cover image The Sea in You

The Sea in You

Jessi Sheron. Iron Circus, $15 paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-63899-111-3

When a beach clean-up project takes a bizarre turn, high schooler Corinth confronts a reality in which mermaids are real in Sheron’s debut, a haunting take on “The Little Mermaid.” Though she has a loving family, which includes her Deaf mother with whom she communicates via ASL, Corinth has few friends and is often made to feel unlovable by her emotionally abusive boyfriend, Seth. She feels most at peace listening to music by the ocean while she picks up garbage washed ashore. During one of her cleanups, singing coming from the sea compels Corinth to walk into the water, where she meets a fearsome blue mermaid named Skylla. As their friendship develops, Corinth must contend with Seth’s gaslighting and isolation tactics and her growing feelings for Skylla—especially when Skylla suddenly becomes human. Sheron’s expressive character designs feature a wide array of body types and skin tones; Skylla’s supernatural physiology, including the way her hair frills when she’s startled and the added drama of her whiplike tail while experiencing heightened emotions, makes for a refreshingly menacing take on the mermaid mythos. Ages 13–up. (Mar.)