbourne, May 9 2009)

 'I didn't even get a look at this book--it was snatched out of my hands by my 12 and a half year old daughter. This is the second book by Isabelle Merlin. I reviewed her debut novel Three Wishes in issue 9--my daughter tried to snatch that too! But I got lucky and read Three Wishes before she did..Second time around I haven't been so lucky...But by far the biggest compliment to Isabelle Merlin is that my daughter read the book in 3 days--her usual turn around is 2 months! And she hasn't handed it over to me yet. I think I have to wait in line behind all her friends. So I asked my daughter for a review. Typical answer was --Great!'' (The Reading Stack, April 09)

'Romantic suspense for the teenage market, this book is extraordinarily fresh and funky, crammed full of popular culture references and a modern sensibility.' (Kate Forsyth) 


In Pop Princess, Isabelle Merlin’s second novel, we enter the glamourous world of Paris, where romance, mystery and delicious food, is just one step outside your door.

Lucie Rees, has the job, that most girls can only dream of, to actually be paid to live in a Champs Elysees, one of the most beautiful streets in the world, and spend your days hanging out with an actual down to earth famous pop star. Could anything be better?

With her skill for mixing intrigue, and adventure, (and as always a hint of romance), it is no surprise that Merlin’s Pop Princess is such a delightful read. Perfect for a sunny day or even a cold winter night; be transported into this delicious thriller that will have teenager girls everywhere enthralled.

(Tina Gamble,, October 11, 2009)

 Quotes from young readers about Cupid's Arrow:


I just ADORE your books, especially Cupid's Arrow. I got it
the first day it came out! You are by far my favourite author(better
than Stephanie Meyer) and I would love to write like you when I'm
older. (Steph)


"!!!!! I think it is my favourite so far !!!!!"



Reviews from newspapers, magazines, of Cupid's Arrow:


Cupid's Arrow is the third book by Merlin and like Three Wishes and Pop Princess it has success firmly stamped on the cover. It’s great writing – but I have to say it - the covers are too cute for the stories! There is nothing light about these storylines. All three books are about murder, intrigue, mystery and twists that keep you guessing who the killer is until the end.

Those who have been following my reviews on Merlin will know that my 13 year-old daughter and I are both big fans. We fought over the first two of Merlin’s books but Cupid’s Arrow I quickly hid from her and devoured first. When she caught me reading it her first words were “Does someone die?” … my answer, “In the first 3 pages!” “Cool!”

(The Reading Stack, August 2009) 

The third enchanting novel from Isabelle Merlin, Cupid's Arrow is a charming tale of thrills, drama and intrigue that 12+ girls can't help but devour. Merlin seamlessly incorporates her own fascination with dream interpretation, the timeless legends of King Arthur and the mysteries of tarot with the lives of her contemporary teenage characters and the country that encapsulates every young teenage girl's aspirations of love, travel, style and luxury.

Merlin extends her readers' experience of the story beyond the page and onto the web with the creation of the Casebook of Dreaming Holmes website. The website (which features in the narrative) contains loads of content and dream interpretation techniques at

(, August 2009)


In Isabelle Merlin’s third novel, Cupid’s Arrow, we follow 16-year-old Fleur, as she is thrown into a journey full of mystery, intrigue, terror and romance. Don’t let the covers fool you; this is not your average walk in the park teen novel.

Through the interpretation of dreams and with the help of some strangers, Fleur tries to unravel a mystery that spans across the continents.


With a voice and style that will appeal to teens everywhere, and a flowing pace, that will keep readers hooked, Cupid’s Arrow is a surprising gem that draws on the mystery and adventure of the legend that is King Arthur.


(Tina Gamble,, October 3 2009)


A famous author bequeaths Fleur's mum his wonderful library, which takes her to Avallon, an ancient town in France. And Fleur, delighted to go with her, finds her frequent nightmares vanish in the charm of the place, especially when, in a nearby forest, she meets mysterious and fabulous Remy. Magic, mystery and romance for girls from their early teens up--and for those of us well beyond!

(Woman's Day, October 12, 2009)




 Merlin..mixes a truly exciting and romantic adventure story, with elements this time of the Tarot, fairytales, archetypical villains and the trappings of a fairytale (dark forests, mythical beasts, spooky omens, sinister archers, recurring dreams, wicked women of one kind and another) with the things we know from modern thrillers: serial killers, the internet and police activities across continents.

