The Neptune Project by Polly Holyoke
Published in 2013 by Disney Hyperion.
Nere has always struggled with her breathing. Her vision is terrible and she struggles breathing where she runs too much. Her mother works with dolphins, and both women are able to communicate telepathically with the dolphins.
In the middle of a government crackdown, Nere finds out that she and some of her friends were genetically altered at birth to be able to breathe water, which explains why their lungs are so weak. Her mother finishes the procedure and Nere and her friends Lena and Rorby go underwater. As they say goodbye to her mother, government officials come and attack. The teens escape, but just barely.
Shortly after their harrowing escape from government officials, they meet up with another band of teens that are a part of the Neptune Project. They team up to work together to reach the colony that Nere’s father is building. Along the way, the meet more teens and work with Nere’s dolphins to stay alive. In addition to all of this, they have to survive sharks and other marine predators.
It wouldn’t be a dystopian book without a love triangle. Nere does a good job of realizing in the beginning, that she has to survive before she can worry about relationships. Unfortunately, one of the members of the group she works with has other ideas and keeps using his telepathy to steal into Nere’s deepest thoughts. She tries to state that there are boundries that cannot be crossed, but he doesn’t seem to care. Another group member, Tobin, the medic, is also having chemistry with Nere, but he is focusing on waiting until they are safe before trying to start a relationship.
This book has lots of action, each character has a distinct personality, and even with the love triangle, there is only kissing.