The New York Times bestselling illustrator of Blue is the Warmest Color, Julie Maroh, and Lambda Award-winning author Alex Sanchez (Rainbow Boys), present a new coming-out romance set against the backdrop of the DC Universe. Jake Hyde doesn't swim-not since his father drowned. Luckily, he lives in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, which is in the middle of the desert, yet he yearns for the ocean and is determined to leave his hometown for a college on the coast. But his best friend, Maria, wants nothing more than to make a home in the desert, and Jake's mother encourages him to always play it safe. Yet there's nothing "safe" about Jake's future-not when he's attracted to Kenny Liu, swim team captain and rebel against conformity. And certainly not when he secretly applies to Miami University. Jake's life begins to outpace his small town's namesake, which doesn't make it any easier to come out to his mom, or Maria, or the world. But Jake is full of secrets, including the strange blue markings on his skin that low when in contact with water. What power will he find when he searches for his identity, and will he turn his back to the current or dive head first into the waves?
High school senior Jake Hyde, who is black, dreams of the ocean while stuck in the desert town of Truth or Consequences, N.Mex. While his childhood best friend, Latina Maria Mendez, who is in love with him, wants to stay close to home, Jake hopes to move to Miami and study oceanography. Jake's mother discourages any contact with water, which proves difficult when he develops feelings for blue-haired swimmer Kenny Liu, of Chinese descent. Around Jake's romance with Kenny and friendship with Maria, Sanchez (Rainbow Boys) weaves the story's stakes, which involve mysterious "birthmarks" that illuminate when Jake makes contact with water. With Kenny, Jake encounters water, starting with a desert flash flood that reveals Jake's latent hydrokinesis and sets him on the path to discovering his father's history. Though background moments (Superman flying overhead, the news mentioning Aquaman) hint at the book's connection to the DC universe, the narrative offers the slimmest of consequences to Jake's character when his ties to that world are revealed. Illustrations by Maroh (Blue Is the Warmest Color) offer clarity in emotional moments, such as when Jake reveals to his mother that he knows about his powers. Clear paneling in muted blues and taupes keeps the story's pacing strong, highlighting water as a vibrant character integral to Jake's metamorphosis. Ages 14 up.