Juniper Sawfeather is choosing which college to attend after graduation from West Olympia High School next year. She wants to go to San Diego to be far away from her environmental activist parents. They expect her to think the way they do, but having to be constantly fighting causes makes it difficult to be an average 17 year old high school student. Why do her parents have to be so out there?
Everything changes when she and her father rush to the beach after a reported oil spill. As they document the damage, June discovers three humans washed up on the beach, struggling to breathe through the oil coating their skin. At first she thinks they must be surfers, but as she gets closer, she realizes these aren’t human at all. They’re mermaids!
Now begins a complex story of intrigue, conspiracy and manipulation as June, her parents, a marine biologist and his handsome young intern, her best friend, the popular clique at school and the oil company fight over the fate of the mermaids.
READ THIS BOOK IF:
- You’re into environmental activism, marine biology, sea creatures, mermaids as non-supernatural creatures, a realistic look at the impact of oil spills on marine life
- You’d like to hear Native American folklore about the ocean, orcas, mermaids, and their relationship with the sea through different tribal stories
- You’re looking for a story-central plot that is NOT focused on romance
- The activism was realistic. From the politics, to the media, to the dangers and extent that big corporations will go to to protect themselves from liability, it was all clear cut and passionate. The determination to speak out, to be heard, to get people to understand what things like oil spills are doing to the environment and living creatures provided a powerful message.
- Tensions between Native Americans, land loss, and the stigmas that subject them to bullying by their peers were an underlying theme (that I wish was more developed).
- There’s a wonderful amount of heritage and lore that runs throughout. I’d never heard a Native American tale of mermaids before. The stories are colorful, full of that lyrical campfire vibe.
- Juniper’s desire to have a life apart from her parents, who both have prominent voices in the media and authority in their field of activism makes sense. Her anger is too heated for me, but you can understand her hunger to be her own person, to make her way on her own, and do what she wants with her life. The constant sense of disappointment and pressure from her parents is harsh and hurtful.
- Apart from Juniper, her parents, and one reporter, the characters are stereotypical archtypes without much development or likability.
- The story ends abruptly, only part of the conflict is resolved, characters stream in and out of the story.
- The media fiasco and the sheer extent of those interested was a bit unbelievable and shocking. This is the sort of stuff that ends up on those trashy extraterestrial tabloids, why would government officials, huge news stations, etc., be so intrigued? Furthermore, the shift of focus from the oil spill was a little disappointing. I mean the animals are dying, it seems like there should be more people combing the beaches for clean up, volunteers at the very least.
- For a large chunk of the story Juniper is hard to like. For someone who doesn’t have a lot of material things, she’s constantly angry, she seems spoiled, and apart from her desire to escape her family and study marine biology, there’s not much we know about her.
D. G. Driver has been a published author for twenty years. She started her writing career as Donna Getzinger and still has several non-fiction books in print under that name. In 2014 she began writing YA fiction as D. G. Driver with the release of Cry of the Sea. Also published by Fire and Ice Young Adult Books is her YA romance novella Passing Notes, and Whisper of the Woods (the sequel to Cry of the Sea) will be released in November. You can learn more about her writing at her website: http://www.dgdriver.com.
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