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Out of the Blue

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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 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 instant New York Times bestselling 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.


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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 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 instant New York Times bestselling 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.

30 review for Out of the Blue

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    Nonbinary mermaid romance?????? YESSSSSSSS

  2. 4 out of 5

    booksandzoe

    Judging by the other reviews I may be a bit of a minority here, but I really enjoyed this book! Out of the Blue follows a gay high schooler whose boyfriend broke up with him to immediately date another dude--it's then that a strange person washes up on shore. Sean and Ross start to get to know each other better, leading them to fake date to make Sean's now ex-boyfriend jealous enough to want him back; however, Ross has a secret: they're mer. I want to start by saying that I wasn't a far of this a Judging by the other reviews I may be a bit of a minority here, but I really enjoyed this book! Out of the Blue follows a gay high schooler whose boyfriend broke up with him to immediately date another dude--it's then that a strange person washes up on shore. Sean and Ross start to get to know each other better, leading them to fake date to make Sean's now ex-boyfriend jealous enough to want him back; however, Ross has a secret: they're mer. I want to start by saying that I wasn't a far of this author's YA debut, Jay's Gay Agenda. I wasn't expecting much coming into this novel, which may be why I was pleasantly surprised: it really seems as though the author took some of the criticisms for Jay's Gay Agenda in stride and used them to improve. Gone are the constant out of touch pop culture references (thank GOD) and in is a more structured storyline and better rounded characters. I really enjoyed the relationship that built between Ross and Sean, and I really appreciated the non-binary rep from Ross. In the world of Mer, gender identities don't exist, making all merpeople nonbinary with they/them pronouns, as well as Mer neopronouns which Ross does not employ on land because they're trying to keep their Mer identity a secret. Some aspects of the novel that made this a 4 star instead of a 5 star: some miscommunication that I felt was pretty unavoidable and near, close but not quite cheating? Seems like a bit of a pattern seeing as this was also employed in Jay's Gay Agenda. I also thought the writing could've been better, though I found myself pretty satisfied with the writing as is. Overall this was fun, and I thought worth the read! I usually have a very hard time reading books due to my ADHD and much prefer audiobooks, so it's a pretty high honor that I was able to finish this in just two days! (That and the fact that this book is pretty short which is definitely a strong plus in my book!) Thank you Harper Collins and Netgalley for the eARC :)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Darcey

    ARC copy provided in exchange for an honest review. This in no way changes my rating or review. 3.5 HEARTWARMING STARS (rounded up because GR hates half stars) Three Minute Thoughts: Out of the Blue was an adorable coming-of-age story involving teenage love and struggling to find where you fit in the world. Combined with humourous characters, brilliant lgbtq+ rep and merfolk (!!), this turned into the perfect little comfort read for me. While there were certain scenes that were a littleee over the ARC copy provided in exchange for an honest review. This in no way changes my rating or review. 3.5 HEARTWARMING STARS (rounded up because GR hates half stars) Three Minute Thoughts: Out of the Blue was an adorable coming-of-age story involving teenage love and struggling to find where you fit in the world. Combined with humourous characters, brilliant lgbtq+ rep and merfolk (!!), this turned into the perfect little comfort read for me. While there were certain scenes that were a littleee over the top, it is a romcom involving 16 year olds, so what else can be expected? Super cute. The Extended, Long and Very-Possibly-Messy Review: This was such a sweet story!! I loved the combination of fantasy and realism, and while certain sections of this book were absolutely ridiculous, it is just fiction, and fiction involving teenagers and merfolk at that. I thought the characters were all so well-written! I loved how Sean’s body type may not have been the typical slim swimming body, and I loved his confidence in himself. Sean was realistic in his over-dramatic inner monologue and propensity to declare the end of the world as soon as one thing didn’t go his way, because honestly, what is more teenager-y than that? He read like a 16yo boy, and I really liked that. Crest was also such a wonderful character! They may have been initially shallow-minded towards humans, but honestly who can blame them – humans suck. However, Crest’s character development was absolutely golden, and I loved watching them grow and learn more about themself, while also learning about others. They had difficult choices to make throughout the novel, but watching them work themself out was so realistic while also being fun to read – I loved it. I also loved the pointed criticisms of society that were rife throughout their chapters! “Elder Crab warned us about this, about humans’ obsession with gender and how labels and rules mean so much to them when it comes to the body.” (This quote may not be in the published version of this novel, it was copied from the advanced reader’s copy.) The romance was also so sweet. It gave me What If It’s Us vibes (which isn’t usually a compliment because I kinda disliked What If It’s Us, but in this case it’s not so bad) but Out of the Blue was better (IMHO). I don’t really want to spoil, but basically I highly recommend this to people who enjoyed What If It’s Us. I also really liked a couple of the side characters! They were funny and had their own personalities and storylines, which I really appreciated (plus clinical depression rep – woo!), and I did enjoy the little glimpses into their lives. Also the amount of swimming in this book made me really happy! I have a big soft spot for swimming (I always wanted to be a mermaid as a child), and this book definitely brought back those childhood dreams. Do know that you have to prepare for cheating if you decide to read this book. I am a strong advocate against the cheating trope, and while this book definitely didn’t contain that, it did have some cheating sections that frustrated and irritated me. However, I felt the author wrote this into the book quite well, so while I disliked it, I didn’t hate it. “I watched them walk away, and with each step they took it was solidified in my heart that all this is real. That magic is real. You just have to know where to look for it.” (This quote may not be in the published version of this novel, it was copied from the advanced reader’s copy.) All in all, this was good fun, and really cute! I’m glad I read it. Thank you so much to the author, publisher and TBR & Beyond Tours for the ARC copy :).

