Friday, 29 May 2015

Review: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 2nd 2015
My rating: 3 stars  

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 was once again another beautiful read by Ockler, it really was a lot more of a deeper heart breaking read, but this didn’t in anyway take away the enjoyable reading experience from it one single bit.

Elyse moves from the Caribbean to live with her aunt in the States, she’s left her family behind but having been through so much, it’s a break the Elyse has needed for some time. Elyse can’t speak, she was a super talented singer and her and her sister had the chance to make it really big, before something happened and took everything away from her. I liked how Ockler didn’t give us the back story into Elyse’s accident straight away, but were given small flashbacks into Elyse’s life before she moved. I appreciated this a lot, as it gave you the chance to understand Elyse’s character more and when something did kick off, appreciate why she would react in that way. It was a really unfortunate accident, but despite not being able to speak, Elyse was able to put across what she was feeling and thinking in numerous forms eloquently. She was a talented writer, so had gorgeous songs/poems you would find written, but also not having a voice she didn’t let this her hold this back, when she wanted to put a point across, she did so anyway that she could, there were quite a few stubborn people in this story, but Elyse wasn’t one to back down and I truly admired her for this.

Elyse happened to arrive at her aunts during a pivotal moment, with her experience of the water, Elyse could end up saving a lot of things being taken away from her aunt and to residents of the cove, but in order to do so, Elyse needs to be able to put away some of her demons, It’s a lot to ask for in such a small amount of time, but it’s either put her trust in someone she doesn’t know or lose everything in the process.

I loved that Elyse had another chance at taking the water on by taking part in the pirate Regatta. As you’re not really clued into why Elyse has to love and fear for the water at the beginning, you sort of find yourself rooting for her to do well. You want her to overcome her fears, to help her aunt and also Elyse will be able to spend a lot of time with charming Christian Kane. Christian had been around with a lot of the girls at the cove; he had a bit of a reputation, but when he was around Elyse, he sort of changed and you get to see a vulnerable side to him, that he didn’t really show pretty much anyone. So I liked how taking part in the pirate Regatta enable both Elyse and Christian to be there for each other in more ways than one. The journey that Elyse and Christian experienced was truly an epic one, one that I think all readers would come to appreciate.

Ockler was able to balance out some deeper, darker story lines with some funny moments really well. She wrote about Elyse’s accident and the way Elyse dealt with the aftermath afterwards beautifully that I was fully able to experience just how much of hard time Elyse had to go through. Elyse wasn’t the only one that had a hard time to deal with; again Ockler was able to give us subtle insights into other characters troubled lives eloquently. Like I said before everything isn’t all heartache in this story, there’s a great set of secondary characters that Ockler includes, and these are pretty much the people you need by your side all the time. Sebastian to name one of the few quickly became a favourite!

Overall The Summer of Chasing Mermaids was a gorgeous story; you truly have to admire Ockler’s ability to go all out on so many different aspects within this story, whilst at the same time weaving such a poignant story. Fans of Ockler will not be disappointed with this latest instalment.

Thank you to Nick and Danielle for reading this with me!


  1. I've heard so much about this book recently and nothing but good news from it. I have to say I haven't read anything by this author but from they way she expresses her characters and the story-line it's certainly something for me to watch out for. Great review, Jasprit. :)

  2. I rated this much higher than you did, but I'm still glad you enjoyed the book. I loved all the characters so much! I need to re-read this over the summer.
    Lovely review, Jasprit!

  3. I am reading some good reviews for this. I need to try this author, I know I know... Happy weekend.

  4. The consensus on this is mostly favorable, which of course makes me itch to get hands on it. I like a non-caucasian heroine for a change and if the writing successfully blends so many different secondary plots, that much better! Wonderful review as always, Jasprit :) Enjoy your weekend!

  5. I actually couldn't get into this one, but maybe I needed to read further in

  6. Stunning review Jasprit. <3 I have seen this book a lot lately. I'm curious :) But not for me. But I'm glad you liked it sweetie :D Even if it wasn't perfect ;p And yay for reading other books by this author too. <3 You do make this book seem pretty interesting :) Thank you for sharing about it sweetie. <3

  7. Lovely review, Jasprit! It took me some time to get used to Elyse's voice, but eventually I was completely sucked in. She was a great character, and I really felt for her struggles and wanted her to overcome them. I wish there were more contemporary, loosely-based retellings out there!

  8. I've read a couple good reviews for this one. It's not normally something I'd pick up, but I am curious. Seems good for the summer!

  9. I've seen mainly mixed reviews about this one, it does sound like a cute, fluffy novel for the summer though. Even though it did have it's flaws, I'm glad you could enjoy some parts of it though - wonderful review overall. <3 Benish| Feminist Reflections

  10. Oh now I feel bad about DNFing this one! This sounds really beautiful with lots of heartbreak...I at least wanna know why Elyse lost her voice!

    Thanks for the review Jasprit!

  11. Lovely review, Jasprit! I absolutely love the cover! I plan to read this soon. Such an interesting take on The Little Mermaid.

  12. I really like Ockler's writing style, how she can cover darker, more serious topics while still keeping it light enough that you don't get mired in the darkness. Those touches of humor work so well! This is on the ereader...gotta get to it!


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