From Kat Leyh, best known for Lumberjanes, comes this story of three mermaids who use a spell to turn into humans and party on land for one night – so they think. Pearl, Tooth, and Eez wake up the next morning in an alley with a wicked hangover and the realization that they don’t know the spell to turn them back into mermaids. Vivi, the bartender from the night before, takes pity on them and takes them in. There’s a stipulation, however. Pearl and Tooth must get jobs to pitch in with rent while Eez figures out how to turn them back. Can they make it on land, or will they go back to the sea? Will they even want to?
This wasn’t one for me. I tried and failed to get into Lumberjanes at the suggestion of a coworker, but it just didn’t work for me – and neither did this one. The premise is trashy, in my opinion. The three main characters desperately want to go on land… to get drunk? I can understand the desire to experience things on land, but surely there could have been other ways of getting them there other than a desire to party. Then again, I’m not the target audience for this book and have never been a drinker, so this could be just me.
Now, this DID get better as it went on. It became a sweet story of acceptance, openness to new experiences, and making your own “pod” – or found family, for those who don’t speak mermaid 😉 It touches on issues such as body dysmorphia and anxiety. There is excellent LGBTQA+ and POC representation. The fantasy aspects of the story take second place to the “real world”, interpersonal, and inner conflicts of the characters.
I never felt like I got past the initial premise, so the second and third acts weren’t as effective for me as they could have been. Teens and young adults will likely take no issue with this, and find it uproariously funny to boot. They will fall head over heels for the characters, all their struggles, and all the ways they hold each other together.
Leyh, Kat. Thirsty Mermaids. 2021.