The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
published on June 2nd 2015 by Simon Pulse
young adult | contemporary | romance | retellings
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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 . . .
*I received a digital review copy for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*
Thank you to Simon Pulse for providing me with an advanced copy for review.
This book, you guys. THIS. BOOK. It’s the holy-shit-my-brain-just-died kind of amazing. This is not a hyperbole–I’m a hundred percent serious.
First off, we have such an amazing heroine, Elyse. She’s from the Caribbean and is a person of color, and she lost her voice in an accident that happened before the events in the book. Aside from being an amazingly diverse character, Elyse also proved to be such a strong, supportive and realistic main character. You are going to love the way she cares for other people so wholeheartedly, and how she works so hard to achieve her goals. She is going to be your next role model.
All the other characters were just as lovable and incredible as Elyse was. We have Christian, Elyse’s cocky but charming and very ambitious love interest. At first you’ll have your doubts about him, but once you really get to know him, you’ll fall for him as hard as
I did Elyse did. There’s also Sebastian, Christian’s younger brother, who just wants to do what he wants without being judged. He was such a sweetheart, and I can’t decide who I want to marry: him or his older brother!
This book may seem light at first, but it’s actually pretty deep and covers a lot of issues, including sexism, misogyny and many others. I especially loved that these issues were tackled in a The story was just enhanced by Sarah Ockler’s heartfelt and gorgeous writing. (Believe me, I was actually interested in the little poetry this book had!)
Oh, let’s not forget to talk about the romance. Elyse and Christian don’t get along at first, but when they did, they formed such a deep connection with each other, the kind of connection that we readers can feel as well. This was the kind of romance that made me swoon, cry, and basically run out of breath. I ship these two so hard
even if I want Christian for myself. And this book’s also pretty sex positive, which I always appreciate in YA. There’s also female masturbation in it, in case you were curious.
Bonus points because this book is a loose retelling of The Little Mermaid, which I adore.
The gist of this review is that you must read this book. Or else we can’t be friends.
book edition: eARC
graphic © Aimee (Deadly Darlings)
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Aimee loves being a little bookworm (okay–she doesn’t like being little). She also loves chocolates and sweets but is freaked out by the thought of possibly getting diabetes.Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | all of Aimee’s posts →