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When seventeen-year-old Ocean O'Malley's family moves to the windswept shores of Prince Edward Island, she discovers more than just beaches and a mysterious hot neighbor named Sam. Sure, there’s the usual new-girl-in-a-small-town stuff—near kidnappings on the beach, popular girl hate-pranks and gym class bullying. And even a painkiller-induced hallucination where she may or may not have seen Sam turn into a seal. Seriously. Grown, questionably naked hotties do NOT just turn into seals.
But when Sam lets her in on his secret, she discovers that something of hers is missing. Something she didn't even know existed. Her mother has lied about it and years ago her father disappeared with it. Sam’s father wants it—is willing to kill for it. And only when she first slips beneath the salty waves with Sam does she truly discover what that something is.
This young adult paranormal is similar to an underwater HUSH HUSH, set on the northern Atlantic coastline. It introduces a selkie world of magic and intrigue, and is a beach read with a dark twist.
Though Ocean O'Malley loves to swim, she isn't happy to be moving from Toronto to Prince Edward Island. It doesn't help matters that the 17-year-old is attacked on her first night on the island, though she's rescued by Sam O'Brien, her attractive new neighbor from Ireland. As Ocean and Sam become close, he reveals that they are both mythical creatures known as selkies, and that his dangerous father is looking for them both. As Ocean struggles with these revelations, the race is on to find her selkie skin, which her father hid in order to protect her. Canadian writer Dunne (Dependent) builds on Irish lore to create an intriguing mythology, though it's not fully explained (particularly with regard to the way that "time moves differently" for selkies, as well as their custom of luring humans into the sea to live as "sex slaves"). Ocean has a believable voice and is a well-rounded character with fleshed-out relationships with her family, particularly her mother. Her story is marred, however, by the fact that, on multiple occasions, Sam steps in to save Ocean from sexual assaults. A sequel is planned. Ages 14 up. (BookLife)