Summary: Lia Nautilus may be a Mermaid but she’s never lived in the ocean. War has ravaged the seven seas ever since the infamous Little Mermaid unleashed a curse that stripped Mer of their immortality. Lia has grown up in a secret community of land-dwelling Mer hidden among Malibu’s seaside mansions. Her biggest problems are surviving P.E. and keeping her feelings for Clay Ericson in check. Sure, he’s gorgeous in that cocky, leather jacket sort of way and makes her feel like there’s a school of fish swimming in her stomach, but getting involved with a human could put Lia’s entire community at risk. So it’s for the best that he’s dating that new girl, right? That is, until Lia finds out she isn’t the only one at school keeping a potentially deadly secret. And this new girl? Her eyes are dead set on Clay, who doesn’t realize the danger he’s in. If Lia hopes to save him, she’ll have to get closer to Clay. Lia’s parents would totally flip if they found out she was falling for a human boy, but the more time she spends with him, the harder it is for her to deny her feelings. After making a horrible mistake, Lia will risk everything to stop Clay from falling in love with the wrong girl.
What a delicious, swoony, sparkle of a book! Lia Nautilus may seem like a typical high school student, but she is actually part of a community of land-dwelling Mer, who attempt to cope with the mortality the Little Mermaid’s actions cursed them with by living among humans. Lia knows she has to stay away from Clay, the human boy she’s been crushing on, but when he falls victim to an ancient magic, Lia finds herself drawn deeper and deeper into forbidden magic to protect him. The worldbuilding here is spot-on, with thrilling details always moving the story forward, from the dynamic Mer anatomy (legs appear at adolescence – can you guess what they are used for?) to Mer record-keeping (Mer who hold shells to their ears hear not the ocean, but recorded books). Though this is the first book in a trilogy, there is no cliffhanger ending – I suspect that most readers will be sighing in contentment on the final page and excited to find out what happens next for this strong, loving, fierce and feminine heroine.
EMERGE is out now.