  4. 4 out of 5

    ✨Tatiana✨ { She Who Reads Ya Books }

    3.75 Humans are the worst… right? Crest is not excited to be on their Journey: the month-long 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. Humans are disgusting. They’ve polluted 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 hum 3.75 Humans are the worst… right? Crest is not excited to be on their Journey: the month-long 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. Humans are disgusting. They’ve polluted 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 perspective on humans begins to change, they’ll soon be torn between two worlds. And fake dating just might lead to real feelings . . . Thank you so much to the publisher for giving me an ARC. This does not affect my review. This was a super cute read perfect for summer!! The whole mermaid thing was really cool. I liked how the author created this whole background on them, changed from the way many view mermaids. I also like that they have a chance to stay on land if they choose to. Crest was pretty cool mermaid. I liked how he ended up having an open mind. He was a perfect balance to Sean. I think they worked really well together. Sean, my romcom loving bestie. We will definitely be watching romcoms together. I liked how he realized that he needed to focus on himself more and also on now instead of the future. Also I feel like he deserves an amazing partner in the future. The fake dating was on peak. I liked how at first it was just in front of Sean’s ex, but then slowly at other places too hehe. I like how Crest and Sean kept each other in check when the other did something they shouldn’t have… I think it was one of my favourite things! Honestly I have no complaints (that I can remember!) Please go read this book!!! Edit: I’m sorry if this is on the shorter side, I’ve been at school all day + doing homework + this is my third review of the night

  5. 4 out of 5

    Claude's Bookzone

    2.5 Stars rounded up to 3 A cute YA LGBTQIA romance. The beginning felt a bit 'educational' and I honestly think we are a bit past that. I also kept breaking out into Disney Little Mermaid songs which made it quite a fun read. I don't think Crest was a particularly likeable character but I did like Sean. Just okay for me. 2.5 Stars rounded up to 3 A cute YA LGBTQIA romance. The beginning felt a bit 'educational' and I honestly think we are a bit past that. I also kept breaking out into Disney Little Mermaid songs which made it quite a fun read. I don't think Crest was a particularly likeable character but I did like Sean. Just okay for me.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Andres

