Friday, July 31, 2015

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids - Sarah Ockler

Published: June 2, 2015
4 out of 5 stars

“It was one thing to have your own kind of hope, an ember you could nurture inside, something to inspire you when things got dark. If it died, it was on you; no one else even had to know about it, and you were free to reignite it, or to give up and walk away. But when you were carrying it with another person, for another person, it was a dangerous dream. Treacherous as the sea, yet fragile as a bubble."

Elyse, our beautiful heroine from Tobago has runaway from her past and stowed herself away at Atargatis Cove, Oregon with distant family. Her past can't escape her though, because a tragic accident took away her voice, along with all her hopes, dreams, and plans A through Z. On top of that, there's a guy, Christian, who shouldn't be able to bring out all of her secrets, but he does. Together they help each other, Christian with his family and Elyse with her past.

I won't give away the story, but there's mermaids, boats, racing, an adorable child, and a family torn apart learning to grow together. I would definitely label this New Adult, not young adult. The main characters are out of high school, there are sex scenes, a strong LGBTQ support, and a lot of female empowerment. I loved that about The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, but I recognize it may not be fit for a teen who hasn't reached the maturity level for it yet.

 The characters are fantastic, I really identified with each in different ways and felt that they reflected a true summer beach town of locals, summer people, and tourists. They helped Elyse grow in her time there and they were thought provoking. There was also some incredible imagery. Sarah Ockler provides us with a mermaids tale, a haunting ocean, and Caribbean myths. She was poetic and descriptive, and her writing of Elyse's poetry was absolutely my favorite.

“All the people who'd brought me here, past and present, ancient and young, legend and life and lore, I channeled. I welcomed them into my infinite heart, alongside the ghosts, the shadows, the ache I'd always carry. I made their strength mine, a part of me. My inspiration. My voice."

 I didn't give this book 5 stars for a reason, though. I seriously had to force myself to keep reading after 25%, fortunately around 30-40% I found the hook and was sucked in. There's a lot of details provided to you right away, it gets overwhelming and confusing. However, if you stick to it, it'll be worth it. I just have a different personal preference for my books. I loved this book in the end, I really did. I loved how Sarah Ockler didn't stick with controversial moment, she had them all in there, and did it very well. It read as regular life would and for that I thank her. If you're looking for a New Adult read, especially a summer read, this is it.

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