Out of the Blue by Jason June
Publication Date: 31 May 2022
Sean, a high schooler in LA, is in love with love. Well, he’s in love with the Hollywood rom-com version of it. But his happily ever after dreams are crushed when his boyfriend dumps him out of the blue (heh) for another guy. Then one day on the beach he meets Ross. Ross is a merperson in disguise, on a quest to complete their rite of passage: help a human before the next full moon. On land Ross has legs, unless they get wet, which causes their fin to come out. As you would expect, it doesn’t take long for them to get wet, and for Sean to get the shock of his life.
So Ross needs to help a human, and Sean wants to make his ex jealous enough to come back begging for forgiveness. Seems simple enough, until those inconvenient real feelings show up in their fake relationship. Out of the Blue is a tale full of sweetness and light, with some fun world-building (merfolk are from Pacifica and are nonbinary, using they/them pronouns) and excellent plus-size rep (thank you Jason June for creating a character who is not devastatingly handsome with abs of steel – and for putting him on the cover!).
My favorite part of Out of the Blue was its focus on the importance of home and community. If Ross and Sean want to be together, how will that happen? Will Ross have to give up his life under the sea and remain in his human form with Sean? I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for something lighthearted but with some serious bits. The pacing seemed a little uneven, and there were a couple of things that didn’t work for me, but that may just be a function of me being an old lady and not the target audience for this book. But it’s a sweet YA romance that you should definitely check out.
Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.