    "Were we meant to meet? I believe so, one hundred percent. But I need to live for myself, build my life, follow my dreams, before I can be somebody's partner. I want to find the love of my life, and I think there's a world where Crest could have been that, but I need to love myself -- *live* for myself -- first." TL;DR: Here's the breakdown of this book: 1% - 60%: Crest hating humans for being awful and whining about how he hates it; Sean moping about being dumped and scheming to get his ex back v "Were we meant to meet? I believe so, one hundred percent. But I need to live for myself, build my life, follow my dreams, before I can be somebody's partner. I want to find the love of my life, and I think there's a world where Crest could have been that, but I need to love myself -- *live* for myself -- first." TL;DR: Here's the breakdown of this book: 1% - 60%: Crest hating humans for being awful and whining about how he hates it; Sean moping about being dumped and scheming to get his ex back via rom-com tropes. 60%-70%: the 2 sweet scenes in the book 70%-100%: emotional whiplash from the drama crammed into the last bit. I saw other reviewers mention the whiplash and they were 100% accurate. The characters are either horny or angry, and go between the two in the span of a few pages. An intriguing premise -- mer must spend a month on land and perform a selfless act before returning to the ocean -- is boosted by the diversity Jason June crafts, but ultimately falls flat due to one-dimensional characters who have little outside their lust-plot to make them relatable. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Vibes: A Disney Channel Original Movie version of a queer, gender-swapped The Little Mermaid Genre: True YA* Queer Romance IDK what genre this actually is. It's supposed to be YA -- and the way the lust scenes fade to black confirm that. But some of the mer aspects seem very Middle Grade and *before* the fade to black, it's like June is approaching adult content. A bit all over the place. Romance Meter: 🍆 🍆 🍆 🍆 🖤 The ENTIRE story is "romance" -- more on this below. Character MVP: ....I guess Sean? They were all a little flat and one-dimensional and hard to connect or invest in. Verdict: I really, really wanted to love this. A queer mermaid romance featuring competitive swimmers? YES. But...the execution...just wasn't for me. A lot of the issues I had with this book, I also had with June's first book, Jay's Gay Agenda, so it might just be that Jason June is not the author for me. The strength of this book (as it was for June's other book), for me, was the representation. There is a lot to love about the characters June creates and the diversity they portray. Out of the Blue, for instance, has: --Sean, a thicc/curvy gay guy --Crest/Ross, a non-binary mer-turned-human who uses they/them pronouns --Kavya, a thicc/curvy bisexual Indian girl --Miguel, a bisexual Latinx guy And I genuinely do appreciate that -- as well as the celebration of queer love. There isn't any homophobia or slurs hurled at the characters. The diversity is presented as normal and accepted, and June also does really well at "modeling behavior" for readers. Like, there's a couple good conversations about consent, and Crest/Ross has this one moment where they tell Sean what they like (physically) during a makeout session. But here's where it starts to get a bit tricky for me. I think this was the case in June's other YA novel, but there's a pervasive physicality to this story. (There's also the *myriad* of questions I have about the mythology of this story, but I won't bring them up because it seems like the mythology wasn't the part Jason June was interested in exploring or constructing. Much like Disney Channel movies, don't think too much about it. Take it at face-value.) Now, I don't mean that I'm finding fault with two hormone-riddled teenagers having sex as part of an overarcing storyline of romance. I mean that every time Sean and Ross are together, it's basically entirely physical -- but equated with love. To the point where I kinda-sorta-maybe understand why Ross "loves" Sean; Sean organizes at least 2 dates that are sweet and demonstrate that he's aware of what Ross likes/needs. But I honestly have no idea why Sean "loves" Ross, except that he's attractive. These characters are very flat: Sean is the rom-com film director framing every life event (and most of the scenes in the book) as a framing shot. Crest/Ross is the former mer who hates human and views them as "self-centered, narcissistic blowholes" and spends the first half of the book whining about being on land. And the entire book is basically them falling in lust and acting on it. Again, it's not the sex I have a problem with; its the fact that every scene in the book is an opportunity for the characters to make it sexual/physical and then say it's love. There are inklings of other potential plots -- like Sean's interest in film, or swimming -- but they're ultimately just vehicles for physical moments. Like, everyone is *constantly* making out with each other. Which...maybe this is the equivalent of me identifying with King Triton in The Little Mermaid, but it just bothered me that those things are equated like that. Lust and Love are too very separate, albeit intertwined, things. Maybe if we had broadened out more -- spent more time with Kavya or other characters or one dates where they actually talked about things, the "romance" aspect would have come through stronger. But case in point: at the end, when Crest is trying to decide whether to stay on land or go back to the Blue, this is literally what he's thinking: I've been having phantom fin movement this whole time, my whole body craving the sea, and those cravings just get stronger and stronger every time I get out of the bath. They get stronger every time I look at the sky, seeing the moon fuller and fuller, knowing my Journey is going to end in just three days. But my body, this one, the one I have on land, also craves one other thing. One other person. I need Sean. I need to kiss him again. I need to share myself with him one more time before I go. Like, his decision is really "my authentic self" vs "sex." You'd give up your entire life just because you have good physical chemistry with someone? I know people criticize Disney's Little Mermaid because they say that Ariel gives up everything for Eric, but at least it was more than just a physical relationship. And that's where this relationship fell apart for me -- I saw very little romance, just physicality-presented-as-love. *** And the other thing -- I fully admit that this is going to be a deeply personal irritation, but I was a competitive swimmer for most of my childhood and I JUST CAN'T with the details. Like, I get *why* Sean has to be a swimmer - so that his "oneness" with the water can help Ross see him as more than just a "self-centered narcissistic blowhole." And I did read an ARC so MAYBE the editor or Jason June would have, IDK, checked in with a swimmer to just fact-check stuff. Like, I don't care if this is "just high school swimming" and not a year-round competitive club: (1) Boys and girls would have 100% have had practice together -- Kavya *never* seems to be at practice when Sean is. (2) Also, practices *decrease* the closer you get to a big meet -- like "states" -- not increase. Sean has practice twice a day 2 weeks before his big meet? Nope. That's a shave-and-taper event -- your practices decrease so your energy can increase and you can rest your muscles so you're not exhausted and they don't crap out on you. (3) Sean would have also shaved. I have never, in my life, never met a swimmer who didn't. It's just part of the culture. (4) And I honestly don't know how to respond to this last bit. Because while I appreciate what Jason June was trying to do with the body positivity aspect of the story, by having both Sean and Kavya be thicc and curvy...it was just jarring to the image Jason June was trying to present of Sean as this elite swimmer. And I KNOW that the point was that Sean (and Kavya) didn't "look" the part, and everyone underestimated them, but...I also KNOW that to train and compete at that level, you're just not going to be pudgy. And I KNOW that because I was 100% the formerly chubby child who swam their ass off and trained at that level. And even if Sean isn't training with a year-round team, unless something weird is happening with California high school swimming, he placed third in the state. You don't just luck into that; if you place third in the state, you're getting a scholarship to swim at college somewhere -- and your training would reflect that. I was a chubby kid before I started training, and I'm a curvy adult now that I've stopped, but during that time? Swimming burns so many calories, it's ridiculous. My coach would literally tell me to go eat 2 Big Mac meals to replace my burned ones. There's a whole thing about Michael Phelps' 10,000 calorie-a-day diet during the Beijing Olympics. So...it just took me out of the story every time Ross fawned over Sean's hairy bear body. I appreciate the body positivity, I really do, but I also wish Jason June had done some more research on a swimmer's life. We also don't refer to everything as "heats" all the time -- maybe in California they do...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Casey

    **Thank you to NetGalley and HarperTeen for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!** This one is tough to review, largely because I'm so torn between the things I loved about it and the stuff that just really didn't land. Like, I adored both Crest/Ross and Sean as characters, but their motivations and understanding around their relationship were very hard to follow in moments. One moment they were friends with benefits, the next they were fully in love, then very torn up over whether or not the **Thank you to NetGalley and HarperTeen for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!** This one is tough to review, largely because I'm so torn between the things I loved about it and the stuff that just really didn't land. Like, I adored both Crest/Ross and Sean as characters, but their motivations and understanding around their relationship were very hard to follow in moments. One moment they were friends with benefits, the next they were fully in love, then very torn up over whether or not they were manipulating each other, then broken up, then in love, then maybe broken up again? Phew. But nonetheless, I was really invested the entire book in their relationship, and I really enjoyed all the classic fake dating notes. There were also a lot of elements about it that read true to teen relationships and how wildly messy they can be. It was also super sex-positive and there seemed to be roughly zero straight characters, which was great. That said, the biggest issue for me was that the narrative seemed to be having somewhat of an identity crisis with who the audience was supposed to be. For example, the romance read to me as being upper YA with how much sexual content there was, whereas a lot of the mythology and characteristics of the merpeople seemed very middle grade. Like, it's jarring to go from Ross shouting "What the flick" and referring to their friends with names like Drop and Wave on one page and then hitting yet another description of a raging stiffy the next. It also felt like some plot points, pardon the pun, were super out of the blue. In general, the pacing and structure of the back half were a bit messy, which was a bummer after such a strong first half, and the ending also felt a little rushed. It would have been nice to get a little clearer resolution with that. Overall, I did have a lot of fun with this one, but I wish the back half had been just a little more polished.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Janna

