I wanted so desperately to like this book. I just want a good YA romance series with mermaids, and I found the first entry to be enjoyable enough. I especially loved the addition of selkies to the mix and the ensuing selkie-mermaid-human love triangle. And the fact that Tempest was full of girl power.
I really struggled to get through this one though, almost from the beginning. I hate to call it boring, but it must have been because I rarely struggle like this. Part of my frustration was that Deebs uses italics when they're having mental conversations with each other but doesn't specify "he said" or "she thought." I often found it difficult to keep up with conversations because of that. (There often weren't any line breaks in the e-galley I read either during these mental conversations, so I seriously hope that at least that will be fixed in the street edition.)
Another frustration I had was with the world-building. It wasn't as big an issue in the first book because a majority of the plot happened on land (even in selkie-ville they go up to an island castle), whereas a majority of this one was in the water. Deebs talks about breathing with gills. Great, fine, makes sense. But then Tempest is getting tea at an underwater tea shop, and it just wrenched me right out of the story because I was thinking, "Wait, how does that work? How do they keep the tea out of the ocean? How does she get it into her mouth?" Then my mind wandered off on tangents about mermaid restroom habits. (I mean, they take showers and use the restroom in human form, so...) I had the same problem when she went to bed. "Wait, how do you sleep in your bed without floating up to the ceiling? And while we're at it, how exactly do you make out with your boyfriend without both of you floating off the bed? And when someone walks in on you, does the water stop the door?" (And off I went on another tangent. Would they have some sort of special water-lock doors so they can have air-filled rooms and use legs?) I grew most irritated (and the previous tangent was reinforced) when Tempest went to a meeting and she floats down the hall but then "steps" into the room. "How do you step with a tail?!" Okay, all of this is making me wonder if it wasn't that I was bored but just frustrated beyond belief instead.
Plot wise, once the story did get going it seemed to spiral out of control. Suddenly Tempest and Kona were acting outside of their characters as I had understood them from previous book. Tempest's motivations were unclear. I wasn't sure why she cared so much about mer politics or about her human ex-boyfriend. (That was particularly annoying. The only motivation I could see was to add in a senseless love triangle and have Tempest treat two decent guys like crap.)
I don't know if I could face a third installment. Like I said, I enjoyed the first one, but this... Ugh.
The fine print: received ARC from NetGalley.