Book Review: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

Posted June 10, 2015 by love2dazzle in Reviews, Young Adult / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from the Publisher on Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah OcklerThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
Published by Simon and Schuster on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Adolescence, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Mermaids, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher on Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon

From the bestselling author of Twenty Boy Summer, a talented singer loses her ability to speak after a tragic accident, leading her to a postcard-perfect seaside town to find romance.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” by Sarah Ockler is my first experience to Ockler’s writing. This story is loosely based off of “The Little Mermaid.” Ockler took this adaption (it isn’t really a retelling) and made a real and relatable story to it. Elyse is a beautiful young girl that has lost her drive for life. She used to be a very talented singer and was planning on becoming famous with her twin sister Natalie. However all of her dreams went up in smoke. Elyse is now afraid to go into the ocean and she no longer has her voice after a terrible accident. Losing her voice ment that Elyse lost her future career and passion.

I will be honest, I picked up the book because I thought it was going to be about mermaids. That is what the title implied. When you read the synopsis and then the book you find out that the story is supposed to be an adaption of “The Little Mermaid,” which is one of the biggest mermaid connections. Another one is the fact that Elyse’s grandmother sends her fairytale books about mermaids.

I think the biggest thing that I was disappointed in with this book has how Sebastian is portrayed. He is a six-year-old boy who is interested in mermaids. It seems like the book tries to make this way more than it is. Instead of just being a six-year-old boy who is interested in mermaids, he is made out to be so LGBT situation. Just because the little boy is fascinated in mermaids doesn’t mean that he is “gay”. Can’t he just be a little boy who finds an interest in mermaids? Even Elyse starts calling Sebastian “her mermaid queen.” What is the need for this? Mermaids aren’t only girls, there are merman too and kings not just queens. No, this isn’t taken into an account. I think it is wrong. That doesn’t portray good morale at all. A six-year-old is just learning who he is, I don’t think one interest defines the rest of his life.

The writing just didn’t seem to do it in this story. I feel like to much of the story was trying to include diversity and LGTB in it that the rest of the story was lost. I think it is great to have diverse books but when you are trying too hard to be a diverse novel is when there is a problem. It shouldn’t seemed forced or taken away from the story and I felt like that is what happened here. I think the writing could improve a lot for Ockler. I can definitely say that I didn’t fall in love with this story.



About love2dazzle

Ali Kiki is a reader, writer, reviewer, blogger, and photographer in Portland, OR. An avid reader since childhood, you can usually find her devouring a book or stalking the bookstagram hashtag in her lovely apartment surrounded by books. Ali has been blogging since 2006 and she created Dazzled by Books in 2012. Her most recent adventure is making bookish candles for Stub Tail Candle Co., which are sold on Etsy.

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