After Bruno tells his story, or the story of his people, Summer has a “Mirror Moment.” According to James Scott Bell’s book Write Your Novel From the Middle, the Mirror Moment is when the character looks inside (or actually looks in a mirror) and recognizes who she really is. Once she does this, she can decide to change or not change.
So Summer looks into the swirling pool and reflects that she’s been using her shark attack as an excuse to not live (or whatever) and that she really would like to live, and if she has to be a shark to do it – seize the day before it seizes you.
She probably says something witty, like “See you on the other side,” to Bruno and jumps in the pool.
She is transformed into a Saber shark, complete with hair loss and change of skin color. But oh, she can swim and she’s sleek and powerful. She’s powerful. Maybe Summer is not powerful before? Her slight disability has allowed her to create a self-image of weakness. Oh, I can’t swim with the sharks, because I’ll be eaten. Oh, I can’t walk without my cane, because I could fall. I can’t talk back to (stand up for my rights) Professor Katz, because he’ll flunk me and I’ll be out of a job. There’s foreshadowing of her desire to change when she is “talked into” getting into the cage. Screw this teasing, I’ll get in your stupid cage and I’ll rock it.
Faced with a death she truly fears (being eaten or drowning), she chooses life.
Of course, if that’s the Mirror Moment, then this jumping into the pool is the middle of the book. Which means there’s something both heroes need to tie up for the ending to happen.
Perhaps not everyone died on the boat and they know Bruno’s secret? Is this a shark coming out story? Will there be a delegation of Saber sharks to the UN to lobby for the end of shark hunting/testing? No more shark fin soup. No more laboratory dissections. No more fear?
I suspect this is just the story of a girl who was bitten by a rare shark who has a moment of self-realization and turns into a shark.
The Saber shark’s urge to be left alone or stop shark cruelty is too big of a story (at this time).
Bruno does his job, and does not have character growth – or maybe he does a little. He realizes that this particular scientist is not out to kill sharks so he changes his belief that all scientists are bad. But he still will eat her without any hesitation if she doesn’t become a shark – destined mate or not.
And the mate thing – that’s the romance aspect of the story, and I’m not feeling it, so it’s just mentioned but not shown as a real subplot.