Reviewed by Aaron Schoepf
Out of the Blue
By Jason June
Out of the blue by Jason June is a perfect crossover between queer YA and fantasy. Crest is a merperson, and absolutely loves the Blue(the ocean). However, they must complete their Journey. They must come up to above the water for a moon cycle(about one month), help a human(ew), get their Journey mark, and then at the end of their Journey, finally return to the Blue. Although they absolutely hate the idea of it, they know they must. Humans are disgusting, vile creatures who they don’t want to touch with a ten-foot pole. They get their human name(Ross) and rise to the surface.
Then there’s Sean. A lifeguard who absolutely loves filmmaking, swimming, and his boyfriend, Dominic. All that changes however when Dominic decides to break up with Sean in order to date his old best friend. His life is completely upended, and no matter how many times his best friend calls Dominic a “bag of dicks”, Sean is willing to do whatever it takes to get him back.
That’s when he meets Ross when they wash up on shore, thinking they're a drowning victim. Ross is rude, a little mean, and totally closed off from being close to any humans. However, Sean takes that as a challenge, and starts to try and break down Ross’s walls. The opposite happens however, and Sean confides to Ross about his situation with Dominic. He wants to win him back, but he has no idea how. Then they notice something. Anytime Dominic sees Ross with Sean he gets almost…jealous. That’s when Sean gets an idea. Fake date Ross and get Dominic so jealous he comes crawling back! Sean creates a month-long film shot list of every moment Sean will make that causes Dominic to come back to Sean. Him kissing Ross in front of Dominic, holding hands in front of him, laughing. It’s perfect. And it’s perfect for Ross too, they help this human get his boyfriend back and then he can go back to the blue and forget it ever happened.
But then Sean sees Ross’s finn. He’s dumbfounded by the prospect that his fake-partner is a mer. And that they even exist! Now Sean is determined to make sure the plan works so that Ross can get home safe and sound. But as their relationship[ progressed and they moved from simply touching to kissing, Ross realizes they really like kissing. And Sean realizes that he really likes Ross. As things quickly move from second to third base both of them can’t deny it any longer. They actually like each other. A lot. But Ross needs Sean to get back with DOminic to get back to the blue. And Sean wants Ross to get back to their home. So their relationship is a ticking time bomb no matter what choice they make. So what’s the right decision for the both of them?
Out of the Blue is a story of first heartbreak, learning to love, and innocent curiosity. It’s a must-read for any Queer person and ally.