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The Girl from the Sea

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From the author of The Witch Boy trilogy comes a graphic novel about family, romance, and first love. Fifteen-year-old Morgan has a secret: She can't wait to escape the perfect little island where she lives. She's desperate to finish high school and escape her sad divorced mom, her volatile little brother, and worst of all, her great group of friends...who don't understand From the author of The Witch Boy trilogy comes a graphic novel about family, romance, and first love. Fifteen-year-old Morgan has a secret: She can't wait to escape the perfect little island where she lives. She's desperate to finish high school and escape her sad divorced mom, her volatile little brother, and worst of all, her great group of friends...who don't understand Morgan at all. Because really, Morgan's biggest secret is that she has a lot of secrets, including the one about wanting to kiss another girl. Then one night, Morgan is saved from drowning by a mysterious girl named Keltie. The two become friends and suddenly life on the island doesn't seem so stifling anymore. But Keltie has some secrets of her own. And as the girls start to fall in love, everything they're each trying to hide will find its way to the surface...whether Morgan is ready or not.


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From the author of The Witch Boy trilogy comes a graphic novel about family, romance, and first love. Fifteen-year-old Morgan has a secret: She can't wait to escape the perfect little island where she lives. She's desperate to finish high school and escape her sad divorced mom, her volatile little brother, and worst of all, her great group of friends...who don't understand From the author of The Witch Boy trilogy comes a graphic novel about family, romance, and first love. Fifteen-year-old Morgan has a secret: She can't wait to escape the perfect little island where she lives. She's desperate to finish high school and escape her sad divorced mom, her volatile little brother, and worst of all, her great group of friends...who don't understand Morgan at all. Because really, Morgan's biggest secret is that she has a lot of secrets, including the one about wanting to kiss another girl. Then one night, Morgan is saved from drowning by a mysterious girl named Keltie. The two become friends and suddenly life on the island doesn't seem so stifling anymore. But Keltie has some secrets of her own. And as the girls start to fall in love, everything they're each trying to hide will find its way to the surface...whether Morgan is ready or not.

30 review for The Girl from the Sea

  1. 5 out of 5

    s.penkevich

    This book is so unbelievably delightful and I’ll be rereading it a dozen times just to feel all the feelings. A queer, coming-of-age romance featuring a selkie and a plot surrounding friendship dynamics and environmental activism? What is not to love!? The Girl from the Sea is the latest from Molly Knox Ostertag, author and illustrator of The Witch Boy series, and this single volume graphic novel is another stunning beauty of art and storytelling. When Morgan kisses a mysterious girl who sav This book is so unbelievably delightful and I’ll be rereading it a dozen times just to feel all the feelings. A queer, coming-of-age romance featuring a selkie and a plot surrounding friendship dynamics and environmental activism? What is not to love!? The Girl from the Sea is the latest from Molly Knox Ostertag, author and illustrator of The Witch Boy series, and this single volume graphic novel is another stunning beauty of art and storytelling. When Morgan kisses a mysterious girl who saves her from drowning, the girl reveals herself to be a selkie granted power to walk on land from their kiss. But this awkward girl is embarrassing to have around her “cool” friends, mostly because Morgan is fearful of coming out. Ostertag manages to keep the story feeling fresh as she examines the volatile emotions of balancing friendships with romances and not letting the opinions of others get in the way of what the heart wants. One aspect that works particularly well is the way group texts figure prominently in the novel, showing the friend-group dynamic and Morgan’s notable absence. Juxtaposing the digital conversations with Morgan’s dates with Keltie the selkie is effective and anyone who has ever felt guilty for ignoring texts while trying to enjoy time away will certainly vibe with these scenes. After reading a couple series, it was refreshing to visit a single volume story. The plot is paced quite well and while it is a bit of a low stakes narrative compared to her other works it still provides just as much of an emotional impact. Plus the whole “the rich family is ruining the local environment” is kind of a great staple of young adult narratives that urges readers to look at human impact on the wider world. I wish books like this existed when I was young and I will endlessly support and read them now so my inner confused child can enjoy this quality LGBT content they needed. The adorable and tumultuous love story really sings and the harmonizations of everyday life with friends and family all orchestrate together for a simply stunning book. Dealing with divorce, public opinion and trying to plan for her life all adds nuance and gripping textures to the overall story and are sure to connect with a wide audience. The family dynamics are sure to pull the heartstrings and it’s always lovely to see a coming out scene where the parent is supportive (Take note, parents, being supportive is literally life saving). I loved The Girl from the Sea with it’s beautiful art and story, and I hope you will too. 4.5/5

