I’m not a huge YA fantasy fan, so I wasn’t sure how I would like Emerge by Tobie Easton—until she hooked me from the very first chapter! This book is much deeper than a modern take on the Hans Christian Anderson fable; it explores control, manipulation, and teen-dating violence. Plus there’s fun mermaid stuff!
Easton centers her plot on a teenage girl named Lia Nautilus growing up in Malibu, California. Lia has a big secret to hide. She and her family are Mer, passing as human due to a devastating ocean war. When Lia’s longtime crush, a human named Clay Ericson, falls under the spell of the new girl in school, Lia learns what lengths she will go to in order to get what she wants.
I absolutely adored the world-building Easton stirred into her plot. This is a story that would be perfect for fan fiction, because teen readers will want to dive right in. I also felt Lia was character I could root for.
I received a free, early review copy of Emerge, but have already preordered a copy for my nieces because they will love this book.