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Out of the Blue by Jason June is a charming story about merfolk and the meaning of home. I always love a good fish out of water story–literally in this case–and as the book follows one mer’s journey to land, it contains two realistic main characters and the fake dating trope. While I struggled with the execution at times, I still found this an original read with many heartwarming moments.Title: Out of the Blue
Author: Jason June
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: May 31, 2022
Crest is not excited to be on their Journey: the monthlong sojourn on land all teen merfolk must undergo. The rules are simple: Help a human within one moon cycle and return to Pacifica to become an Elder--or fail and remain stuck on land forever. Crest is eager to get their Journey over and done with: after all, humans are disgusting. They've pollluted the planet so much that there's a floating island of trash that's literally the size of a country.
In Los Angeles with a human body and a new name, Crest meets Sean, a human lifeguard whose boyfriend has recently dumped him. Crest agrees to help Sean make his ex jealous and win him back. But as the two spend more time together and Crest's pespective on humans begins to change, they'll soon be torn between two worlds. And fake dating just might lead to real feelings...
This sophomore novel from Jason June dives into the many definitions of the world home and shows how love can help us find the truest versions of ourselves.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Review Out of the Blue by Jason June
For all merfolk, venturing into the human world for one month is a rite of passage. They must each successfully help one human and return to the Blue, or risk staying a human forever. Crest, however, despises humans, and living among them is the last thing they want to do. When Crest washes up on the beach and meets Sean, a lifeguard who has been recently dumped, they decide to help Sean get back with his ex by making him jealous. As the two spend more time together fake dating and Crest learns more about humans, they realize that their feelings for Sean might be real and must decide which world they want to stay in.
❀ Interesting Characters
Both Sean and Crest are interesting characters, and I enjoyed how they make mistakes along the way. Sean has a great dramatic voice, and as a film buff, he sees the world as scenes in a rom-com. He’s a very compassionate character, and I enjoyed reading about him slowly teaching Crest everything about the human world. Crest, on the other hand, has a more negative attitude at the beginning of the book–they hate that humans have destroyed the planet and must slowly change their viewpoint. I especially enjoyed the non-binary rep in this book, especially the fact that there is no concept of gender in the Blue. Everyone uses they/them pronouns, which is completely naturalized, and I found this to be a really interesting take on the merfolk trope.
❀ Execution falls flat
Where this book fell flat for me was in the execution. The Blue sounds like such a fascinating place, but I would have liked to see even more details about this setting beyond surface-level information. My main struggle with this one, however, was with the romance. Sean and Crest get together extremely quickly, and I found that their relationship is mainly physical. I didn’t really get “love” vibes from this, and I ended up a bit confused by the constant questioning of where they stand as a couple.
❀ Unique Concept
Out of the Blue by Jason June is a unique take on the concept of merfolk. I enjoyed the idea of a high-stakes journey to land, and the main characters are realistic. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of the romance, I still enjoyed the story as a whole, and I would recommend it to those who enjoy the fake dating trope.