Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Review: Summer of Chasing Mermaids

Author: Sarah Ockler  
Publisher: Simon Pulse  
Pages: 368  
Review Copy: Digital ARC via Edelweiss

Summary via Goodreads: 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 . . .  

Author Summary: Sarah wrote a fun post on her blog that describes the book and also shared a bit about writing it.

My Review: This was a perfect summer book. First, there is the cover. The beach, shells, fun colors and real people that match the characters in the book. The setting worked too. It's summer at the beach albeit a cold beach. I hadn't read a romance for a while either so this was truly a winner.

I have to say, the summary put me off a bit. That description of Christian as an insolent and arrogant bad boy made me roll my eyes a bit and want to skip the book. I think the word mermaid and the cover were the saving grace at that point.

Fortunately, I ignored my concerns and dove in anyway. This book is more than a quick light romance between an innocent young girl and the notorious playboy. Ockler shares a unique story of a young woman finding herself after her world has turned upside-down. Elyse had believed her voice was her future and now she has to figure out who she is without her singing.

Elyse finds her way slowly and painfully. She's is surrounded by many people who are supporting her.  I loved meeting the community in Atargatis Cove. Lemon, Elyse's boss and mentor, allows her to have the space and time that she needs. There were many characters that appealed to me. I even appreciated Christian's little brother. He loves the mermaids and even wants to dress up as one. At that point, gender roles and expectations become an issue for Christian and his family. 

That's what worked in this book. It isn't simply a romance. It isn't only about a girl physically unable to speak. The story is way more complex than that. This isn't a light and fluffy book though there are moments that had me belly laughing. Readers can expect to find many things to ponder in this lovely novel.

I will be recommending this one to many readers. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is the first Sarah Ockler book that I've read, but it will not be the last. If you're looking for a romance with some substance, grab yourself a copy this summer, you won't regret it. If you aren't convinced yet, visit a few more of the reviewers on the book tour.

Author Info: 

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of six young adult novels: Twenty Boy Summer, Fixing Delilah, Bittersweet, The Book of Broken Hearts, #scandal, and The Summer of Chasing Mermaids. Her books have been translated into several languages and have received numerous accolades, including ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, Girls’ Life Top 100 Must Reads, Indie Next List, Amazon Top Movers and Shakers, and nominations for YALSA Teens’ Top Ten and NPR’s Top 100 Teen Books. Her short works have appeared in the anthologies Dear Teen Me and Defy the Dark.

She’s a champion cupcake eater, tea drinker, tarot enthusiast, night person, and bookworm. When she’s not writing or reading at home in the Pacific northwest, Sarah enjoys hugging trees and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex. Fans can find her on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and at

1 comment:

  1. Excellent review. I'm definitely ordering this one for my library now!