    I used to love watching the TV series "H2O: Just Add Water", so of course I was excited to read this new queer take on a story about merpeople. The book follows two perspectives: Crest, a teen merperson, who, within one moon cycle, has to help a human to become an Elder and Sean, a human lifeguard who's miserable because of a recent break-up. The contrast between their worlds and how they overlap was intriguing to read about. I also loved getting to know more about the merfolk's backstory and th I used to love watching the TV series "H2O: Just Add Water", so of course I was excited to read this new queer take on a story about merpeople. The book follows two perspectives: Crest, a teen merperson, who, within one moon cycle, has to help a human to become an Elder and Sean, a human lifeguard who's miserable because of a recent break-up. The contrast between their worlds and how they overlap was intriguing to read about. I also loved getting to know more about the merfolk's backstory and their legends. The storytelling is quite fast paced and so are the developing relationships. It's a rom-com after all, but there were a few scenes and relationships I wish would have been given more space to grow. I think that would have made me understand the characters better. Sometimes, because of the fast pace, it felt like they made new decisions based on basically nothing, just for the plot's sake. I cannot describe how much I loved that all merfolk inherently use they/them pronouns though - that's such a wonderful idea and led to very important discussions about gender identities. This is definitely a feel good book, though there are some mentions of some sad topics, this book is filled with so much joy! If you're looking for a summer read - "Out of the Blue" is a great choice, it's got a beautiful ocean setting, a cute romance (fake dating!), messy teens and will hit you with all the nostalgic feels if you loved watching H2O too. content warnings: fatphobia, misgendering, depression Thank you Harper360YA for the review copy i post about queer books here: instagram / tiktok /twitter

  9. 5 out of 5

    ⛅ Saniya (sunnysidereviews) ⛅

    I've been waiting for a story with mermaids to come out, so I'm super excited about this! Love how pollution and the environment is also mentioned. I've been waiting for a story with mermaids to come out, so I'm super excited about this! Love how pollution and the environment is also mentioned.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Angel

    This book was fantastic! There is just one month left for Merfolk Crest (Ross) to travel to land and assist a human before they are permanently trapped as humans! Sean wants his boyfriend back after he recently dumped him. Since he is a lifeguard, he fortunately assists Ross when he washes ashore. Together, they set out to rekindle Sean's ex-feelings boyfriend's for him in hopes that Ross would succeed and be able to rejoin the sea. However, something else might be brewing as they collaborate. R This book was fantastic! There is just one month left for Merfolk Crest (Ross) to travel to land and assist a human before they are permanently trapped as humans! Sean wants his boyfriend back after he recently dumped him. Since he is a lifeguard, he fortunately assists Ross when he washes ashore. Together, they set out to rekindle Sean's ex-feelings boyfriend's for him in hopes that Ross would succeed and be able to rejoin the sea. However, something else might be brewing as they collaborate. Ross and Sean were fantastic! Ross made me think of the kind of person I aspire to be—one who is confident in who they are and what they stand for. As an Enby person myself, I especially enjoyed reading about a community where gender neutrality was the norm. I adored the gender neutrality of the merfolk community. And despite Sean being bigger, the way Ross perceived Sean! I like reading that Ross only found him to be lovely because I consider myself a bigger person. And Kavya was a cunning lady! It was enjoyable even with Miguel! The characters' development throughout the novel was delightful, even though it had its share of painful times. Readers of LGBTQ+ books should not miss this!

  11. 5 out of 5

    kate

    SO. MUCH. FUN. This was an absolute joy. It was funny, warm hearted, angsty, magical and messy. The references to The Little Mermaid made my heart sing. Sean specifically was such a wonderful character to follow and I grew to love the messy and petty but lovable Crest. This was such a fun twist on a rom-com and seeing such casual non-binary and plus sized rep was a joy. Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable and utterly adorable coming-of-age queer rom-com a touch of mermaid magic and great dis SO. MUCH. FUN. This was an absolute joy. It was funny, warm hearted, angsty, magical and messy. The references to The Little Mermaid made my heart sing. Sean specifically was such a wonderful character to follow and I grew to love the messy and petty but lovable Crest. This was such a fun twist on a rom-com and seeing such casual non-binary and plus sized rep was a joy. Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable and utterly adorable coming-of-age queer rom-com a touch of mermaid magic and great discussions surrounding gender, sexuality, mental health and forging your own path.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Xandra Noel

    This book was so heart-warming, something I needed very much right about now. The characters are brilliant, so many funny scenes and the ending was *chef's kiss* This book was so heart-warming, something I needed very much right about now. The characters are brilliant, so many funny scenes and the ending was *chef's kiss*

  13. 5 out of 5

    Johnee

    This was a solid 3.5 stars for me! So many fun tropes are in this book: the fake dating, opposites attract, the film-student obsessed with movies and wanting their own "movie moment" in real life, and the rushing against time to fulfil a goal trope. I love them all in it's cheesiness that they truly are! The rep is fantastic too: bi, non-binary (throughout all), gay, a sapphic relationship, big person, and more that I'm sure I'm missing mentioning right here. I did find some of the character's thou This was a solid 3.5 stars for me! So many fun tropes are in this book: the fake dating, opposites attract, the film-student obsessed with movies and wanting their own "movie moment" in real life, and the rushing against time to fulfil a goal trope. I love them all in it's cheesiness that they truly are! The rep is fantastic too: bi, non-binary (throughout all), gay, a sapphic relationship, big person, and more that I'm sure I'm missing mentioning right here. I did find some of the character's thoughts and actions a little frustrating at times. There are times when they are oblivious to themselves, which is hard to believe with how much self-awareness they also possess. But I did have to remind myself that these are teens. I was dramatic as heck in my teen years, so I get it. And I think perhaps it's just me as an adult consuming this young-adult book and it wasn't really written for someone like me (which I'm aware of!). If you can accept it for what it is: a silly, fun, teen rom-com with a bit of magic included, you'll love this book! I enjoyed it, despite a few cringey moments. The one thing I cannot fault with Jason June's books is that I can read them fairly fast. I read Jay's Gay Agenda in 1.5 days -- this one also took only just a few days as well (though I started it on March 2, I got distracted with manga and didn't get back to this until a few days ago!). I think this is a testament to how it's just such a fun, light read, which makes it quite difficult to want to put down and pause.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eva B.

