Among the recent spate of mermaid books this easily stands as the darkest, even though romance remains the main thrust of the story.
Tempest, aptly named, must choose between life on land or in the sea when she turns 17. As seems usual in these stories, her mother was a mermaid who has returned to the ocean. Tempest experiences stormy emotions and frequent sudden bursts of anger as she faces what may not be a choice after all. If it’s a choice, why has she grown gills on her neck? Tempest is an excellent surfer with a wonderful boyfriend, Mark, but when she meets Kai, a strange new surfer, she feels an instant and strong attraction. Kai turns out to be a sea creature too. He’s trying to protect Tempest from an evil sea witch when lightening nearly kills him. To save his life, Tempest drags him to the sea then plunges into the ocean to follow when other creatures swim away with him. She swims to a magical kingdom where she and Kai do battle with the witch and find her mother. Deebs dispenses with the suspenseful battle quickly and returns to the romance, described in an increasingly Harlequin-esque style, and adds an intriguing, possibly sequel-ready, ending.
An exciting-enough story, seriously overdone, which many young readers will love. (Fantasy romance. 12 & up)