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June 9, 2020

You Brought Me the Ocean by Alex Sanchez ~ a Review

by MK French

Jake Hyde doesn't swim because his father had drowned. Living in New Mexico has few opportunities for swimming, though he yearns for the ocean on some level and applied for college in Florida despite his mother's urging to stay safe. He's also very attracted to Kenny Liu, the swim team captain. The markings on his skin glow blue in contact with water and is an oddity he can't explain. Does he hide all of this, or does he embrace all of himself?
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

You Brought Me the Ocean
June 2020; DC Comics;  978-1401290818
ebook, print (208 pages); YA graphic novel
Julie Maroh does the art on this graphic novel, and it's beautifully rendered in what looks like watercolors. Dreams of the ocean are all in layered blues and the real world in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico are earth-toned. Jake's mother is very much a worrywart, and his best friend Maria lives next door. He hasn't quite realized that Maria is crushing on him, or that he is crushing on Kenny. There is also the fact that his birthmarks glow, and that as time goes on he can actually manipulate water.

Jake has powers and is gay. He isn't sure how to deal with either truth, so this is a story about accepting all aspects of his identity. This includes sexuality as well as his heritage, and when that's revealed it explains his mother's extreme fear and worry about him. 

He's no hero, just a high school boy facing the choices that high schoolers have to face. This makes it a story that many teens, particularly LGBT ones, will be able to identify with. It's difficult to figure out who you are, and the additional struggles add to the stress that Jake is going through. He can't do it alone, and it's only by seeking out his support system that he can figure out what to do with his life.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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  1. sounds like the author dealt with an intense subject in a good way
    sherry @ fundinmental

  2. This looks like a beautiful graphic novel. I love the artwork style