    I admittedly didn't love Jay's Gay Agenda but this sounds so good! Also it's nice to see a guy on a cover whose body type isn't 6'5" nothing but muscle buff dude. I admittedly didn't love Jay's Gay Agenda but this sounds so good! Also it's nice to see a guy on a cover whose body type isn't 6'5" nothing but muscle buff dude.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Helena (helinabooks)

    3.75! cute, fun and perfect for the summer

  16. 5 out of 5

    Margherita

    First of all, thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for giving me access to an eARC of this book. I think that, when we read, we all try to imagine the story in our heads. While I was reading this book, I couldn’t imagine it as real scenes with real people, for some reason it only worked as a cartoon in my mind. But I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It started as light-hearted, cute story. I was really excited when I started it and the excitement died down a little in the middle, but thankfully First of all, thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for giving me access to an eARC of this book. I think that, when we read, we all try to imagine the story in our heads. While I was reading this book, I couldn’t imagine it as real scenes with real people, for some reason it only worked as a cartoon in my mind. But I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It started as light-hearted, cute story. I was really excited when I started it and the excitement died down a little in the middle, but thankfully it got better by the end. All of this made me change my thoughts on the rating at least six time thoughtout the whole reading period. A few details of the worldbuilding felt a little out of place or random in some ways? I feel actually bad while writing this but I felt like some things were a little cringe, too. I understand that the whole point of the book is that Sean is obsessed with romantic comedies but he mentions rom-coms at least 50 times in each chapter, it gets really annoying after a while. I was so excited for this book and I had high expectations for it, and even though I still enjoyed it and think it was a nice read, it didn’t satisfy me as much as I thought it would, so I’m a little disappointed. I think I’d say it’s 3.5 starts for me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gigi

    DNF Really was not clicking with me. Jason June I’m giving you permission to write adult romance books. It’s clear to me that you’d rather be doing that.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Leighton

    This heartwarmingly romantic and humorous standalone is a delightfully fun take on The Little Mermaid, which follows non binary Merperson, Crest as they reluctantly embark a rite of passage (called the Journey) that involves living on land for a month and helping a human in need. If they succeed, they can return to the ocean (and become an Elder in their community); if they fail, they’ll be stuck on land forever. When Crest (under their new alias Ross) washes ashore on Santa Monica beach they me This heartwarmingly romantic and humorous standalone is a delightfully fun take on The Little Mermaid, which follows non binary Merperson, Crest as they reluctantly embark a rite of passage (called the Journey) that involves living on land for a month and helping a human in need. If they succeed, they can return to the ocean (and become an Elder in their community); if they fail, they’ll be stuck on land forever. When Crest (under their new alias Ross) washes ashore on Santa Monica beach they meet heartbroken lifeguard Sean, a romance obsessed sixteen year old who’s boyfriend just dumped him for his former best friend. Crest wants their Journey over with as quickly as possible and Sean just wants to win back his ex, so together they strike a deal. They’ll help make Sean’s ex jealous by pretending to date, but as the two spend more time together Crest’s opinions on humans (and life on land) change—because fake dating just might lead to real feelings… Full of classic and much loved rom-com tropes (fake dating, opposites attract) and every mermaid related pop culture reference you can think of ,Jason June’s sophomore novel is definitely an entertaining read! The characters were all quite interesting with faults and flaws that made them feel like real people (which I really liked), I loved the chemistry between Sean and Crest and I really enjoyed how their fake dating plan played out. As this is a dual POV following both Crest/Ross and Sean we get a truly front row seat to all of their emotions, insecurities and general romantic angsty-ness. But what really makes Out of the Blue so brilliantly unique, is the way Jason June subverts the clichéd expectations of a rom-com; through Sean and Ross we are given a more realistic and relatable look at the struggles of change that all teenagers face—like I said before the characters are flawed (and just like real people, they make mistakes and less than stellar decisions) but that’s what I found most endearing. I’m a sucker for a good mermaid story (The Little Mermaid and Splash were playing non-stop at my house) so I was really happy to have found such an enjoyable contemporary based mermaid book (if you know of any others do let me know in the comments), lately they all seem to be dark or epic fantasy’s (which I do enjoy, it’s just really nice to have a lighter more uplifting story for once.) There’s so many romantic movie worthy moments with just the right amount of humour that I can definitely see this as a movie (so movie execs, if by some miracle you’re reading this, you have to think about adapting this.) Overall, this is a really fast paced and sweet contemporary YA with plus sized and LGBTQ+ rep that contemporary rom-com lovers simply must check out! Also a huge thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours and Harper Teen for the incredible e-arc.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rhys

