Take part gay teenage lifeguard lover of rom-coms, just broken up with the Love Of His Life(tm), add a non-binary (because they all are) mermaid, sent on a month long Rumspringa to the surface, make it into a love story (of course) with all the (teenage) relationship twists and turns that entails1… and you have Out of the Blue.
That … is not at all the sort of book I normally find myself drawn to (I picked it up for the 2022 Book Bingo), but you know… It’s actually kind of sweet. And now that it’s over, I think I’m glad to have read it.
Plotwise–not the book’s strong suit. I expect you’ll know most of the twists before they happen, but it’s really about the journey to getting there. I did miss learning that the best friend's mother was the mer who stayed human was a pretty cool one though.
Characterwise, Sean is about as stereotypical as you’d expect and way too into rom-coms and the idea of filmmaking, but he’s sweet and they deal with the problems well enough I think. Crest/Ross’s compete naivety is hilarious and works well enough. They’re … not a great person, but they’re getting there. Kavya is … cunning, but manipulative. Really, they’re all painted with broad strokes, but they all feel real (and teenage) enough, so I think it works.
Worldbuildingwise… the mer don’t really make much sense and their Journey is … weird. But they actually dig into this a little in the book, so we’ll give it a pass. They don’t reproduce traditionally (they don’t even have the ability to do so), but rather with magic. A mer changing back if they get wet… quite the plot convenience, but I can see that being a natural part of forcing the Journey. They’re certainly an interesting new (to me at least) take on urban fantasy style ’the next species over’ kind of thing. So that’s cool.
Overall, not a book I would have picked for myself, but still glad I read it. Onward!
Heh. Scaling. ↩︎