The heroine, Fleur, (the names here are important. The town in France is called Avallon) comes from Australia to Bellerive Manor, where her adventures begin. We are never in any doubt that things will pan out well in the end. It's the kind of book where you are safe, through every hair-raising scrape and the reassurance this gives the reader allows Merlin to ratchet up the action and the tension. We have a handsome hero. We have a first person narrative that is chirpy without being irritating, and we have a thriller. What more could you ask for? Tremendous fun for everyone and I do hope that Random House UK might import this lovely Aussie writer so that our teenagers can also enjoy her work. Meanwhile, go to your computers and search her out online. Lovers of Arthurian legends who are also looking for romance need look no further.

(Adele Geras, reviewing at October 6, 2009)
Recommended. An intriguing and mysterious plot, extremely well written and full of fascinating twists and turns. Fleur Griffin's mother inherits a library of a renowned French collector.She and her mother travel to the ancient town of Avallon to find the author murdered and the scene is highly influenced by the obsession with the legends of King Arthur. Fleur meets the fascinating Remy who lives in the woods with his hermit mother. Descriptions of the country side, the sweet smelling arboretums, the venerable historical buildings bring the French countryside to life.The mystery deepens but Fleur and Remy use wile and the internet to find the person who committed the murders.It's a gripping read. Early senior school girls particularly should enjoy it.
(Sue Nosworthy, ReadPlus blog, Dec 4, 2009)
Reviews for Bright Angel:

Early Secondary. Well recommended. A racy adventure with many exciting twists and turns. Cleverly crafted so the reader is constantly wondering and guessing the outcome this is similar in plot construction to Cupid's Arrow also set in Australia and France where all the action takes place. Sylvie and her older sister Claire witness a murder and are sent to the south of France to stay with their aunt.  Sylvie meets a charming little boy, Gabriel who thinks he can see angels, but it is his very protective brother Daniel who at first is cold towards Sylvie and who becomes increasingly intriguing to her. Her meeting with Mick becomes a pivotal part of the plot.The mystery takes many unexpected turns, involving large scale fraud over the internet, extortion, murder and conspiracy! It's an exciting and fascinating read, well constructed and gripping right till the end. The finale is a little lame but by then the mystery has been solved. The final poem captures the essence of the book.
(Sue Nosworthy, Read Plus blog, May 4 2010)


Isabelle Merlin has done it again! Bright Angel is the fourth book in Merlin’s YA female mystery genre and just like, Three Wishes, Pop Princess and Cupid’s Arrow, I was hooked from the first page.

Having witnessed a very traumatic experience, Sylvie and her older sister, Claire, are invited to the south of France to relax and forget. Their Auntie Freddy is staying in a quiet village writing a book. What better way to recuperate from the horrific scenes they witnessed in Australia.

But the surrounding region of St-Bertrand is not so quiet. It is bustling with a French movie crew and some very interesting young men who keep Sylvie and Claire occupied.

Daniel is aloof and fiercely protective of his much younger brother, Gabriel. Why does Sylvie hate this arrogant guy but at the same time, can’t stop thinking about him? When Gabriel is kidnapped, both Daniel and Sylvie re-evaluate each other’s feelings, not necessarily correctly.

This is a great read with some interesting historical facts threaded throughout. If you have a teenage girl who is over vampires and werewolves then Bright Angel is just the book!
(the Reading Stack, June 1, 2010.)



When I first heard about the release of Isabelle Merlin’s fourth novel, Bright Angel, I just knew I had to have it. Having read Merlin’s last three books, I knew this one would be another delight to read, and I am glad to say, it did not disappoint.

The only real problem I have when reading Merlin’s novels, is that every time I read one, I find myself frantically looking up the locations in France, and sighing at all the amazing places. I tend to find myself half jealous of all the characters, as they get to see such wondrous, quaint and captivating sights. Merlin takes you across the world, and brings to life a different part of France.

In Bright Angel, Merlin frequently draws on a young boys belief in angels, lightly weaving it into the theme of the story. Gabriel and Daniel have had a hard life. When Sylvie first meets them Gabriel tells her he can see her guardian angel. Sylvie finds Gabriel instantly charming and sweet – now if only she could say the same of his overprotective, abrupt older brother.

The romance between Sylvie and Daniel is light and endearing, my only comment however, is that it is very fast – one page to be exact. There is a little build up of course, but when they fall – it is instant. Not that that’s a bad thing, as love at first sight does happen, and once you get past this, the rest of the story flows, with the pull of the other characters and the plotline.

When Gabriel is kidnapped, Sylvie and Daniel must work together to discover the truth of a dark secret, and find the strength in one another to overcome and outsmart their captors.

Once again, Isabelle Merlin, has created an enchanting story – perfect for teens – which takes you on an adventure halfway across the world, to the south of France.

Pack your bags, and grab your passport – Bright Angel is a trip worth taking.
(Tina Gamble, Sassi Sam Gossip Files, May 2010).