    *Thank you to HCCFrenzy for a copy in exchange for an honest review* Out of the Blue is one of my most anticipated releases, and it did not disappoint at all! I loved Jays Gay Agenda, and I was expecting some of that same humour, and we got it! I loved that type of humour in Jays Gay Agenda, that teenage queer humour that I didn’t really experience as a teen. I love seeing it in books. Out of the Blue follows Sean, a sixteen year old high school human on his schools swim team who recently got *Thank you to HCCFrenzy for a copy in exchange for an honest review* Out of the Blue is one of my most anticipated releases, and it did not disappoint at all! I loved Jays Gay Agenda, and I was expecting some of that same humour, and we got it! I loved that type of humour in Jays Gay Agenda, that teenage queer humour that I didn’t really experience as a teen. I love seeing it in books. Out of the Blue follows Sean, a sixteen year old high school human on his schools swim team who recently got dumped, and Crest, a merperson from Pacifica on their Journey of helping a human. They meet when Crest washes up on shore, and Crest agrees to help Sean win back his ex by making him jealous. Fake dating has its pros, but also has its cons. Will Sean and Crest work through fake dating? Rep included: non-binary MC, plus sized MC, gay MC, bi, unlabelled MC (sexuality), sapphic side relationship (parents), and much more that I’m definitely forgetting. Jason June has such a unique style of writing that I can’t describe. It’s one that I can sit down to read and not realize I just read half the book. I love when authors have such a captivating writing style that I forget I’m reading for hours. Sean and Crest are two MCs I love, for different reasons. Crest is non-binary, but described as masculine presenting. I love that even though society might view them as a guy, Crest is very much not, and is very much in the middle. They were described as wearing anything from a sweatshirt to skinny jeans and a tight top with heels. Crest is very much comfortable in any body they are in, and I love seeing that. Sean is our plus sized human MC, and can I just give him a hug? I love seeing plus sized characters who are also athletic. Sean is one of the best swimmers on his high schools team, and I love that he breaks that stigma around fat people being lazy/not athletic. Sean, when he first meets Crest, refers to them with he/him pronouns. However, he quickly changes when Crest tells him what pronouns they use. I love when authors have these types of conversations in novels. It’s so nice to see how fast Sean changes his use of pronouns when talking about Crest. I seem to be in the minority based on other reviews, but I really did enjoy this. This is easily a 4 star read, maybe even 4.5. I loved all the characters, I love all the deep conversations, I love when the characters realized they messed up and how they try to fix it. The only critique that I’m giving it is I felt the end to be a little rushed. It was all brought together nicely, but definitely could’ve been done a bit better. I still loved the entire book, and will definitely be recommending it!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Drakoulis

    It's always hard to give a bad review to an author whose previous book I really like. But sadly, Out of the Blue was a massive disappointment for me, and I had to struggle to finish its last part. Jason June tells the story of the merfolk Crest who has to spend one month on land (under the name Ross) and help a human, as part of the Journey, an ancient mer tradition. Said human happens to be Sean, the dreamy, chubby, lifeguard/school swimmer/wanna-be film director who got dumped by his boyfrien It's always hard to give a bad review to an author whose previous book I really like. But sadly, Out of the Blue was a massive disappointment for me, and I had to struggle to finish its last part. Jason June tells the story of the merfolk Crest who has to spend one month on land (under the name Ross) and help a human, as part of the Journey, an ancient mer tradition. Said human happens to be Sean, the dreamy, chubby, lifeguard/school swimmer/wanna-be film director who got dumped by his boyfriend. The evolving relationship between Sean and Ross is front and center, and while it is mostly cute and messy and sexy (Jason June once again doesn't shy away from touching more mature content than your typical YA author and I'm glad), here's where the problems start: - The pacing is bad. The characters go from goofy/naive to serious/angry and vice versa within a page, very unsubtly and incosistently. The worldbuilding is also very strange: the mer lore feels fairytale-ish, but the messages and dialogue goes up and down from adult to upper YA to childish. - I'm not against the fake dating trope, but I was cringing every time they were talking about Dominic, who was an obvious jerk. Devoting such a large part of a main character's mindset to "winning back" an awful person managed to annoy me a lot. - The female best friend was once again, insufferable. This was an issue I had in Jay's Gay Agenda too, and sadly the author repeated it here. - My biggest issue which made the last part of the book a real struggle for me: (view spoiler)[ The only thing I hate more than not-happy endings, is not-happy endings that the characters telegraph for you beforehand. Ross's choice of the Blue over Sean was in the mer's mind all the time, and the story let me hope not once, but twice, that they would end up together after a twist, only for the author to double back and say "nope, the right choice is to pick Home, not Love". (hide spoiler)] . I honestly hated it. I disagree with everything in this part and made me struggle to finish the book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chelsi Kay (Moe)

    I spent the last 35-40 pages hysterically sobbing. And then I sobbed for another 15-20 minutes. So basically, it gets 5 stars.

  22. 4 out of 5

    William Wood

    queer love aquamarine… sign me the fuck up! i absolutely adored this story; it had me grinning ear to ear the whole time. it’s just wonderful seeing a MC who looks exactly like me, it really did get me quite emotional. perfect summer read

