Friday, May 29, 2015

Review: The Summer Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

The Summer Chasing Mermaids

Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: Hardcover, 368 pages
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: June 2nd 2015


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 .


There is peace in acceptance. Death in it, always. Inevitable. With the acceptane of one thing comes the dying of another: a new belief, a relationship. An ideal, a plan, a what-if. Assumptions. A path. A song. Consider: Pregnancy dies upon birth. Plans die upon action. Dreams die upon waking.

The Summer Chasing Mermaids is a book about dreams, broken and new one, relationships, choices and loosing but more importantly finding ones own voice.
If I had one word to describe it: BEAUTIFUL would be my choice.

Everything about this is incredibly beautiful. Simply everything. From the descriptions, the setting, the character building, the pose. This is a book that touched my heart on a very personal level.
Not because I have anything specially in common with any of the characters. No not at all. Well, except we all are on a continuous journey of finding our own voice. It is a reminder, that while life can be cruel and difficult. There is always something beautiful in it as well.

The storyline is slow but set in a good pace. In fact the pace is just perfect. There is enough dwelling on details to feel their importance and there is also fast-forwards when it is needed in the story. The mystery about Elyse's situation started grating on me at about 70% - all the hinting at it, seeing the consequences but never actually knowing until nearly the end, was getting frustrating. When it was revealed though- it all made sense. It isn't as huge as I thought for some reason, but Elyse's behaviour suddenly was even more understandable.

This is probably character driven, though the journey is the story. For me the group of friends and Elyse were a pleasure to discover. The character building is done superbly. I adore Christian, love the girls, like Noah and my favourite was Sebastian. He is just the best. I feel not only did I get to know Elyse, I got a glimpse of her soul. In fact all of them felt real and I totally connected.
My only issue were the adults. They were all a bit extreme and at times so one dimensional. Which stood out starkly in compare to the young people, who were written so superbly well.

The best part of this though by a mile is Ocklers's prose. Each page is poetry, her descriptions,again I can't find another word but: BEAUTIFUL. Her insight and her message in this are a clear thread throughout the book and add to it’s beauty. I don’t think I have the words to accurately describe how much Dixon’s art - because her use of words can not be called anything else - has affected and moved me. This was the first novel I read by Ockler. I am in awe of her talent and am looking forward to reading many many more works by her.

For me this is a definite must read this summer. A story about love, dreams and finding your voice, that will leave you inspired.

Favorite Quotes:

"You can't put a condom on your heart"

For all the strength of men
And the divine power of his goods
But for a spell in a pale blue dream
Not even the wisest among them
Can harness the silver moon
Nor cease with thoughts or words
The beating of their fragile hearts


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