  2. 4 out of 5

    Reading_ Tam_ Ishly

    June Pride Month, 2021 🏳️‍🌈 A young adult, LGBTQIAP graphic novel. Yes, please! Let's talk about the graphic novel more. I love the artstyle so much. It's realistic yet Pixel perfect. I like how approachable the characters are as soon as I met them. They're lonely and confused. They want to run away. They want to be alone. Yet they need someone to comfort them. Morgan comes from a broken family and she's struggling through her teenage life everyday trying to have a normal day at home, go through hi June Pride Month, 2021 🏳️‍🌈 A young adult, LGBTQIAP graphic novel. Yes, please! Let's talk about the graphic novel more. I love the artstyle so much. It's realistic yet Pixel perfect. I like how approachable the characters are as soon as I met them. They're lonely and confused. They want to run away. They want to be alone. Yet they need someone to comfort them. Morgan comes from a broken family and she's struggling through her teenage life everyday trying to have a normal day at home, go through highschool, stick with her group of friends and avoid her brother as much as she can. And then there's Keltie who Morgan believes comes from her dreams. Well.... there's the magic. You know what? Keltie reminds me so much of Dante and Morgan of Aristotle from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Their chemistry is amazing. I love them together! It's so cute. I just wish Morgan was more understanding and outspoken but well then we all struggle with it too and so I can totally understand. Keltie's the girl from the sea and that makes everything so interesting. Morgan's inevitable urge to please people hurts Keltie. This trait is so common in all of us that it basically hurt me too while reading this graphic novel. I am okay with the adult characters for being accepting and supportive. But I wish it was better than this. It's okay as long as it's convincing and realistic when it comes to such important themes to discuss. The thing is that they needed to be present more in the story. Wish someone made a funky, beautiful dress like that for me. It's just my thing. Lucky you, Keltie. But then, Keltie's on a mission. And the ending hurt me. I wish it ended better. But then again, the plot lived up to what it planned. I will be looking forward to a sequel. There has to be. Right? With an ending like that.

  3. 5 out of 5

    ribbs

    yep you guessed it i’m crying, this was beautiful

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    I begged scholastic for an ARC of this book, because: (A) I'm a big fan of Ostertag's middle grade "Witch Boy" series (coming to Netflix!), and (B) I am obsessed with selkie stories. We are a coastal, oceanic people out here in the Maritimes, and so folktales of shapeshifting seal-folk have always captivated me. Overall, I really enjoyed "The Girl From the Sea". This adorable, sapphic story puts a delightful LGBT twist on the usual selkie folk tale: Morgan is a gay teen living in the small port I begged scholastic for an ARC of this book, because: (A) I'm a big fan of Ostertag's middle grade "Witch Boy" series (coming to Netflix!), and (B) I am obsessed with selkie stories. We are a coastal, oceanic people out here in the Maritimes, and so folktales of shapeshifting seal-folk have always captivated me. Overall, I really enjoyed "The Girl From the Sea". This adorable, sapphic story puts a delightful LGBT twist on the usual selkie folk tale: Morgan is a gay teen living in the small port town of Lunenberg, and while she isn't out of the closet yet, she is constantly planning her escape for when she can become herself. However after being saved from drowning by a mysterious girl named Keltie, the two begin to fall in love, and Morgan's secret becomes increasingly difficult to hide. I was so happy that the story centred around a gay teen living in small town Nova Scotia! I love Atlantic Canada, but we're not always the most progressive with LGBT stuff. It's not uncommon in Saint John for queer folk to either flee the East Coast entirely to become yourself, or to move to the "big city" of Halifax. Manyreturn home, once they feel secure in their identity, but it seems like just as many leave their homes behind forever, much like how selkies leave the sea to be with a human they love. As a bookseller living in New Brunswick, I am very excited to try and get this heartwarming graphic novel into the hands of queer youths (or any youths!). The transportive nature of books can be a powerful thing--especially for teens who feel trapped in a small community that doesn't make space for their identity.

