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When Seventeen-year-old Juniper Sawfeather accompanies her environmental activist father to document damage at a reported oil spill, she discovers three bodies washed up on the beach, struggling to breathe through the oil coating their skin. At first she thinks they must be surfers, but as she gets closer, she discovers that these aren't humans at all. They're mermaids. And they aren't like the mermaids she's read about in fairy tales. Now begins a complex story of intrigue, conspiracy, and manipulation as June, her parents, the media, a marine biologist (and his handsome young intern), her best friend, the popular clique at school, and the oil company fight over the fate of the mermaids. Can she protect the mermaids from being exploited? Or killed?