Review: The Girl from the Sea by Molly Ostertag

Molly Ostertag’s THE GIRL FROM THE SEA brings together both fantastical and very real emotions and events in a graphic novel that addresses first love, hiding one’s true self from friends and family, and coming-of-age. The fantastical arrives in the form of Keltie, a selkie without inhibitions — but with a secret. The very real involves Morgan Kwon’s parents who are recently divorced, her friends who don’t “get” her, and her abrasive little brother. Morgan’s life brings this all together as she falls in love with Keltie, but refuses to share her new relationship with anyone around her. Heartstrings are pulled, and readers will root for the girls as their relationship develops and grows.

With Ostertag’s signature illustration style, we can’t miss when someone is distressed or annoyed or embarrassed. And most characters express themselves directly, or over texts that move the plot along. Morgan’s nervousness about letting her friends and family know she is gay is palpable, especially when it confuses Keltie and threatens to separate the girls. Even the seals (including baby seals!) are expressive throughout the story, and readers will also root for them and their home.

As Morgan becomes more comfortable with Keltie, readers will hope that she finds the courage to bring her relationship public. When an outside threat needs to be addressed, Morgan must gather the strength to face the judgment and lack of privacy she fears. The novel is poignant and deeply in touch with adolescent emotions throughout. THE GIRL FROM THE SEA is a graphic novel that will demand multiple readings.

Highly recommended.

About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to car culture, dealing with leaving a career I loved, and spouting off along the way. Do The Most Good.
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1 Response to Review: The Girl from the Sea by Molly Ostertag

  1. Lauren Becker says:

    I just love graphic novels and this sounds beautifully done. It’s one I do want to read.


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