Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant -- until Celia meets Lo.
Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea -- a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid -- all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality.
When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul.
Continuing to recast classic stories in a dark, contemporary setting, Pearce offers a haunting version of The Little Mermaid, set in the same world as Sisters Red. Lo used to be human, but she barely remembers that life, growing more accustomed to living undersea with her "sisters" as an "ocean girl." Lo has been told that the only way to regain her soul is to make a human boy fall in love with her and then drown him. When a teenage guitarist named Jude falls into the ocean, Lo saves him and meets Celia Reynolds, who has the psychic ability to read a person's past. Celia sees Lo's former life as Naida (a girl with connections to a character from Pearce's Sweetly), and as both girls fall for Jude, "Naida" is no longer content to remain an ocean creature. As with Pearce's previous books, the sibling relationships in this story are just as dominant as the supernatural elements. Lo's struggles with her inhumanity, her two selves, and the expectations of Celia, Jude, and her sisters are especially poignant. Ages 15 up.
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