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 is another book that I read for Asian Lit Bingo. I really enjoyed Not Your Sidekick (review here) by the same author, and one of my favourite mythical people are selkies, so I knew I would read Seven Tears at High Tide sooner than later.
It’s an #ownvoices story.
I love this book so much! Seriously, I was really scared going into it because I had such high hopes for the story, and usually my expectations aren’t met. But they were!
The writing style is present-tense and third-person, which is a style I’ve only seen in C. B. Lee’s work. It took me some time to get used to it. I really enjoy this writiing style and think it suits her books very well.
The worldbuilding is stunning. The selkies have their own traditions and their own culture. They are able to communicate with the Sea and have their own words for certain human words. I’m a huge fan of reading about how a non-human would view the human world and which words they have for their own daily lives, so this was a highlight for me. The worldbuilding was structured so flawlessly, I could really tell that the author had spent time creating the fantasy aspect of this novel.
Morgan’s mother is a Selkie, and his father is a human. It was interesting to see him explore his human side, seeing that he had never met a human before meeting Kevin. It was also interesting and, at times, funny to see him discover more about the human world (e.g. condoms). I thought that both of the choices that he had close to the end were awful, neither was better than the other, and this really got to me. I was so invested in finding out which he would end up choosing and was very happy with the solution.
The romance is so cute here. Kevin already knows he’s bisexual, so it’s not a coming-out story. It’s a story of somebody who doesn’t fall in love at first sight, slowing easing into a relationship with someone who has fallen in love at first sight. It’s very adorable!
Seven Tears at High Tide is a beautiful story with one of the sweetest romances I’ve ever read. Huge recommendation from me! I’m hoping for a sequel as I would love to know if some of the penguins that Morgan met were shapeshifters – he thinks about this himself and I really want to know.
And if you need something other than my review to convince you that this book is adorable, check out the book trailer.
Have you read Seven Tears at High Tide? What did you think of it? Have you read other books by C. B. Lee?