The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler | Book Review #105

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The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them . . .”

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is such a cute read.There’s a lot of meaning in this book. People have listed this book as a retelling, and while I can understand that, I’d like to think that the retelling of the story wasn’t the main plot of the whole book.

There’s a lot of diversity in this novel, which is truly amazing. I love reading books where the main character isn’t your typical Trade Mark White Girl. And aside from the retelling of this story, which by the way, was so blended into the story that I didn’t even realize that it was a retelling until the end of the book! Aside from the retelling, I would’ve categorized this book as any other YA Contemporary Fiction novel.

I liked Christian’s and Elyse’s relationship. Together they’re great, and apart they’re equally great. If that makes sense, haha. What I’m trying to get at is that they bring out the best in each other. They challenge each other, in such healthy ways. They push the others buttons, for them to do more, in a safe way that a lot of YA books don’t normally have. Their love for each other, I feel like is one of the true loves. The two of them only want whats best for the other.

Elyse as a character was…different. Because Elyse can’t speak, she’s different right to begin with. And we see Elyse struggle with her inability to say what she wants to. Which only means that when she can communicate, what she has to say, is something that she has mulled over, so what she says is absolutely 100% Elyse. Elyse goes through so many struggles in this novel, that I feel like Ockler could really write another short novel about the story of after. The story of after The Summer of Chasing Mermaids ends.

As much as I liked this story though, it didn’t really garner my attention. Like, the story, the plot, everything was good. I liked it enough, but The Summer of Chasing Mermaids wasn’t -isn’t- my favourite. I don’t expect this book to be my favourite, either. But at the time I read this book, in between reading lots of Fantasy novels, I can appreciate what Ockler was written: a very realistic book about healing, and bringing out your inner voice.

“The girl who’d written volumes on the walls but never said a word.”

Thank you for reading my review of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids. If you wish to check out this book on GoodReads, you can do so by clicking the cover below.

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Thanks again!

Adele

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