Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2023) Featured Review of The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh
Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: February 22, 2022
ISBN: 9781250780867

In this retelling of a classic Korean folktale, sixteen-year-old Mina sacrifices herself to the Spirit Realm to save her brother’s beloved from the same fate. Mina then begins her quest to wake the Sea God to end the sacrifices of young women and stop the storms that are destroying her homeland. She meets many demons, gods, and spirits, both friend and foe, along the way.

This atmospheric fantasy adventure provides lush descriptions that will transport readers to the magical Spirit Realm. Mina is fiercely loyal and brave, a main character that readers will want to root for, while the unique minor characters add their own charm to this steady-paced mythology tale that dissects the theme of fate versus destiny. This story is told through Mina’s first-person narrative, providing an insight into her actions and memories of her grandmother’s stories that help her navigate the Spirit Realm and her pursuit to wake the Sea God.

Fans that enjoyed The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi’s rich and descriptive world-building and the animated Japanese film Spirited Away will appreciate The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea.

Allison Riggs

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. 

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.