Ashraf never thought he could fall in love. So when he falls hard and fast for marine biologist Jamie Singer, it’s a shock to the system—in more ways than one.
Even if he can wrap his head around what love is and how relationships work, Ashraf’s not sure this is viable. He’s hydrophobic. And Jamie’s entire world revolves around the sea. What’s the point of trying if so much of Jamie’s life is inaccessible to Ashraf?
But Ashraf has vastly underestimated the pull of loving Jamie. For the first time, he wants to face the water, rather than flee from it. He has underestimated the power of love in making people brave, stupid, or a little bit of both.
Maybe it’s time to take a leap—and sink or swim.
Overall Rating: 10/10 stars
Arthur’s Review: 5/5 Stars
There are a lot of things about this book to love. The relationship between Jamie and Ashraf is adorable and sweet and makes me so happy. Ashraf’s being stealth – we don’t see a lot of stealth trans characters. At least, I haven’t seen a lot of them. Jamie’s being nonbinary – their family treats them with such respect and it’s beautiful. Their niece coming up with a nonbinary way to refer to them was the cutest thing. The way that Jamie and Ashraf navigate Ashraf’s asexuality – how it’s never a question of Ashraf having to have sex for Jamie’s sake and Jamie respects Ashraf’s sexuality and never tries to force him into anything and doesn’t brush off his concerns.
And Ashraf’s hydrophobia is handled so well.
Due to trauma from his past, Ashraf can barely get near a pool, let along huge bodies of water. Jamie’s studies, however, have a lot to do with large bodies of water. Ashraf wants to be able to share such a huge part of Jamie’s life with them, but he isn’t sure if he’ll ever be able to get past that fear. But he is determined to work at it.
What I loved most about this was that Jamie’s love didn’t magically fix Ashraf. He wasn’t cured of his fear just because he loved Jamie and they loved him. He has to take slow steps towards his goal, and he deals with setbacks and worries, as anyone would, and I just felt the whole thing was handled so well.
Overall, this book was absolutely brilliant.
Laura’s Review: 5/5 Stars