I have only one question: why the hell did it take me so long to read this book?
The sea holds many secrets …
Kevin Luong walks to the ocean’s edge with a broken heart. Remembering a legend his mother told him, he lets seven tears fall into the sea. “I just want one summer—one summer to be happy and in love.”
Instead, he finds himself saving a mysterious boy from the Pacific—a boy who later shows up on his doorstep professing his love. What he doesn’t know is that Morgan is a selkie, drawn to answer Kevin’s wish.
As they grow close, Morgan is caught between the dangers of the human world and his legacy in the selkie community to which he must return at summer’s end.
Seven Tears at High Tide was CB Lee’s debut novel (she is also the author of one of my favourite books, Not Your Sidekick). I read about it, I downloaded it ages ago, and I finally decided to get my butt in gear and read it. And OH BOY!
First of all, the world building was fantastic. I was already familiar with the selkie myths, but I think that the mythology was clear enough that even those who aren’t would be able to understand it pretty easily. According to Wikipedia:
Selkies are mythological creatures found in Irish, Scottish, and Faroese folklore. Selkies are said to live as seals in the sea but shed their skin to become human on land. Myths often have to do with humans falling in love with selkies. Sometimes the human will not know that their lover is a selkie, and wakes to find them returned to their seal form. In other stories the human will hide the selkie’s skin, thus preventing the selkie from returning to its seal form. A selkie can only make contact with one human for a short amount of time before the selkie must return to the sea. The selkie is unable to make contact with that human again for seven years, unless the human steals their selkie skin and hides it or burns it.
Isn’t that a fantastic myth? I’m surprised that I haven’t read a modern re-telling before, actually. It was really interesting as well that CB Lee transferred this traditionally Irish myth to California. It seemed to work really well!
Secondly – Kevin and Morgan were SO CUTE! Kevin is a 16 year-old bisexual and Asian boy, and Morgan – well, is a selkie. Now, this is literally insta-love – Morgan is able to read Kevin’s heart, and instantly realises that Kevin is a person who he loves. I can totally understand why that would annoy some people, but I found it absolutely adorable. There was no unnecessary drama in their relationship (other than the obvious). The book basically consisted of two soft adorable bi boys being soft and adorable, and it was absolutely lovely.
I did feel that the end was a little bit rushed – there’s a bit of a twist, but for me it was resolved a little too quickly and neatly. If it had been drawn out a bit more, I think it would have really improved the novel. However, I would without a doubt recommend Seven Tears at High Tide. It has quiet #ownvoices representation of Asian culture and bisexuality, and it is one of the most adorable things I have ever read. I’ve found that there’s quite a dearth of books about bisexual boys, but this is a great place to start.
NB: This is my choice for the Asian lit bingo square LGBT+ Asian MC