Friday, September 2, 2016

Review - The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
Series: Standalone 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Published- June 2015
Hardcover - 403

Rating - 4/5

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.

This story grabbed me right off the bat. There were a lot of elements beyond just the romance to keep me interested. Not only was this a fun contemporary romance with a diverse cast of characters, but it is a retelling of The Little Mermaid as well. If the synopsis didn't grab me, the cover was going to. It is a beauty. 

The main character, Elyse, has lost her ability to speak and a lot of her confidence in an accident. She is brave and throughout the book I admired her spirit and drive. Throughout the book I felt Elyse's sense of loss and longing for her home, her family and her voice. All of those things, while not all are permanently lost, are beyond her right now and I think Ockler did an awesome job making that feel very real. She faces all of this in a brave but believable way and I loved it.

The romance was just what I wanted. It was fluffy and cute, but important to both people. I liked Christian, as a character, too. Even though he is set up to be the typical player, he had some depth that kept me interested in his story as well as Elyse's. The whole cast was diverse and interesting and I loved them. 

There were a few things that didn't work as well for me though. The story is sluggish at times and I found that annoying. There was also a strange paranormal element to this story that seemed to pop up only at convenient moments. I didn't understand why that even existed in the story. It threw me off whenever it came into play. 

Overall this was a very fun summery read that was perfect when I picked it up at the beach. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a fun contemporary read!

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