Title: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
Author: Sarah Ockler
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publication date: June 2nd, 2015
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…
“Half-woman, half-fish, she perched atop the world with flaming candles in each hand, her body draped in blue silk. She was the queen who’d fallen to the sea from the sky in search of her lost love.
Once, she was made of starlight.
Now, she was water.”
Let me tell you one thing: this is one of the most underrated contemporary/summer-y novels I’ve ever read! It was incredible, and fantastic, and I did not expect to like it as much as I did. It was a self discovery novel, with a great message and.. you guessed right, mermaids (even though there weren’t actually any mermaids, but still it was a very important focus trough the story).
Summer’s already here and I need my quick, contemporary books that give me all the summer feels. And this one gave me those! And what I loved the most is that despite being that fuffly, cute contemporary story, it treated important topics, such as self love, friendship, family and mental health.
“When you don’t feel like talking, no one can force you, no matter how many stories and secrets might be locked inside.”
One thing I didn’t know when I started this book is that there is a diverse main character in it. She’s from Trinidad & Tobago, and I found it so interesting and unique (I’ve never read a book with a character from there) that I was super excited. Thoughout the story you could see hints of her culture, which was super cool. And Elyse also had a physical disabilty along with a PTSD. When you started the book you knew that she suffered a mayor accident that made her lose her voice, and she can’t talk nor she will. Also she experienced a PTSD caused by that accident.
I really liked Elyse as a main character. She was very real and transparent, and an artist. You could see her struggled throughout the story to try to change herself and her past. Kirby, her cousin, was so supportive (well, basically all her family)
But I believe my favourite character of all of them was Sebastian. He was adorable and a very strong child. He loves mermaids and doesn’t care what anyone thinks, and the support he offered the main character despite his very young age was beautiful.
“That’s what happens when you see yourself through someone else’s mirror, Elyse. You build your dreams for them, ignoring your own heart. One day you’ll wake up and wonder how the fire went out.”
It also deals with sexism and labels, and it’s very well done in my opinion. There were certain scenes where you saw that it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy and like mermaids or if you’re a girl and loved sailing. There’s no sex when it comes to things that you love, and I really loved that message (because it was SO TRUE).
Also the romance was very cute. When I started I didn’t know how I was going to be feeling about it, but I have to say I enjoyed it more than I thought I would be.
But my favourite of favourite things was MERMAIDS. I love mermaids, and somehow, despite this book being a contemporary and not fantasy, it’s very focused on those mythical creatures. And let me tell you I adored that! There’s the fact that the book was a very loose retelling of The Little Mermaid, but that’s not what I mean. I really don’t know how to explain it without spoiling anything, so you have to trust me on this one!
If you’re looking for a summer-y book that’s easy and quick but still has something deeper than a fluffy romance, I totally suggest you to pick this one up!
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