“Juniper Sawfeather is choosing which college to attend after graduation from West Olympia High School next year. She wants to go to San Diego to be far away from her environmental activist parents. They expect her to think the way they do, but having to be constantly fighting causes makes it difficult to be an average 17 year old high school student. Why do her parents have to be so out there? Everything changes when she and her father rush to the beach after a reported oil spill. As they document the damage, June discovers three humans washed up on the beach, struggling to breathe through the oil coating their skin. At first she thinks they must be surfers, but as she gets closer, she realizes these aren’t human at all. They’re mermaids!Now begins a complex story of intrigue, conspiracy and manipulation as June, her parents, a marine biologist and his handsome young intern, her best friend, the popular clique at school and the oil company fight over the fate of the mermaids.”-Goodreads Synopsis
Cry of the Sea Review
I’m (wo)man enough to admit that my thoughts went “girl with long dark hair from Washington and a supernatural creature… alright, where’s the sparklies?” and I died a little inside at the thought. However, it was immediately obvious that Juniper Sawfeather is an interesting character, not the perfectly bland “Insert yourself” here that we’re all aware of.
Instead of what I was dreading, what I got was a book that talked honestly (without being overbearing) about the dangers of oil spills and protecting the environment. I also got a main character who, while going through your typical teenage growing pains, was strong and willing to stand up for what she believed in. Yeah, she made mistakes, but who doesn’t? She also tried to fix her mistakes on her own, and that shows character.
The book also has the typical high school characters, including its very own set of Mean Girls. I refuse to believe the author didn’t have this movie in mind when she named one of the characters what she did. Young love is included, too, but thankfully D.G. Driver doesn’t go straight to hearts-stars-and-love-you-forevers, but instead the typical, awkward attraction that is much more believable.
Overall, Cry of the Sea is wonderful book by an author with some serious talent under her belt. I loved that it addressed very real concerns, but was also written in such a way that you sympathized with the main character and her run-of-the-mill teenage troubles at the same time. It is definitely true to its YA heading, though, and people who fall outside of its intended age range may view it as a little too ‘dramatic’ , but the YA world needs more strong female characters in it, so I’d say D.G. Driver is doing a fantastic job.