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    4.5 rounded up. I absolutely adored this dual POV, YA opposites attract, fake dating romance! A queer reimagining of the movie Splash, sees a young mer, Crest, sent on a month long journey to help a human on land before deciding whether he wants to stay a human or return to the sea. Cue, Sean, a recently dumped lifeguard who discovers Crest's (aka Ross's) body washed up on the beach. Sean tries to help Ross out and Ross decides Sean is the perfect human to help for his quest. What follows is Ross 4.5 rounded up. I absolutely adored this dual POV, YA opposites attract, fake dating romance! A queer reimagining of the movie Splash, sees a young mer, Crest, sent on a month long journey to help a human on land before deciding whether he wants to stay a human or return to the sea. Cue, Sean, a recently dumped lifeguard who discovers Crest's (aka Ross's) body washed up on the beach. Sean tries to help Ross out and Ross decides Sean is the perfect human to help for his quest. What follows is Ross and Sean fake dating in an attempt to make Sean's ex jealous. Sean is a rom-com loving aspiring movie director and he and his friend Kavya show Ross around LA. Eventually the sparks fly and things turn more real between Ross and Sean when Sean accidentally discovers Ross's secret but the fact that Ross's time on land is limited puts a wrench in any HEA between the two. I couldn't help cheering for these main characters. I loved the friendship, body positivity, nonbinary rep and emphasis on healthy relationships where both partners are treated well and valued. Highly recommended, especially for fans of If you change your mind or And they lived. Much thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins for my advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    Out of the Blue is a heartwarming, coming of age story that follows two MCs: Crest/Ross - a nonbinary Mer whose time has come to embark upon the Journey (help a human and live as a human for one moon cycle before they can return back to a life in the sea) and Sean - a fat, gay male who is obsessed with romance but is currently nursing one heck of a broken heart. Now, I want to make it clear that this book won’t be for everyone and that is largely due to both Ross and Sean being absolute disaster Out of the Blue is a heartwarming, coming of age story that follows two MCs: Crest/Ross - a nonbinary Mer whose time has come to embark upon the Journey (help a human and live as a human for one moon cycle before they can return back to a life in the sea) and Sean - a fat, gay male who is obsessed with romance but is currently nursing one heck of a broken heart. Now, I want to make it clear that this book won’t be for everyone and that is largely due to both Ross and Sean being absolute disasters and so ridiculously messy. But I think that’s what makes this book so charming. Both Ross and Sean are navigating how they fit into the world and also battling against expectations that other people have of them. There’s fake dating, lots of assumptions and miscommunication, swoon worthy moments, messiness, and figuring out what each one needs in life. The queer rep in this book is really fantastic. Not only do we have great main characters, but the side characters were fascinating and fully fleshed out as well. Kavya was my favorite side character, and I would love to revisit this world with Kavya as a main character since her backstory and moms are so intriguing. Thank you to HarperTeen for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

    I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: mentioned cheating 2.5 For Sean, getting broken up with is bad enough, but seeing his ex immediately get with someone else- his hot, popular former friend, specifically- is too much. All he wants is his boyfriend back, but obviously that's not going to happen. Until Crest appears. Crest has no interest in going on land and getting the "human" experience, but it's not up for negotiation, so now they're stuck with a human body until they can help someone. Helpi I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: mentioned cheating 2.5 For Sean, getting broken up with is bad enough, but seeing his ex immediately get with someone else- his hot, popular former friend, specifically- is too much. All he wants is his boyfriend back, but obviously that's not going to happen. Until Crest appears. Crest has no interest in going on land and getting the "human" experience, but it's not up for negotiation, so now they're stuck with a human body until they can help someone. Helping Sean win back his ex is a whole lot easier- and quicker- than finding a burning building to pull someone out of, so why not? It seems like the obvious plan, even when it means Sean has to pretend they're dating... until Crest starts getting a little too used to having Sean around. This is a riff of the The Little Mermaid with a queer love story at its front, and if that sounds like your type of thing, then this might be the book for you. For me, though I loved the idea of a queer mermaid, and I was excited by the rep at large, this really wasn't the book for me. What I did like mostly does revolve around representation. It's really nice to see not only a whole society of people without a gender binary, but also a love interest happily using they/them pronouns and no one flinching. It's also nice to see a larger main character and love interest, and never have body image become a barrier. I also thought the fake dating was solid, there was good communication, a well paced shifting from fake to real, and there was definitely chemistry between the characters. And, again, if you're looking for queer fluff and occasional allusions to The Little Mermaid, then this is a story you could have fun with. I, however, didn't like either of the characters. They're both so stylized it's impossible to see them as people or get a solid handle on them. Sean is in a director headspace for most of it, and talks about scenes like they're in a movie, throws in random charts of shots- it's all very pretentious and feels like the majority of his personality. And Crest uses mer-based language constantly, to the point of it feeling kind of like a Disney Channel original. Crest is also certain humans are awful, is really rude about people existing, and weirdly is super offended by people eating fish.... as if other sea creatures don't eat sea creatures. They're offended and looking for a fight for so much of this book. Which leads me to- the whiplash. The constant anger and drama coming out of left field was exhausting and usually pretty ridiculous. I couldn't take any of it seriously and it just made me feel like the characters were even less mature and fleshed out. I also didn't like the ending, or how long it took Sean to grow any kind of a conscience, but instead of spoiling anything, I'll skip to the biggest thing that simply did not allow me to vibe with this book: So much of this book hinges on physical affection. Now, I don't mean this is a super sex positive book, or these characters care about physical affection. That's all fine. What I mean is, not only does sex as a topic come up at times where it feels really strange, and not only do we get random "as a top" moments where a character is bringing up his sexual role as a personality trait (weird but okay, man), but the thing that Crest thinks about the most when it comes to the biggest decision of their entire life is all about sex. The second Crest starts considering staying on land, it's about whether or not they want to give up human physical affection, if sex is better than the mer version, etc. They even try to reconnect to their old life by jumping into the mer version of sex with someone. Like, maybe it's me and my asexuality not at all understanding why you would base literally your entire future off of sex, but it sure did feel weird and surface level. Especially because Crest does such a 180 to get there, and yet they don't have an actual character arc to mirror it. As a fluff story of queer love and diverse lives, I can see this book being something people really enjoy. It just wasn't one that I could connect to or get invested in, and the intense focus on sex was alienating and off putting.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lizzy (reviewsshewrote)

    Loved the idea, wasn’t a huge fan of the execution. The enby, fat, AND bi rep though? Here for it all 👏🏻