  5. 4 out of 5

    aly ☆彡

    Firstly, I truly adore the drawings and the visuals. It just made the whole reading becomes entertaining. The Girl from the Sea is a sapphic coming-of-age book about Morgan who kissed a selkie one night after she was saved from drowning in the sea. If I have to describe this book in a word, it's: adorable What I love the most about this book: ☑ Morgan and her journey in embracing herself for who she really is ☑ The family and friends dynamic ☑ The insertion to modern take-ups, like the text mess Firstly, I truly adore the drawings and the visuals. It just made the whole reading becomes entertaining. The Girl from the Sea is a sapphic coming-of-age book about Morgan who kissed a selkie one night after she was saved from drowning in the sea. If I have to describe this book in a word, it's: adorable What I love the most about this book: ☑ Morgan and her journey in embracing herself for who she really is ☑ The family and friends dynamic ☑ The insertion to modern take-ups, like the text messages between Morgan and her friends. ☑ Just the whole setting. ☑ The very spot on, hilarious and delightful dialogues. "The girl I saved from the water was different from the girl with her friends. You're the true shapeshifters" Like, LMAO. What I don't like: Nothing really, I just feel like some things are rather abrupt? Especially on how the book started and how Morgan meets Keltie. But other than that, the book has been a wonderful read! And the ending? That was sadder than I thought. Truly love it though and looking forward to the next book ♡

  6. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    < / 3 beautiful but also much sadder than i thought it would be CW: forced outing, near-drowning

  7. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    In Taproot, Keezy Young depicts a gay ghost who falls in love with a gardener, so why not have fifteen-year-old Morgan fall in love with a selkie? Molly Ostertag (Witch Girl) creates her best book so far, a queer romance with environmental moments. Selkie is aligned with seals and needs to help protect their habitat. Friendship complications ensue, but overall this is a very sweet book. Young, as in middle school probably. Oh, and with kissing! And baby seals! As I say all the time, this is just In Taproot, Keezy Young depicts a gay ghost who falls in love with a gardener, so why not have fifteen-year-old Morgan fall in love with a selkie? Molly Ostertag (Witch Girl) creates her best book so far, a queer romance with environmental moments. Selkie is aligned with seals and needs to help protect their habitat. Friendship complications ensue, but overall this is a very sweet book. Young, as in middle school probably. Oh, and with kissing! And baby seals! As I say all the time, this is just one of an explosion of such books that could never have come to the light of day (and in some kid's hands) twenty years ago.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Prabhjot Kaur

    Sometimes you have to let your life get messy. That's how you get to the good parts. I love The Witch Boy series from this author and I have read it many times and every time I read it, it warms my heart. So when I heard about this graphic novel, naturally I wanted to read this. Now I'm in the water and I can see that future spinning away and I want to grab it, but I can't tell which way is up. Morgan Kwan is a fifteen year old who has three best friends, Serena, Lizzie and Jules. They all hang ou Sometimes you have to let your life get messy. That's how you get to the good parts. I love The Witch Boy series from this author and I have read it many times and every time I read it, it warms my heart. So when I heard about this graphic novel, naturally I wanted to read this. Now I'm in the water and I can see that future spinning away and I want to grab it, but I can't tell which way is up. Morgan Kwan is a fifteen year old who has three best friends, Serena, Lizzie and Jules. They all hang out together and have fun. Morgan's parents are divorced and her younger brother hasn't been on his best behavior lately. Morgan goes to a cliff to spend time all by herself regularly and on one such night, she slips and falls into the water. She thinks that's it, she is going to die but then she is saved by a selkie. She is familiar, like a person in a dream ... It was a sweet story about a teen struggling with her sexuality and the expectations of her family and friends and also dealing with her parents' divorce. She has a plan, which is to finish high school and leave from here and then come out and start living her life but her plans are derailed when she meets the selkie girl and starts a relationship with her, secret at first but then she is outed by her younger brother to their mum and their neighbors. Her mum is all supportive. The she also comes out to her friends. Serena in particular is hurt for Morgan not being honest with them but they are all quite supportive of her. Even though it was a nice enough story, I felt this was all over the place. Too many things were happening and it didn't hold my attention like I expected it to. Also, Morgan just assuming that her friends might judge her for coming out was just not good. I think it works both ways. You can't just judge anyone. Overall, it was not bad but what I loved the most was the cute artwork with subtle but beautiful aquatic/wintery colors. 3 stars

