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 has a little bit of everything that makes it so spectacular: a heartmelting and utterly adorable romance, characters that are sweet and lovable, a mixed family with one of the most lovely dynamics I have ever read, and selkie mythology with a twist. Not convinced quite yet? Let me tell you more.
Seven Tears at High Tide follows Kevin Luong whose loneliness and heartbreak spurs him to make a wish for happiness and love to the sea. His wish comes true rather unexpectedly in the form of a boy by the name of Morgan — who is a selkie sent to fulfill Kevin’s wish. For a story with such bittersweet undertones, I could not think of two better protagonists than Kevin and Morgan. They were delightful characters, and some of the sweetest and most sensitive boys I have read about in YA fiction. Some of their conversations between them made my heart burst with adoration — and made me squeal. (I don’t squeal, ever, when I read romance. But hell, I squealed reading this.)
The love that blooms between them is one of the purest romances ever, and is made of all the good and beautiful things in this world. Despite his wish, Morgan does take Kevin by surprise with his sudden visit, and the way they navigate this together is realistic and sweet. With its blend of selkie mythology, Lee gives the Morgan and his selkie family depth and develops the mythology. While I loved Kevin, I also loved Morgan and his character development as he questions his duty to the sea as a selkie and what it means to fulfill someone else’s wish.
The narrative held so much innocence, the best kind of homage to young love and the wonders of youth. The storytelling told of the joys and the sweetness of summer love but also had its heavier and weightier moments. Either way, Seven Tears at High Tide is charming and wonderful because it balanced its highs and lows whilst remaining genuine and earnest.
Representation in this book is absolutely wonderful. Kevin is bi Chinese-American (which is stated explicitly in-text!) and he lives in a mixed household, with his Chinese father and white stepmother. There are no jealous or evil stepmothers in this story though nor is his sexuality an ‘obstacle’ for the family; Kevin’s family is supportive, incredibly kind, and super cute. Going hand-in-hand with Kevin’s healthy family dynamic is its discussion and inclusion of safe sex – to the point of being a little overeager. Some of Kevin’s friends are also queer, and there are some light discussions about their sexualities.
Indeed, Seven Tears at High Tide is a cute and fun story, but it is also a thoughtful exploration of love, what it means to love fiercely and the difference between being in love and falling in love. Seven Tears at High Tide is one of the most stress-free books I have read; intended to be a simple romance, it delivers in every way possible at just that. Well-rounded, utterly adorable and incredibly charming, Seven Tears at High Tide promises a blissful and relaxing reading experience that will hit all the right spots.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Is this book for you?
Premise in a sentence: A boy makes a wish to the ocean for a summer of love and happiness and his wish is granted: in the form of a selkie.
Perfect for: Readers who want a stress-free and relaxing read, a gorgeous romance, and like a bit of mythology.
Genre: Young adult, fantasy/mythology, romance
Recommended? Absolutely yes!
Trigger/content warnings: None
- Have you read any other books with selkie mythology? What do you think about selkies?
- When I say ‘a relaxing book’, which book do you think about?
- This book had a fantastic m/m romance! What are some other great m/m books with awesome rep?