Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
14+
Release Date
May 31, 2022
ISBN
978-0063015203
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AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
From Jason June, author of the breakout teen debut novel Jay’s Gay Agenda, comes Out of the Blue, a stand-alone dual POV queer rom-com that asks if love is enough to change everything you’ve grown up believing. Perfect for fans of Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas and Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly. 
Crest is not excited to be on their Journey: the month-long 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. Humans are disgusting. They’ve polluted 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 perspective 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 word home and shows how love can help us find the truest versions of ourselves. 

Editor review

1 review
engaging YA fantasy rom-com
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
OUT OF THE BLUE is an engaging YA fantasy read. Sean is working as a lifeguard on the beach when his long-term boyfriend dumps him out of nowhere for another guy. It is not long after that someone washes up on shore, and Sean leaps into action to rescue them. He soon meets Crest, who is going by Ross on land and is carrying a secret - they're actually a Mer. The merfolk live as a community in the ocean, and they send their teens onto shore to help a person within a lunar month. They must do so in order to become adults in their community, but they are also given a choice about whether they would like to remain on land or come back to the Mer when their time is up.

Ross soon realizes that the person they could help is Sean, and they decide to help him get back together with his ex. As they do, Sean blurts out that they are dating, and though initially reluctant, Ross agrees to fake date him to help get his ex back. However, their fake dating soon starts to feel pretty real. With the deadline of Ross/Crest's time on land looming ever closer, they'll each have to navigate their feelings and accomplish their goals before the next moon.

What I loved: This was such a cute rom-com style read with a fantasy twist. The story is told from both Sean and Crest/Ross's perspectives, which was helpful for allowing readers to see both sides of the story. They are each compelling characters, and it was so easy to cheer for them to get together. The romance was really well done, and the reader falls for them as they fall for each other. The fake dating trope was done just right with plenty of fantasy flair.

The world-building around the mer was reasonably thorough, with the mer being explained very well, and readers who enjoy learning more about the fantasy elements will appreciate the additional details about how the mer came to be and what their society looks like. Themes around social responsibility, selfishness, falling in love, mental illness/depression, choices between comfort and something new, and respecting yourself outside of relationships are really thought-provoking and make this an intriguing story.

Crest/Ross and the other mer are non-binary, and other characters in the story fall along the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Another compelling character was Sean's BFF Kavya, whose story becomes fuller as the book progresses. There is much to love throughout this romantic comedy, and I found it unputdownable once started. The ending is bittersweet and unexpected, with a final twist that gave me some mixed feelings. Regardless, it felt very genuine, and while it was not intended for one, I wouldn't mind a sequel.

Final verdict: OUT OF THE BLUE is an engaging YA fantasy rom-com that will delight readers. Highly recommend for fans of IF YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND, BLAINE FOR THE WIN, and SO THIS IS EVER AFTER.
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