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The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
Sarah Ockler
Simon Pulse, 2015
Source: E-Galley/Library
Audience: Older Teens

From Goodreads:
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 . . .

Sarah Ockler knows exactly how to capture characters and settings. It felt like summer to read this book. I was interested in learning what happened to Elyse’s throat - it all tied together well at the end. However, I had to wait too long to discover it. One part that was jarring to me was the way the narration changed during the flashback to her accident. I know the narration changed because of the flashback and how the events changed Elyse’s voice, but could someone’s style of speaking/thinking change that much? In spite of that and the fact that the book was 100 pages longer than it needed to be, I still liked it. As a matter of fact, I liked the first part so much that I was angry when the e-galley expired on me!! I made sure my library bought it so I could finish it, and it was definitely worth it.

And how about that cover? I think it’s perfect. I loved the diversity in the story and the fact that it involved family, friendships and relationships. It’s a good summer read for older teens!