Sunday, May 31, 2015

Review & Playlist: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

Title: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
Author: Sarah Ockler
Published: June 2nd, 2015 by Simon Pulse
Read: May 7th to May 10th, 2015
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

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 ...

It’s the hardest ever to write a review for a book that has blown your mind in every way possible; climbed its way into the deepest parts of your heart and soul. How could I ever do justice to this inspiring story, its amazing, well-fleshed characters, a beautiful narration, magnificent setting and so, so much more?! The Summer of Chasing Mermaids was initially one of my most anticipated books of 2015, but it has easily become one of my favorite books ever!

“When one dream burns to ash, you don't crumble beneath it. You get on your hands and knees, and you sift through those ashes until you find the very last ember, the very last spark. Then you breathe. You breathe. You fucking breathe. And you make a new fire.” 
(—taken from the ARC, 96%)

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids tells a story of Elyse, a talented and promising singer, who has lost her voice forever thanks to an accident. At the beginning of the novel we obviously don’t know the full story, but it’s clear that the Elyse we know isn’t the Elyse everyone remembers. As she opens up to the readers, and the people around her, we see her slowly, step by step, get closer to coming to a realization that her life isn’t over because of this accident, it's simply the beginning of something new. The character growth and soul searching Elyse goes through is absolutely gorgeously written: it’s raw, emotional and endearing.

My favorite character by far was Elyse, but needless to say that I adored all the other characters a lot too, especially Christian, Kirby, Sebastian, Noah, Vanessa and Lemon. They’re all so well-written, relatable and it was really hard to part with them as the story came to an end. Dear Sarah and Simon Pulse, would you please give Kirby and her love interest a book with lots and lots of cameos from everyone? That would literally be the dream, thank you!

I don’t want to tell you guys the whole story, plus I feel myself starting to ramble real soon, so I’ll just leave you with a few notes on what you can expect when picking up this beauty:

  • there are a lot of poc characters and you'll get to experience the culture of Trinidad and Tobago through various flashbacks
  • so many wonderful friendships and great, inspiring sisterhood relationships
  • THERE IS A GLORIOUS SHIP (and yes, there are many actual ships, but I'm talking about a metaphorical one) AND LOTS OF KISSING
  • sex and female mastrubation topics aren’t shied away from—this is so. very. important!
  • sexism and misogyny are touched upon and some of the values of the society are criticized in a beautiful manner
  • you'll 99.73% cry a lot and this book will touch you with its gorgeous narrative, a beautiful and haunting story and a great set of characters

This book is hopeful, stunning and so very honest and raw. I loved every single second of it and I wish the story would go on and on forever, because it was truly, truly hard to part from these characters. With this magical novel, Sarah Ockler is now on my watch-list forever and I’m eagerly anticipating her next story! I can’t wait for my gorgeous physical copy of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids to arrive so that I can re-read it again and again, and I hope that you'll end up picking this up so that we can shout our love for this book in all caps, completely incoherent, because that's how this book will make you feel, I can promise you that (◡‿◡✿) 

Overall rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★★★

Also, while writing this review, I just couldn't stop tearing up and re-reading all the highlighted parts on my kindle (there are a lot btw), soooo guess what? I created my second ever fanmix yay! It's mostly inspired by Elyse, but there are a few shippy songs about Elyse and Christian as well :)

You can see the tracklist on my tumblr and listen to the playlist on my 8tracks account.

Meet the author

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

An ARC was kindly provided by SimonPulse through Edelweiss in exchange for 
an honest review and in no way does this affect my thoughts on the book.


  1. Oh Siiri, what a lovely review!! I'm currently reading this book (I'm 10% through), and it just feels really strange right now. Your glowing remarks has me eager to continue though! I do agree that the characters are all so endearing and wonderful. I'm glad this book has poc characters and that the main character is from T&T. How different and exciting! :) Awesome review <3

    1. Rach, trust me, it can be a little "what's going on" at first but when you get into it, the last thing you want is for the book to end :) I can't wait to hear your thoughts ♡♡♡


    Seriously this sounds like the book I need right now. I need something that speaks to my soul, something that recognises misogyny, something that isn't censored. You have sold this to me and I'm sure to every single other soul. I NEED TO GET ON THIS SHIP WITH YOU. I WANT TO SOB AS WELL!!



      Haaaa! Thank you Jess you honor me too much ily *hugs tightly*

  3. Sarah Ockler wrote one of the most beautiful books I ever read, Twenty Boy Sumer, and so I wouldn't mind reading anything by her. ANYTHING. Even her grocery lists. I feel like they have the potential to be emotional.
    This one sounds emotional. It sounds soul bearing and I desperately need something like this in my life right now Siiri. Lovely review.
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

  4. OKAY WELL. FINE. I WANT TO READ THIS. LIKE RIGHT NOW. AHHH! I feel like I haven't been to your blog for ages. *glares at self in shame* *tackle hugs you* The header is gorgeous, btw. I don't know if it's new or not, but just proves I've been awol. :( ANYWAY! I saw another really raving review about this book and basically I am sold. I kind of cover judged, but seriously?! It sounds incredible and the characters sound fabulous and I usually read books for epic characters SO YEAH. ticks all my boxes. xD *trots off to drool over this book on goodreads*

  5. The first time I stumble across your blog and I run across this book. Gah! I'm so excited to read this. I can tell you really had a blast reading it. So I'm definitely about to go and add it on Goodreads. The plot seems so fresh and new and the characters(I mean come on one if them is called Lemon, like how freaking cool is that??) All seem really fleshed out. So happy I found out about this book! ♡♡

  6. Awwww for a book to touch you so emotionally, means it must be a fantastic book! I love the diversity and sex topics which are discussed in a positive way, and that ship sounds great as well. Wonderful review Siiri!

  7. Okay, to be completely honest, I was a bit hesitant to read this because all the books I’ve read or heard about that involve mermaids have either been mediocre or absolutely horrible. But you’ve completely sold me on this! As a singer myself, I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose my voice. *shudders* And not only that, but this has diversity, female friendships and feminism? HECK YEAH! Definitely putting this on hold at the library Siiri – thanks for the convincing review!

  8. Hey you!
    So glad to see a review from you!
    I'm so happy you loved this one, Siiri. I loved this for all the reasons you mentioned, especially how sex positive and feminist it was. Plus, I loved the ship as well. I was swooning pretty hard at all the romantic moments between the two.
    Wonderful review, Siiri! :)

  9. Wow! This sounds like an absolutely amazing story and you have tempted me to just add it to my TBR, but to read it ASAP. Wonderful review, Siiri!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  10. What a beautifully written review, Siiri! I can feel your emotions in every sentence. I plan to read this wonderful book soon.

  11. I love it when a book dazzles me and I just need to highlight so many excerpts because I adore every word. I've enjoyed Ockler in the past, so I'll have to check this one out. Fab review, Siiri!

  12. Lovely review, lady! I liked this one a lot too - especially the beautiful writing, the wonderful supporting cast, and all of the swooning! Sarah Ockler is such a fantastic writer - I can't wait to see what she does next. :)

  13. GIIIIRL I AM LOVING THE NEW LOOK/HEADER. So cute and gorgeous!! Anyway, I loved this book just like you! I loved the pro feminism and sex positive vibes this book had and yes, I adored Elyse as well! Seriously one of the greatest books by Ockler.

    Nice review, Siiri <33

  14. Oh WOW! This sounds freaking amazing. Your review has me aching to read this, Siiri! I actually think I'll bypass kindle and order a physical copy because it sounds so special! :)