Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Review: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Rating: 4 Stars
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 . . .(Goodreads)
I've held off on this review because I wasn't sure how I felt about this book. I liked it. That's for certain. I have a musical theatre background and although I never made it as far ans I secretly wanted to I loved/ love to sing. I can't imagine being o the verge of stardom, and losing that. Being inside the mind of Elyse broke my heart sometimes. She was lost. Every dream she'd ever had for herself was gone forever. When you really stop to think about that, it's jarring.
Christian... I liked him, but I felt like he could have been better developed in some way. I don't know what that way was, but I still feel it. His relationship with his parents was the worse. I'm not surprise he took whatever he could get from the random girls he encountered throughout the Summer. Christian's with his brother was brilliant. I couldn't have asked for better, and speaking of that HUGE snaps to Sarah Ockler fort challenging gender roles.That along gives the book extra stars in my book. I think Ockler did a great job creating the supporting characters. Vanessa was brilliant and I want her to be my best friend, although sometimes I think I am that friend. Kirby, Lemon, Noah... I really liked them all.
I also appreciated learning a bit about Elyse's culture and past. She spoke of the festivals, the coca coca fields, and the island of Tobago which I'd never even heard of. There aren't many books that expose you to a new culture, so this was very refreshing. Not to mention the interracial relationship, although I do on occasion like the books where to people from opposing backgrounds find a way to be together, this world will only fully be past racial inequality when to people from opposing background can be together, and it's so normal, that no one thinks twice about it. I wish for that day, which we got a taste of in this book.
I still feel like something was missing, but I did like this book.