  27. 4 out of 5

    Althea

    3.5/5 Stars My first dive (haha, get it!) into Jason June’s work was this book, Out of the Blue, and it was certainly a fun one to start with. It’s a dual narrative book following Crest – who goes by the human name Ross – and Sean. Ross is newly on their Journey to selflessly help a human being before they can become a mer elder – and who do they meet as soon as they wash up on the LA shore? Sean, who has just been unceremoniously dumped by his now ex-boyfriend. So, Ross enlists Sean in a fake-da 3.5/5 Stars My first dive (haha, get it!) into Jason June’s work was this book, Out of the Blue, and it was certainly a fun one to start with. It’s a dual narrative book following Crest – who goes by the human name Ross – and Sean. Ross is newly on their Journey to selflessly help a human being before they can become a mer elder – and who do they meet as soon as they wash up on the LA shore? Sean, who has just been unceremoniously dumped by his now ex-boyfriend. So, Ross enlists Sean in a fake-dating scheme to help Sean get his ex back, and the two of them are absolutely 100% certain that they’re not going to fall for each other in the process… One of the things that initially drew me to the book was the representation. We have a nonbinary main character who uses they/them pronouns and is relatively feminine-presenting, as well as a fat main character. I was definitely not let down in this sense. Throughout the book Jason June made the decision to, instead of assigning characters genders when Ross or Sean meet them, to instead describe them as masculine-presenting or feminine-presenting, etc., and it didn’t feel clunky or affect the flow of the narrative at all. In fact I think it was really effective and I’d love to see it used in other books too! The fat rep was also particularly great as a fat reader myself. I loved how Sean was one of the best swimmers on his school swim team and that his fatness was not a hinderance at all. In fact, reading that Sean’s fat characteristics were what love interests really liked about him was so heart-warming to see, especially in a YA novel! I’m not a big reader of mermaid-based books – in fact, I don’t really consume any mermaid media in general, not even H2O – but I really enjoyed it in this book. I thought it might be a bit awkward but, aside from a couple of cringey scenes, I actually think it was done really well. One of my favourite bits of the book was actually Ross explaining being a mer to Sean through the means of a powerpoint, because it felt like something that might actually happen and not a weird infodump! Of course, I loved both Ross and Sean, and the romance and plot, but I can’t help but wish that Sean’s love of movies played a bigger role (wow, I’m on fire with the puns today!) throughout. At the start of the book it felt like it would play a much bigger role than it did, especially with all the romance ‘scenes’ laid out on page. I also had a bit of an issue with some of the cringey language, and how many references to sex there were. I get it, teenagers think about sex, but it was a bit much for me, especially when how merpeople have sex was brought up – and it was brought up several times! Overall, this was a really fun and exciting romance that had me feeling so many emotions. I really enjoyed Jason June’s writing and the representation was so, so good. I’m definitely going to be picking up more queer merfolk books in the future and I’ve already got my hands on a copy of the author’s first book, so rest assured that I’ll be picking that one up soon too! Thanks to HarperTeen, Netgalley, and TBR & Beyond Tours for an arc copy! All opinions are my own!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie (Bookfever)

    "Humans can be such blowholes." — Crest I really wanted to like Out of the Blue by Jason June but I can't say it's more than just an okay read. I had a lot of issues with the pacing and I felt like I was getting whiplash from a lot of the characters' personalities going from hot to cold and back. I'm sad to say it all just didn't work for me. Unsurprisingly, what I did enjoy was everything about the merfolk and how they excist in secret. I really liked Crest/Ross before they met Sean. I also li "Humans can be such blowholes." — Crest I really wanted to like Out of the Blue by Jason June but I can't say it's more than just an okay read. I had a lot of issues with the pacing and I felt like I was getting whiplash from a lot of the characters' personalities going from hot to cold and back. I'm sad to say it all just didn't work for me. Unsurprisingly, what I did enjoy was everything about the merfolk and how they excist in secret. I really liked Crest/Ross before they met Sean. I also liked that Crest, just like all merfolk, are all nonbinary. But that's about it with everything I liked about this book. Everything in the book moved a little too fast in this book for my liking, which was too bad because the first half of the book wasn't that bad. I guess I'm just more a fan of slow burn romances. And even though it had one of my favorite romance tropes, fake dating, I really couldn't get excited for Crest and Sean as a couple. There were also a couple of what I assume had to be unexpected twists but fell really flat to me. I'm not gonna go into that more for the sake of spoilers. I just had a meh feeling about it all. However, I want to end this review on a more positive note and say that even if I didn't end up liking the book all that much in general I did think it was a pretty fast read. So in that way it was a page-turner. A mixed bag of a page-turner but a page-turner nontheless so that's something at least.

  29. 4 out of 5

    John

    I have such mixed feelings on this! I liked our characters although Ross annoyed me at first. I liked how the author used Ross to explore human dynamics and how we see ourselves, other people, and gender. What I didn’t care for was some of the dialogue was cheesy, and some characters didn’t feel fleshed out or we found out more how they fit into Sean’a life until the end of the story. Overall this could have been so much but the cuteness of some parts of this story made me give this a 3 star rating I have such mixed feelings on this! I liked our characters although Ross annoyed me at first. I liked how the author used Ross to explore human dynamics and how we see ourselves, other people, and gender. What I didn’t care for was some of the dialogue was cheesy, and some characters didn’t feel fleshed out or we found out more how they fit into Sean’a life until the end of the story. Overall this could have been so much but the cuteness of some parts of this story made me give this a 3 star rating.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Masha (onceandfuturebooknerd)

    This was so beautiful my soul actually vacated my body for a bit so it could experience the freeing merfolk lives - outside the gender binary and allo-het restrictions. It actually made my heart ache in the best way and I sure as hell hope we reach this sort of freedom in our society one day as well. 💗

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