Emerge by Tobie Easton
Publication Date: April 19th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 300
Format: e-ARC

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.

This YA story about Mermaids, specifically the descendants of the Little Mermaid, is a wonderful fantasy.  A refreshing, fun story about what happens when worlds collide…and how the heart wants what the heart wants!

Lia is a Mermaid living in the human world because the Mer world is at war.  She lives by strict rules, most importantly, no one is to know she’s Mer and no one is to see her fins.  Easy enough…since she’s good at transforming her tail into legs and keeping them that way and she’s only got a couple of human friends.  But, of course, as you and I know, when something is going too well we can usually expect trouble.  In this case it comes in the form of another Mermaid who’s just moved into Lia’s world and has some sinister plans up her sleeve.  From the moment she enter’s Lia’s life, and begins to date Clay, the guy that Lia has secretly liked for years, strange things begin to happen and the adventure begins.

I loved the world that the author created, how she was able to introduce Mer terminology and customs into the everyday interactions and lives of the characters.  I enjoyed seeing behind the curtains, if you will.  Getting a peek at how Lia and her family straddled the line of fitting in with humans while still maintaining their Mer lifestyle.  Lia was a great character.  A fierce, intelligent girl who’s willing to do what it takes to ensure her friends are safe.  Her sisters where sassy and fun as well.  I really liked Caspian and would love to get a story about him.  He’s definitely leading man material!  And, of course, I loved Clay…poor sweet Clay who has the biggest adventure of all but doesn’t always know it!

Overall, this was a fun, quick read.  It felt wonderful to be back in a truly YA environment where all the feelings were intense yet innocent and where the drama comes from the bad guys.  If you like fantasy, and especially if you like Mermaid stories, this is definitely a book you’ll want to read!

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