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gargee | Sapphire Bubble

    27 Aug 2020: This is a sapphics only event! jk, but I love sapphic books so much!!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    jut

    "the love of a selkie is something special." this is adorable, this is sapphic, this is quirk, this is magical, this is funny, this is beautiful and this made me cry! "the love of a selkie is something special." this is adorable, this is sapphic, this is quirk, this is magical, this is funny, this is beautiful and this made me cry!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Erica ♋️✨

    Oh my goodness!! This was so freaking cute and adorable my little bisexual heart fell in love with this queer romance 🥺💜

  12. 5 out of 5

    aarya

    This is fine. The MC’s East Asian rep was barely present in the story (except for a mention of the surname. Typical). I liked the selkie mythology but the overall plot is just okay. Read via library. I read this via the library despite receiving an arc; the arc format lacked color (the illustrations were entirely in black and white) and I couldn’t get through the arc. Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    ➸ Trigger warnings for (view spoiler)[coming out themes, outing, and near-drowning incident (hide spoiler)] . Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram ➸ Trigger warnings for (view spoiler)[coming out themes, outing, and near-drowning incident (hide spoiler)] . Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  14. 4 out of 5

    Grace✨

    Adorable. Sapphic. Mermaids. Read this!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Why hasn't a cute selkie girl fallen in love with me yet >:[ This was very cute and Molly Ostertag can do no wrong in my eyes, my only wish was that it was longer so we could really delve more into Morgan's relationship with her friends and family instead of mostly being shown it through text threads. I'm OBSESSED with Keltie though. She's the environmental activist seal girl I didn't know I was looking for all my life, but I'm glad I found her. Why hasn't a cute selkie girl fallen in love with me yet >:[ This was very cute and Molly Ostertag can do no wrong in my eyes, my only wish was that it was longer so we could really delve more into Morgan's relationship with her friends and family instead of mostly being shown it through text threads. I'm OBSESSED with Keltie though. She's the environmental activist seal girl I didn't know I was looking for all my life, but I'm glad I found her.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    This was delightful. I expected nothing less after having this one recced by so many people, but I'm once again blown away at the art style of Molly Ostertag. The illustrations are gorgeous and I loved the story as well. I'm pretty much obsessed with Morgan's style throughout the book and also with how detailed everything was. Highly recommend 🥰 This was delightful. I expected nothing less after having this one recced by so many people, but I'm once again blown away at the art style of Molly Ostertag. The illustrations are gorgeous and I loved the story as well. I'm pretty much obsessed with Morgan's style throughout the book and also with how detailed everything was. Highly recommend 🥰

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeimy

    Lovely, heartbreaking, and absolutely perfect!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bea

    IM NOT CRYING YOURE CRYING 😭 Anyway this is the first graphic novel I’ve ever purchased and I’m so glad I did. The art work is beautiful and the story is warm and cozy. It’s like a much needed hug after a long day. I adore this story

