Jul 31, 2015

Book Review: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

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Review by Suze

Elyse used to have it all, beauty, great dancing skills and a stunning voice. She was performing together with her twin sister and they were very close to making it. Only then tragedy struck and Elyse has lost that what's most important to a singer, her voice. Because she can't face her old life any longer she moves to America where she's staying with her aunt Lemon and cousin Kirby. They're living in Atargatis Cove in Oregon. The town has been named after a mermaid and Elyse instantly feels a connection. She was born in the sea and the sea has given her a second chance. Lemon is an artist who has her own shop and she gives Elyse the chance to help her there and to heal at the same time.

Christian has the reputation of being a playboy, but he's a kind guy. His father is a bully who's placing a bet that determines the course of Christian's entire summer. He has to race against his best friend instead of with him and he has to do that in an old boat that is far from seaworthy. Together with Elyse he's trying to fix it up. Will they be able to fix more than just the boat while they're working together? Elyse likes Christian and his younger brother Sebastian and she wants to be the best friend she can be. Is she going to be able to be there for them even if it means facing her worst fears? 

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is an interesting book about a young girl who has had a terrible accident. Even though Elyse can't speak she has so much to say. I loved how Sarah Ockler made her writing poetic, Elyse's writing is fantastic. Because of what happened Elyse can't live the life she was destined for any longer and as she never wanted anything else besides singing she's lost. She has no idea what to do with herself. It's horrible to lose the number one thing you're passionate about and I think Sarah Ockler has done a great job describing Elyse's pain. It's realistic while at the same time there's a certain balance between the good and the bad, so the story isn't too heavy. 

There's an understanding between Christian and Elyse and they challenge each other. Even though Elyse can't talk Christian hears her, he knows exactly what she wants to say. I loved that aspect. He's actually a kind and sensitive guy and it was great to see this part of his character grow. Elyse isn't good at letting people in and that's something she needs to learn if she wants to recover. First she needs to find out who she is without her voice though. I think this is a wonderful theme for a novel. I also liked the mermaid aspect of the story. Because Elyse has been born at sea she feels a strong connection to mermaids and I loved how Sarah Ockler plays with what's real and what isn't. The story has a good ending, it's both fitting and realistic. There are so many positive things I can say a about this book, I really enjoyed reading it.


  1. I read somewhere that this novel has a touch of magic realism to it. I don't usually like water creatures and mermaid stories, but if it's light and used more as a reference than a plot device, then I think I can tolerate it.

  2. Sarah ockler is the queen! All her novels are brilliant

  3. Great review! I wasn't totally in love with the ending of this one but the book was beautifully written. My review here


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