This Chick Read: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

I had read a mini review of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids where the blogger YA Bookers started the paragraph with I love love love this book!  (I think I got the correct number of love’s!)  After reading the brief review, I went to my Overdrive list and put myself in line to check out a copy.  Having read the book, I have to agree with YA Bookers, I loved loved loved this book!
This is the first book by Sarah Ockler that I have read and I have to admit, I’m now fascinated by her.  I went on her website, and she has some interesting tidbits about herself, as well as an interview.  The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is set in the Northwest,  coastal Oregon specifically, which is where the author also lives.  She lists things she likes to do, and I recognize some of them in this book.  Anyways, it was interesting seeing the tie-ins from author to book.  Check it out!

The following description is taken directly from the author’s website

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 Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a YA contemporary romance, but also has fantasy-fairy tale elements, as well as being a bit feminist.  It is about a Caribbean girl in her late teens, who after a tragic accident that has left her voiceless, comes to a small coastal Oregon town to stay with friends.  In her previous life in the Caribbean, her identity was tied to her voice, so in this new world, she struggles to navigate without one.  In Elyse’s past life she was a singer/writer, whose career had just been about to take off.  The author used this characterization and wrote her mind speech patterns in a very lyrical pattern, and in some instances in poetic stanzas.  She develops a friendship with Christian and eventually love, but it’s through the friendship with he and his little brother Sebastian, that she breaks out of the painful haze her loss of voice created.

The town of Atargatis Cove is built around a story of a mermaid, and Sebastian, who is about five, is fascinated with them, and draws Elyse out walking the beaches, searching for beach glass, and telling tales.  He is an interesting little character, adorable, lovable, and entirely appealing!  Christian started off a little broody, and seemed a typical Romeo, but very slowly the author peeled back his layers and you were able to see that he had much more depth than your typical YA romance male lead.

The rhythm of this book was so poetic and lyrical, the characters had such heart, that it was a hard book to dislike.  In fact, I forgot I was reading a YA novel at all.  The issues were very adult, and the resolutions very real.  I am looking forward to picking up one of this author’s other novels and seeing if she writes her other characters with as much strength, humor and honesty.  It is PG-13 rated, with only a couple very well written romantic scenes, so no worries, this book is about the story, not about the sex.


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Copyright 2016 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved