Out of the Blue by Jason June Book Review Read it later

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Jessica R Contributor

I picked up Out of the Blue by Jason June because it seemed like a modern take on The Little Mermaid with two 16-year-olds – one gay, and one non-binary – cast in the lead roles. Plus, the cover is adorable!

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Sean is a lifeguard at the local pool and on the high school swim team. He’s been in a relationship with his boyfriend, Dominic, for a while. It seems like they are well on their way to a rom-com perfect prom and long term relationship. So imagine Sean’s surprise when Dominic shows up at his work and dumps him for someone else.

Crest is a merperson. As dictated by their mer-magic and history, each merperson must complete a “journey” on land to help a human. Once completed, they will earn their journey mark and can return to the ocean–also known as the “Blue”–and have a role in Mer society. If they don’t complete their journey successfully, they will have to remain a part of the human world. Despite Crest’s best efforts to get out of what they see as a distasteful task, they wash up on the beach to begin their journey. Sean jumps in to rescue Crest, or Ross, as they are known in the human world.

Ross sees helping Sean get Dominic back as the perfect opportunity to complete their journey and get back to the Blue. Sean and Ross decide to fake date each other to make Dominic jealous and realize that, perhaps, they are better off together.

Out of the Blue by Jason June

Genre: Fiction/ YA/ Fantasy

Crest, a merperson, is on a land journey and has to help a human. Sean, desperate to get back with his ex, seems like the perfect fit. But when the two begin to fake date, they discover that perhaps they should look to one another to fix their problems instead.

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My thoughts:


Everything about the summary for Out of the Blue sounded like so much fun! And in its initial pages, there were even references to The Little Mermaid movie, which made my childhood heart rejoice. However, the story’s pacing was off and got bogged down by over-explanation of several things. The first was the Mer and their culture. The amount of lore, explanations of Elders, the Blue, etc., made me want to skip pages, especially because a portion of it wasn’t relevant to the story.

Contributor Jessica with Out of the Blue
Contributor Jessica with Out of the Blue!

Additionally, a lot  of the book fixated on how humans are awful. I thought having a nonbinary lead was intriguing and I looked forward to reading their perspective, but so much (and I mean SO much) of Ross’s dialogue was given over to waxing poetic about how all humans are stupid. It got to the point that it actually limited their conversations and relationship-building with others, especially because all the other main characters in the book were supportive of them. Though I do think the nods to how people are treated poorly because of what they choose to wear were well done and fit in well with both the Mer and the non-binary aspects of this book.

There were also a lot of emotional swings in Out of the Blue. I get that the lead characters are 16-year-olds, but the angst was strong. They go from being wonderful and happy to intensely angry and unreasonable very quickly. 

Although this book had many aspects that didn’t work for me, there were a few things that were well done. I loved how Sean respected and cared for Ross throughout the book. They had many sweet moments together. I also enjoyed the fact that Sean was one of the school’s top swimmers, and his swim team accepted him as both gay and plus-sized. And while the ending was unexpected, it fit in well with the themes of choice and embracing oneself that were carried throughout the book. I can see where teens could relate and see themselves in some of these characters.

What did you think of my Out of the Blue by Jason June Book Review?

Comment below or leave an emoji! Thank you Harper Teen for sending a free copy of this book!

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Out of the Blue by Jason June
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