Seventeen-year-old Marei lives on Alabaster Island, a remote tropical isle inhabited by twenty-one families. Nobody under the age of eighteen has ever left to visit the mainland. The island and its strange customs are all that Marei and her friends know.
For years, Marei dreaded The Binding. On that day, each teen must write his or her choice of life mate. But with childhood sweetheart drowned long ago, Marei has no boy in mind. And so she leaves her paper blank. This sets off a chain of events that ruptures the bedrock of her life and leads her to question the only home she’s ever had.
She encounters a mermaid, beings thought to have gone extinct. The mermaid tells Marei to leave the island and offers to help. When a handsome teen from the mainland becomes stranded after a supply drop, Marei falls in love. Her secret plan to flee becomes an obsession.
But the mermaid has a hidden agenda of her own. Now Marei must confront the shocking reality that lies beneath island life. The choices she makes threaten to upend her fate and that of her island community forever…but only if she can escape alive.