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360 pages, Kindle Edition
First published October 29, 2013
Amid danger and the heartbreak of her missing mother, falling for a human boy is the last thing Nerissa should do.Aaaaaaaaaaand...what does she do? *cues "Kiss the Girl"* You guessed it.
I’m what most humans would call a sea monster. I’m the sea serpent that historians have written about for years, the fiend that has capsized whole ships and devoured sailors by the mouthful.Nerissa does not have pretty pretty perfect hair and adorable little cute fishy tails. In her true form, Nerissa is not remotely anything resembling human, she is truly a sea monster, and it is wicked awesome. I loved the myth of the Aquarathi. I enjoyed the tale of how they came to this planet, how they adapted, and their history as they evolved. I like the fact that they are not lovely, wondrous sea creatures, I like the fact that they are different, and I so wish the book would have dwelt more on that instead of the utterly insipid romance between Nerissa and Lo.
The scales are a pale bluish-purple color, oozing iridescent fluid along their edges. I recognize them [...] immediately. But it isn’t just her scales in the box, it’s her crown...the same elegant ridge of spikes and fins on her forehead that mark mine—the mark of an Aquarathi queen.The plot had a lot of promise...but again, it was overshadowed by the idiocy of the romance between Nerissa and Lo.
The entire thing has been flayed off her scalp.
“But we’ve stayed here and done nothing while so many died, and all you want to do is forget about who you are, to become like these insipid humans. You’re stupid and blind. And selfish.”Nerissa is a wimp, but she admits her faults, and she wants to be better---she wants to be the sort of Queen her people deserves. Nerissa understands her failings. She knows she has been a spoiled princess, she understands her people's lack of trust in her and her ability to assume the throne.
“Don’t you speak to me like that!” I hiss. “I am your—”
“My nothing,” Speio says dully, his eyes wet with tears, gesturing to the landscape around us. “You are a princess of nothing. A princess of rocks and mud and death.”
Looking back, I was far more trouble than I was worth. Our people faulted him for being so indulgent and not taking a firmer hand with me, saying that if he couldn’t control his own child, how could he control his people? Put it this way—when I left, no one missed me. After all, as the humans say, no one mourns the wicked.Nerissa is a complex, imperfect heroine that I could relate to. Until she falls in love with Stupid.
...the oddest-colored eyes I’ve ever seen—a bottomless blue, as if he’d leached the color straight from the depths of the ocean.And Lotharius's hair. It's...I don't even know what color it is. Every color but blue, it seems.
I must have imagined the strange, nearly navy color, or it must have been some trick of the sunlight, because on closer inspection, his eyes are more dark than light, almost blue-black.
...the fading sunlight makes his wet hair look like burnished metal. His hair is such an odd color. It’s not reddish-blond like mine, but it’s not gold or silver, either. It’s more of a mix of the two. The only thing I can think of to describe it is wet sand.Lo is wealthy. His parents are dead. What did I say before? It's so fucking dangerous to be a parent in YA literature because the chances that you would die is roughly 90%. He's a teenaged deliquent. Lo ditches class to surf. He makes fun of the principal's accent. He calls the poor man "Borat" because of his misfortune of having an Eastern European accent. He gets Nerissa's phone number from nowhere. He practically stalks Nerissa.
“Jenna, you can’t even imagine how bad,” I seethe. “He honestly thinks he is God’s gift or something. I mean, I swear he has rocks for brains. First of all, who would cut their first day to go surfing and show up not in uniform and make fun of Cano almost to his face? An idiot, that’s who.”OK. SO WHY THE FUCK DID YOU FALL FOR HIM? Jesus Christ, Nerissa SEES Lo's faults, and throughout the book, there is little about Lo that redeems him in my eyes. And so it is with the utmost frustration that I watch my wonderful heroine fall for someone not worthy to lick the bottom of her aquarium clean.
It’s not Ehmora that will be the death of me.NO. NO. NO. AN EVIL CRAZY SCALPING BLOODTHIRSTY QUEEN IS OUT TO GET YOU. FOCUS ON HER. NOT ON THE BOY.
It’s this boy.
WARNING: This book contains instalove. The protagonist falls head over heels for the love interest in less than 10% of the novel for some undeniable and yet inexplicable reason. And after that, 90% of the protagonist's thoughts and actions concern this undying love. It will be insufferable. You will hate it. Stay away.
I could never fall for a boy like Lo. He's too self-confident and too amused all the time, like everything is part of some big joke.
"He's so self-absorbed, it's insane. He practically followed me here after the game."
It irks me that he looks entirely too comfortable.
Lo is still completely arrogant.
the fiery feeling still licking through my entire body at Lo's nearness.
My attraction to this boy is skyrocketing with each passing second and the attempt to calm my nervous energy is only making me focus on it more.
And who knows what that might have turned into—me climbing on top of Lo and having my way with him or...
His simple touch ignites a flame in the pit of my stomach that spreads through my chest and into my limbs like wildfire.
I'm drawn to [his eyes] like water.
he's not interested.
I'm not the one with the bipolar mood swings.
"Because you intrigue me. There's something so different about you. You're not at all like any of the girls I know."
She won't betray us. She can't. Or she'll have to die.
It's not Ehmora that will be the death of me. It's this boy.
Because one thing's for certain... if I don't, I'll die.
The laws of human attraction are new to me.
Just before I walk into the classroom, I glance over my shoulder. Lo's eyes are deep and piercing. I feel the weight of them hovering, watching. Holding me motionless as time, too, stands still. I force myself to peel my gaze away from his compelling stare, making my feet obey weak commands to enter the classroom... the one in front of the other, like a drone. Something hot pulses across the back of my neck, racing across my body, and I can't even think.
It's not Ehmora who will be the death of me.
It's this boy.
I stare blindly at the ocean, considering all the reasons that I don't like [Lo]. I hate the way he looks at me as if he knows me, when he knows nothing about me at all. I hate the way he talks, the way he looks, and the fact that everyone—including my own best friends—seems to adore him. I hate the way he smiles so easily at anything Jenna or Cara say, when all he can do is snap mocking comments at me. I hate the way he makes me feel with one glance as if all the water in my body is electrified and I can't breathe. I hate how he surfs, and how his lips curve into a lopsided smile when he's happy. I hate everything about him, especially his stupid lips.
Ignoring the tiny shiver coursing through me at the thought of Lo's lips, I sigh and swallow past the knot in my throat, watching him laugh easily at something Jenna says. Suddenly, I realize that I'm envious because, deep down, I want him to be that way with me.
And then the truth hits me like a curling wave.
I don't hate him at all.