[Book Review] The Girl from the Sea

Book Cover for The Girl from the Sea

Title: The Girl from the Sea
Author: Molly Knox Ostertag
Genre: graphic novel; ya fiction; LGBTQ fiction; young adult romance
Synopsis: (From Goodreads) 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. 

Review: 4 stars

This was a really cute coming-of-age and coming out story. Morgan is an honest and sweet protagonist. She’s stuck on a small island and afraid of what coming out will mean for her family, her friends, and the people on her island. When she meets Keltie, she struggles with throwing caution to the wind and just being herself. It takes a lot for that to pass.

I loved the way the writer created the storylines and used the texting in a group chat to make it feel very teen-forward.

I wasn’t expecting a selkie when I purchased this, but that lore was fun to dive into also, even though they don’t go too in depth on the history and mythology. Keltie the Selkie made me laugh a little. She was a fun character who spoke her mind, did what was right, and even though she was super black and white to start, she started to figure out how her own humanity fits in with others, a little.

The little brother’s story arc is faint, but there, and I liked how that developed after he out’d his sister (not cool at all). The friction between the two siblings felt very real for me. I didn’t grow up in a divorced home, like Morgan and her brother, but I grew up in a single-parent home, and there were times (too many) when we tried to use secrets against one another to be on mom’s good side longest. That felt super real to me.

Overall, I think this will be a great addition to my classroom library.