DiscoverYoung Adult

Fish Out of Water


Loved it! 😍

This story brought the true meaning of friendship to play, and taught a girl what it means to deal with grief in a way that was needed.

Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Reedsy Discovery, and Young Actors Project for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.

This is the first novel that I picked to review after getting accepted to be a reviewer for Reedsy Discovery. I would say it reminds me of BookSirens – which reminds me I still have to catch up on some books there, I know – and there are so many other books that I’ve never heard of from there that I get to read. Seeing that this was pitched as a little mermaid story somehow really made me want to read it because of the mermaid aspect, but I may have been a little off. Despite not having actual mermaids in this novel, I still really enjoyed this novel.

First of all, I was really sad at what happened with Marina’s mom, and how much grief the dad was in because of it. It sucked because I don’t really think that the dad’s grieving process was all that healthy, and the way that it affected Marina in the aftermath was even worse. Marina’s dad was a freaking rock star, and growing up surrounded by music and performers and all that jazz, it’s honestly no wonder that Marina loves to sing and is freaking great at it. So when her dad basically forbids her from singing – like she can’t even sing at school????? – she feels like she’s missing a part of herself. Which I totally freaking get because that’s something that she’s actually passionate about, you know?

The fact that she legit has to hide the fact that her friends want to take her to see a live freaking band one night is ridiculous. She can’t even go listen to a BAND play. She’s not the one singing in the band. She’s just in the audience. That’s how strict her dad is, and to make matters worse her keeps drilling this whole swimming career into her mind and it’s stressing her the heck out. I just feel terrible for Marina when I think about her having to deal with her dad and that kind of stuff that he puts her through.

I was reading another review when I made the decision to read and review this one, and someone mentioned that Marina’s friends were part of a book from this series that came out before? But this is supposed to be the first novel in this series? So I was confused about that, but either way I really liked the friendship they had with Marina, and even though they did get her to disobey her father sometimes, I still think that they were really there for her when she needed that friendship and just some time to decompress. Sometimes a little rebellion is needed in order to grow up, and I feel like it worked out in Marina’s favor a little bit here.

Reviewed by

My favorite genres are Fantasy, Dystopian, Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi, & Contemporary. I mainly read Young Adult. I identify as an #OwnVoices Reviewer for Japanese, Chamorro, Chinese, Spanish, Cherokee, Korean, Black, Fat Rep, Mental Illness, Bisexual, and Disability Representation.

Just an Illusion

About the author

Jennifer Sommersby writes YA and middle grade fiction. When not buried in a project of her own, she works as a freelance copy editor. A recipient of a 2019 British Columbia Arts Council Creative Writers grant, Jenn is working on her next YA project. (She also writes romcoms as Eliza Gordon.) view profile

Published on December 20, 2019

Published by Young Actors Project

70000 words

Genre: Young Adult

Reviewed by