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lily Lu

    Thank you to Scholastic for sending me this book. I'm very grateful, but these are my honest opinions as a gay adult! Firstly this book is quite shallow, touching on many parts of being gay without diving deeper into any. There is very little drama or action, even compared to other books for a younger audience. Secondly Morgan is exactly the sort of moody "I'm not like the other girls" girl I hated in high school and still dislike. After meeting a stranger and kissing her on the same night, she su Thank you to Scholastic for sending me this book. I'm very grateful, but these are my honest opinions as a gay adult! Firstly this book is quite shallow, touching on many parts of being gay without diving deeper into any. There is very little drama or action, even compared to other books for a younger audience. Secondly Morgan is exactly the sort of moody "I'm not like the other girls" girl I hated in high school and still dislike. After meeting a stranger and kissing her on the same night, she suddenly begins dating her and neglecting her relationships with her family and friends. She thinks this is right because nobody understand her, but when she finally comes out they totally do. She doesn't apologize and doesn't get any consequences for abandoning them for a selfish reason that didn't even end up valid. She's not a good model for any teenager. Finally, I didn't think the ending was very romantic, but that's just me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Hunter

    This was such a cute queer graphic novel. Honestly, it'd be great for someone to have their kids read, or read to their kids. It opens up the talk about sexuality and queerness in a safe space, along with the main character and with cute drawings. 9/10 recommend. This was such a cute queer graphic novel. Honestly, it'd be great for someone to have their kids read, or read to their kids. It opens up the talk about sexuality and queerness in a safe space, along with the main character and with cute drawings. 9/10 recommend.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Tokuda-Hall

    it's wild how when I opened this book I had depression, and then when I closed I didn't. uncanny! it's wild how when I opened this book I had depression, and then when I closed I didn't. uncanny!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Melanie (TBR and Beyond)

    Oh my goodness, this was such a sweet and lovely graphic novel. I'm always looking for f/f relationships in books and this one was amazing. I loved the characters and the idea that one of them is Selkie - I'm obsessed with Selkie lore. The ending broke my heart just a little but it was all worth it. Oh my goodness, this was such a sweet and lovely graphic novel. I'm always looking for f/f relationships in books and this one was amazing. I loved the characters and the idea that one of them is Selkie - I'm obsessed with Selkie lore. The ending broke my heart just a little but it was all worth it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    purple witch ෴

    " Sometimes you have to let your life get messy. That's how you get to the good parts. " Omg this was such an awesome book ! It was a mixture of love, family, friendship and magic. I'm so so happy I picked it up ! It was delightful and lovely and I can't get enough of it. I loved Morgan and Keltie 💙 They were so cute and adorable. Though that ending...please tell me there's more to come 🥺 " Sometimes you have to let your life get messy. That's how you get to the good parts. " Omg this was such an awesome book ! It was a mixture of love, family, friendship and magic. I'm so so happy I picked it up ! It was delightful and lovely and I can't get enough of it. I loved Morgan and Keltie 💙 They were so cute and adorable. Though that ending...please tell me there's more to come 🥺

  24. 5 out of 5

    Danika at The Lesbrary

    Sapphic selkie comic!! Content warning for nonconsensual outing. Full review at the Lesbrary. Sapphic selkie comic!! Content warning for nonconsensual outing. Full review at the Lesbrary.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    amazing artwork

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    4/5 So cute!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! This was SO CUTE!!!!!! and Absolutely sweet!!!!!!! I haven't read many graphic novels, so I thought I would give this a shot, and I'm SO GLAD I did!!!!!! I Absolutely ADORED the main characters, and Deeply loved the plot!!!!!! I just couldn't put it down!!!!!! It was just such a pick-me-up kind of story, and I definitely want to read more by this Author!!!!!! HIGHLY recommend if you like Graphic novels and contemporary fantasy stories!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! This was SO CUTE!!!!!! and Absolutely sweet!!!!!!! I haven't read many graphic novels, so I thought I would give this a shot, and I'm SO GLAD I did!!!!!! I Absolutely ADORED the main characters, and Deeply loved the plot!!!!!! I just couldn't put it down!!!!!! It was just such a pick-me-up kind of story, and I definitely want to read more by this Author!!!!!! HIGHLY recommend if you like Graphic novels and contemporary fantasy stories!!!!!!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lexi

    Can’t wait for this to come out next year! 💕

  29. 4 out of 5

    regan

    cute and a little bittersweet! very quick read i finished this in under an hour! tw// internalized homophobia

  30. 5 out of 5

    liz˳✧༚

    This was the sweetest thing ever oh my stars

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