Today I’m reviewing EMERGE by Toby Easton, a new release from #Month9Books.
ISBN 13: 9781942664918
Release Date: April 19, 2016
Lia Nautilus may be a Mermaid but she’s never lived in the ocean. War has ravaged the seven seas ever since the infamous Little Mermaid unleashed a curse that stripped Mer of their immortality. Lia has grown up in a secret community of land-dwelling Mer hidden among Malibu’s seaside mansions. Her biggest problems are surviving P.E. and keeping her feelings for Clay Ericson in check. Sure, he’s gorgeous in that cocky, leather jacket sort of way and makes her feel like there’s a school of fish swimming in her stomach, but getting involved with a human could put Lia’s entire community at risk.
So it’s for the best that he’s dating that new girl, right? That is, until Lia finds out she isn’t the only one at school keeping a potentially deadly secret. And this new girl? Her eyes are dead set on Clay, who doesn’t realize the danger he’s in. If Lia hopes to save him, she’ll have to get closer to Clay. Lia’s parents would totally flip if they found out she was falling for a human boy, but the more time she spends with him, the harder it is for her to deny her feelings. After making a horrible mistake, Lia will risk everything to stop Clay from falling in love with the wrong girl.
I’m not huge into mermaid stories, though I did like The Little Mermaid quite a lot. (Of course, Disney had to take the dark out of it to make it “kid” friendly, but that’s another post altogether.)
I really liked Emerge a lot. It’s a fantastic story about survival, love, right and wrong, sacrifice. All the awesome themes for a great fantasy novel.
Lia is a mermaid completely out of her element due to the mer-wars. She is a refugee who’s grown up on land, trying to fit in with the human society, and doing everything she can to hide who and what she really is while trying to fit in. She’s doing ok until she’s told she has to jump in the pool during swim class. If she does, her legs would turn to fins and everyone would learn she’s not who everyone thinks she is. Lucky for her, this hero, Clay, comes to the rescue and saves the day. Like a typical teen, Lia develops a strong attraction to Clay, and he to her.
But she’s a mermaid, and he’s human. For Lia, it’s a match that can never be made even though she wants it. And it would not be good for Clay if she got too close. I do have to say that Clay is super amazing. What a great book boyfriend!! Too bad the villain didn’t see things the same way. Mel Havelock, the “other girl” … omgosh, this chick is something else. Every girl who’s ever had a crush on a guy that’s dating another girl can relate to this entire “relationship”, and the intense desire to rip someone’s eyes out.
But Lia didn’t. She shows an amazing amount of restraint, while trying not to let her heart shatter into a million pieces.
I liked Lia as a heroine. I like that she doesn’t have everything figured out. She makes mistakes. Lots of them, and she learns from each one. I did find the plot a bit predictable, but I loved it just the same.
I completely related to this story on so many levels. Seeing the guy you want to be with but can’t be with for various reasons. The love, the heartache, the angst, the humor. That feeling of everlasting love. Having your first crush.
Knowing it can never work.
It’s all here, in this beautiful, neat little package called, EMERGE.
I give it two thumbs up and 4.5 stars, mainly because of its predictability, and because Lia got on my nerves a bit. Neither one of those were deal breakers, but they did cut down on the stars by ½ point. I thought there was a lot of action, fantastic world building, and wonderful character development. I will definitely be waiting for book 2 … with fins on. 🙂
I received an ARC of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.