Tristan’s life was all high school, beaches and girls until he survives a near death experience and learns that he isn’t really who he always thought. This “now we can tell you who you really are” premise is very common, especially in YA, but this book takes a road that is a little less “woe is me”. Tristan doesn’t spend a lot of time wallowing, which kept the story moving and made it a little less heavy. I thought the Coney Island setting was unique and it helped contrast the turmoil below with the humans on land who have no knowledge of what was really going on at sea. Tristan’s struggles most come from his new knowledge and his realization that he must now try to inhabit two worlds.
This is the third mermaid book I’ve read in the last few months and it is a little lighter than the others. Tristan jumps head first into his new life without a lot of angst or hair pulling. I enjoyed the witty dialogue and the attention to detail when describing the folklore, and there were many funny and interesting interactions between merpeople and regular humans. I think, in the end, I wanted a little more from this book. I wanted a little more emotion from Tristan when he found what he was and I wanted a little less repetitiveness in his interactions with Layla. Despite that, I enjoyed it and I think it makes for a good summer read.
I read this book as a part of the Southern Book Bloggers ARC tour.