Etta

Audiobook Review: Out of the Blue

Published May 31st 2022

Author: Jason June

Narrators: Andre Santana & Neo Cihl

Audiobook Length: 10 hours 15 minutes

Crest is not excited to be on their Journey: the monthlong 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: after all, humans are disgusting. They’ve pollluted 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 pespective 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 world home and shows how love can help us find the truest versions of ourselves.

Out of the Blue first caught my attention by the amazing cover and kept it with the excellent representation. Not only is Cress/Ross, a Mer, nonbinary who also wears heels when they have human legs, but Sean is also not a slimmer build, and his physique is discussed throughout the novel. The story begins with Crest partaking in the event of going on a month-long journey on land to help a human to become an Elder in their kingdom. Crest meets lifeguard, Sean, who lives in Los Angeles and is anxious to win back his ex, Dominic.

After Dominic seems jealous when he sees Crest and Sean together, Sean comes up with the idea to fake-date Crest to win back Dominic. Crest and Sean end up spending a lot of time together and feelings begin to develop. There are complications as the whole reason they are together are for Dominic and Crest has a time limit on land. While their relationship was sweet, it did tend to feel more like a physical connection than emotional. They connected a lot, but it did feel it was mainly based on the physical. For me, I wish this were explored further in depth to make me connect more with the romance. Another aspect that I wish was explored more is Sean’s love of movies. This is a trait mentioned towards the beginning, but it seemed to be emphasized as a bigger deal than it turned out to be.

As Crest, Sean, and the other characters are all 16 (or around this age), the story does read younger. There are moments where the characters discuss sex or make certain decisions and word choices where they come across as teenagers, who sometimes are immature. Since I am older than a teenager, I did not quite connect to this part of the story, so the writing did not always fit my style. The story itself takes a turn towards the end where it becomes more dramatic than expected. This felt a little disjointed in the moment, but did all come together by the end. Overall, this story was a fun coming of age story with a nice romance weaved in the writing.

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