The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
Synopsis from Goodreads
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 beginning of the book was an attempt to grab you in and intrigue you, but instead I became confused. Ockler is trying to reflect her character’s thoughts so the writing is often very disjointed, I found this distracting and it took away from the story-line. Elyse was an incredibly hard character for me to like and connect to.
Throughout reading the story, I was constantly annoyed with her behavior and attitude. I wasn’t sure what the main premise or idea of the story and felt there were too many different ideas going. I felt Ockler was trying to fit to many ideas into the story and so none of the ideas were really fleshed out.
Ockler makes hints of add a diverse cast, for example, Elyse and Christian could be considered an interracial couple. I am all for diversity, but I felt it was too forced. Furthermore, she doesn’t really expand on her ideas for a diverse cast. For example Sebastian is into mermaids, this is often a trait that is attributed to transgender people, however I wasn’t sure if Ockler was trying to make Sebastian someone interested in transitioning, or if he just liked mermaids. Elyse is from Trinidad and Tobago and yet I never felt her culture shining through the story, Ockler writes brief passages about her history but she still felt very one-dimensional. 2/5
Published 2015, 416 pages.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free through PulseIt. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.