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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 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.

256 pages, Hardcover

First published June 1, 2021

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About the author

Molly Knox Ostertag

38 books1,646 followers
I grew up in the forests of upstate New York, where I spent the first half of my childhood reading about fantastical adventures and the second half acting them out with foam swords at a live action roleplaying camp . I graduated in 2014 from the School of Visual Arts, where I studied cartooning and illustration, and I currently live in Los Angeles. My artistic interests include women in fiction, fantasy and sci fi, superheroes, and history.

I illustrate a twice weekly webcomic called Strong Female Protagonist with co-creator Brennan Lee Mulligan, which was listed as one of io9's Best New and Short Webcomics when it launched in 2012. I ran a successful Kickstarter in the summer of 2014 to print the first volume, which was distributed by Top Shelf comics and is now available in stores and online.

I'm currently working on a graphic novel with First Second named Shattered Warrior, coming out in Spring 2017.

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5 stars
14,256 (40%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,824 reviews
Profile Image for s.penkevich.
784 reviews5,394 followers
May 11, 2022
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.


Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,178 reviews2,240 followers
January 20, 2023
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.
Profile Image for daph pink ♡ .
921 reviews3,028 followers
June 28, 2022
I understand Morgan's point of view and how she feels about first loves, coming out, and friendships.

I really liked this book, even though the plot was a little predictable, but the art style rescued it and got it an extra star. It was stunning, eye-catching, and flawless.

The personalities were honest and real, as well as vivacious.

Overall, a very enjoyable, intriguing, and charming book..
Profile Image for aly ☆彡 (sick).
346 reviews975 followers
November 15, 2021
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 hopefully there will be a sequel for it ♡
Profile Image for Sofia.
266 reviews6,184 followers
December 12, 2021
Serotonin. Pure serotonin. I AM FEELING EMOTIONS.
Profile Image for Mohadese.
366 reviews951 followers
February 14, 2022
اولین ریویوی سال ۲۰۲۲! 😁🏳️‍🌈
خُب بذارید یه راست برم سر اصل مطلب، درجه‌ی کیوت‌نِس این کتاب انقدر بالاست که دلم می‌خواد بهش ۵ بدم! امااااا واقعا در حد ۵ نیست و ۳ تاکمتر هم گناه داره! 😂😂 پس بهش ۴ می‌دم.
☆ ۴ ستاره‌ی نقره‌ای ☆
داستان خیلی ساده‌ست، دخترای نوجوونی که عاشق هم می‌شن اما هر کدوم با یه سری مشکلات دست و پنجه نرم می‌کنن. دقیقا همون‌طور که از داستان‌های نوجوان انتظار می‌ره ��ا وجود کلی دراما تو کتاب بازهم پر از عشق و امیده. به مشکلات نوجوونا و فکراشون تو سن بلوغ اشاره می‌کنه، بهمون اهمیت خانواده و دوستان رو یادآوری می‌کنه، یکم مسائل محیط زیستی هم داره.
تصویرپردازی و داستان کتاب رو دوست داشتم، بی‌نهایت ساده و سریع (سرعت اتفاقات) بود اما دل‌نشین هم بود.
× sometimes you have to let your life get messy. That's how you get to the good parts.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,625 reviews5,070 followers
November 9, 2021
This was so sweet and gorgeous, and a little bit heartbreaking. A queer girl hiding until she can move away meets a Selkie who's been watching her from afar, and they form a slightly reluctant relationship as Morgan comes to terms with her own queerness. The art in this book is absolutely stunning and Morgan and Keltie are precious and lovable every inch of the way. I loved some of the tropes that were subverted (such as the seemingly stereotypical "snobby rich girl" turning out to be very different than I expected her to be) and I loved Morgan's relationship with her brother and their mom. All in all, a super precious read I highly recommend.

Representation: Morgan and her family are Asian, Morgan and Keltie are queer/sapphic

Content warnings for:

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Profile Image for Coco Day.
101 reviews2,401 followers
January 27, 2022
sweet story and beautiful illustrations :)) love the lesbian representation too!

the story was pretty basic as lgbtq+ stories go, apart from the magical element, but i thought the ending made it better
Profile Image for Maia.
Author 26 books2,080 followers
September 20, 2021
A very sweet queer fairytale with a gentle environmental bend. High schooler Morgan has been struggling recently- her parents are newly divorced, her little brother has been acting out, and she's hiding her queer identity from everyone even her close friend group. One night when walking the sea cliffs near her home on an island she stumbles, hits her head, and falls into the ocean. Just when her life is flashing before her eyes she is rescued by Keltie, a selkie girl who claims Morgan is her one true love. They kiss, and begin dating in secret. But their relationship isn't the only thing both girls are hiding. As the summer unwinds they have to make some hard choices, including whether they can forgive each other after a fight. Beautifully drawn and wholesome.
Profile Image for Jeremy.
720 reviews43 followers
February 8, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.3k followers
June 21, 2021
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.
Profile Image for jut.
472 reviews166 followers
June 13, 2021
"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!
Profile Image for Leo.
4,247 reviews385 followers
February 25, 2022
This had me sqeeling of happiness and I loved every minute of it. I could gush kräver this for days but I don't have much interesting to say. More than I loved it and I recommend it for everyone!
Profile Image for elea ☆.
328 reviews41 followers
February 20, 2023
Such a beautiful book about love, friendship and sacrifices. The art was stunning, the romance heartbreaking and it was gay sooo... 😳
Profile Image for Prabhjot Kaur.
1,039 reviews141 followers
September 25, 2021
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. Then 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
Profile Image for Marci.
406 reviews141 followers
October 18, 2022
this was so adorable!!!!🤩 the art was amazing and I flew through the story. It made me so happy.🥰
Profile Image for Lily Lu.
70 reviews14 followers
May 12, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Anya Smith.
195 reviews181 followers
December 13, 2021
(4.5*) such a cute sapphic graphic novel! I dropped the rating half a star because it was a bit insta-lovey and the word lesbian is never used, only ever gay. Overall a really good read, and the art is stunning!
Profile Image for  ⛅ Sunny (sunnysidereviews) ⛅.
305 reviews113 followers
August 8, 2021
3.5 stars!

I really liked this one! The selkie concept was quite enthralling. However, the world building was done very poorly. Where there any other mythical creatures? Can the selkie gene be passed down? Questions like these were unfortunately left unanswered. In addition, our main protagonist Morgan is relatively flat. Keltie was such a unique character though! I adored them! The art is also done very well. It's crisp and detailed. Overall, The Girl from the Sea is a youthful coming of age story that I recommend to all the fantasy lovers out there!

Recommend Reading Age: 14 and up
TW: Drowning accidents, familial arguments
Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,824 reviews

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