Review: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

Jun 26, 2015

TitleThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids
Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: June 2, 2015
Pages/Format: 368, eARC
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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 . . .


Book in One Word: More.

The premise of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids--a modern day retellingish of The Little Mermaid--is hard to resist. It lacks mermaids, but the protagonist is mute, there's mermaid lore, a small beach town, and a boy on a boat--of course I wanted to read it. It's been years since I read an Ockler book (I've only read Twenty Boy Summer and that was basically forever ago), but I was looking forward to reading one of her books and seeing how it went. And I liked it!

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids tells the story of Elyse, who, after an accident back home (in the Caribbean area) took away her voice and her singing dreams, left behind her twin sister and family and went to live with family friends (one named Ursula) in Atargatis Cove, Oregon. When developers come to the Cove and want to take away the charm and replace it with chain stores and concrete walls, Elyse volunteers to be first mate for the Pirate Regatta with Atargatis Cove playboy Christian Kane--and if they win, Christian's dad has to keep their property and the developers can't have it. Along the way, she tries to find her voice, discovers what home really is, and maybe gets caught up in a STEAMING HOT romance.

There wasn't really anything I disliked about this book. I just wish some things were done differently, maybe? For one, the ending. It hinted at possibilities, but for a standalone I need more closure and a more definite idea of how everyone's stories end. Secondly--well, this book was going pretty well. It had a pretty light, fun feel to it, and I really liked that. Now, I might get kind of spoilery here, but at one point something(s) happened and the entire mood of The Summer Chasing of Mermaids seemed to change. I'm not saying I didn't like what happened--I did like it--but the mood and feel of the book felt like it took a 360 so two parts of the book didn't seem to match up. It's not a complaint, but while reading it just makes me kind of...I don't know, but it's something I thought I'd mention.

As far as everything else goes, I think I would just like more. More about the boating and more development in the romance--I was a big fan of the romance, but I like when there's sexual tension and I can see the moment where it goes from friendship to something more and it doesn't just happen with the snap of some fingers. I would've liked more from some of the characters--aside from Christian and his little mermaid-obsessed brother Sebastian, the characters had dimension, but it would've been nice to get more from them and really feel for each and every one of them who mattered. ("I want mooooreee.")

I think the problem with The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is that I don't know what to say about it. I definitely, definitely liked it--even if this review makes it seem otherwise--but I just don't know what to say about it. Perhaps most of the story was below the surface and needed to break through--it was so, so close. But I liked it! I did! It was a fun book with a cute setting, interesting plot points, likeable characters, and a swoony, steamy romance (seriously, grab a fan), but it's missing something. Again, again, again--I liked it, definitely much more so than not. I just don't know what to say about it.


Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? No.
Would I reread it? Probably not.
Would I purchase it? I already did for a signing, but if not for that, I wouldn't say that I'd be needing it on my shelves anytime soon (not that I have room).
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of Sarah Ockler, contemporaries and retellings with some twists, stories with ocean/beach elements, and swoony romance.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, and that in no way sways my opinion of the book.

1 comment:

  1. I totally have books thatI like but when I write the review I don't know what to say or it comes out more like I don't like the book so I totally get that. I like the idea that this is a retelling and sounds cute and I love a swoony romance!

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