Friday, April 10, 2015

Review: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

Author: Sarah Ockler
ISBN: 1481401270
Book Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: June 2nd 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Book Source: Edelweiss

Preorder Now: Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Goodreads Synopsis:

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 . . .


I think this book is one of the best books I've read this year. I only ever read one other book by Sarah Ockler and I had loved it, so I decided to take a chance on this one and I'm glad it delivered.

The story talks about Elyse, who lost her voice and her entire life's dream in one swoop. She travels all the way to the US to live with her aunt in order to escape the past and try to find herself. There she meets the island's locals as well as kids who summer there and she is swept into a competition she shouldn't have agreed to take a part of.

Elyse's journey is very heart wrenching, I found myself crying on more than one occasion. There's the fact that she can no longer speak when her entire life's dream was to be a singer. There's the fact that her twin sister is still pursuing that dream and no one in her family understands how painful it is for her and how hard it is to be supportive. There's the fact that she has no idea what she can be right now and where she'll be living, since as much as she loved parts of her home, it only brought back painful memories she'd rather not remember. She needs to find her true identity, one that isn't entirely based on her ability to impress people with her voice. To top that, she agrees to take part of the pirate regatta, one that has such high stakes, fully knowing of her own fear of the ocean after her accident.

This book was a whirlwind of emotions, ones that take you on a ride throughout the story as you get to meet the colorful characters, their separate pains and struggles and how Elyse finds herself in their midst but fears losing that soon.

This story was equal parts incredible and heartbreaking, and I can safely say I loved that. Morals, priorities, friendships and love are all put to the test to an extent that the lines get so hazy and you don't know what's right or wrong anymore. But more than that with the competition and the locals, there's also self discovery and finding your right path in life. 

I love Sarah Ockler's writing and honestly cannot wait to read more by her. This story was incredible, and I appreciated the diversity in the main character's background being from Trinidad & Tobago. I liked that she was handicapped and how she found a way to get through that, to not let it stop her and how she fought to overcome it. Seriously just… loved this book.

"Voice and speech aren't the same thing. You've lost your ability to speak, to sing. But the only thing that can take your voice away - your true voice - is you."

Rating: 5/5!!! 


  1. I am SO glad you enjoyed this! I've read all four of Ockler's books and i loved two and didn't enjoy the other two.. so it is a 50% love/dislike probability with her. This one sounds amazing. I feel Ockler does the emotional reads SO WELL (read 20 boys summer! cried so much in that). Great review

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

    1. I'm very wary of starting 20 Boys Summer. I don't know why I feel like I won't like it. But I did love The Book of Broken hearts. I am also wary of reading #Scandal.
      But yes, she's great with emotional and creating such vivid and unique characters.