ARC review: Thirsty Mermaids by Kat Leyh

I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

Fresh out of shipwreck wine, three tipsy mermaids—Pearl, Tooth, and Eez—hit on the idea of magically masquerading as humans and sneaking onto land to indulge in much more drinking and a whole lot of fun right in the heart of a local seaside tourist trap. But the good times abruptly end the next morning when, through the haze of killer hangovers, the trio realizes they never actually learned how to break the spell, and are now stuck on land for the foreseeable future. Which means everything from: enlisting the aid of their I-know-we-just-met-but-can-we-crash-with-you bartender friend, struggling to make sense of the human world around them, to even trying to get jobs with zero skill sets . . . all while attempting to somehow return to the sea and making the most of their current situation with tenacity and camaraderie (especially if someone else is buying).

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This was a seriously wholesome comic about a pod of three tipsy mermaids venturing on land but not knowing how to get back because they’re stranded (hah) in a coastal city without magic to turn back into their original bodies. I think saying more than this would spoil the fun, and while this might not work for everyone, it did work for me with its mix of humor, tender found family feelings and captivatingly honest art.

I really loved the casual diverse rep: the mermaids have different body types, there’s queer and trans characters of color, there’s anxiety (and depression?) rep. Despite its overall wholesome feel, the comic doesn’t shy away from showing difficult moments, but it’s at its heart a hopeful story that took me by surprise and I would recommend checking out if you’re into diverse graphic novels.

TWs: getting drunk, discussion and portrayal of body dysmorphia, accidental almost-drowning that can be interpreted as the character being suicidal

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