The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

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Oh no. For my first Sarah Ockler book, who is an author I have heard nothing but great things about, this did not go well at all. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a highly hyped book that I have been meaning to read for a long time because duh, THE LITTLE MERMAID. When I was young, my favourite film, Disney or not, was The Little Mermaid and I envied Ariel because she was so pretty and I loved her voice. Yeah, I had an obsession with singing and Sebastian the crab. Hearing that this is a YA retelling of that amazing story, I knew I had to pick it up and fall in love with it. The latter didn’t happen. I did pick it up, though, so, yay. Don’t let the cover fool you, okay? This has one of the most gorgeous covers I have ever seen, and I guess I based my expectations too much off of that. I didn’t like this book at all. It was hard to get into, had an annoying heroine, and I was completely bored and confused at times.

Why confusion, you ask? It was hard for me to discern whether this book was fantasy or contemporary.Everything that Ockler wrote about seemed to have some fantasy aspect to it and I didn’t know if I should be naïve and believe it, or just see it as a play with words. It’s interesting how our protagonist, Elyse, doesn’t speak and that she lost her voice, but that kind of annoyed me because she was annoying without words, and just listening to her thoughts was gross. I was really frustrated for most of the book. And the setting is this random Cove and there’s pirates? It’s weird. This whole book is weird. I also own #scandal by Ockler, so I’m excited to see how my opinion will turn out in the end. At least that one is a mystery-thriller. This? I don’t even know what to call it.

I’m guessing that people are adoring this over the diversity. We can already see it from the cover. I have never read about a character who is Caribbean. Elyse is a first for me and honestly? That’s really interesting. Diversity is important for me in books, but it’s not everything either. It was just a minor highlight that Elyse was who she was.

This had a cheesy theme: finding your inner voice. The synopsis that Simon Pulse provided even says it. It’s a play on words, people! Just because Elyse lost her voice because of that boating accident doesn’t mean that the theme has to be about her finding her inner and outer voice. Ugh. *flips hair*

Elyse, of course, because this is a contemporary-romance novel, has a romantic relationship with the cute guy, Christian. I hated him too, so they’re perfect for each other! I couldn’t care less about how their relationship bloomed, or however you call it. What a stuck-up frat-boy-like-character.

Okay, so there isn’t instalove, which is great, but the fact that the two characters weren’t of my liking made me a bit frustrated. Meh. BUT SEBASTIAN GUYS. Sebastian is Christian’s younger brother and like the crab in the movie, I loved this guy and how he contributed to the novel. Now, I must say that the relationship between him and Elyse was adorable times a hundred.

This had potential. So much of it. If you believe in relatable, strong protagonists who don’t have any bit of annoyingness in them, this isn’t the book for you. Elyse, this book’s “heroine,” if that’s what you call her (I wouldn’t) was the major downer of this story. Sarah Ockler has been compared to other contemporary authors who are favourites of mine, like Jenny Han and Morgan Matson, but I totally do not believe in that statement. This is a contemporary gone wrong into the hole of boringness.

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