Thursday, July 16, 2015

Book Review: "The Summer of Chasing Mermaids" by Sarah Ockler

Eighteen year old Elyse had everything she wanted right in front of her.  She and her twin sister were on the verge of singing professionally on her native Tobago when a freak accident left her unable to speak or sing.  Needing to get away from the looks of pity and the reminders of what she lost, Elyse travels to the coast of Oregon to stay with a distant aunt/family friend.  Here she starts to grieve for her lost life by enjoying this simple seaside town, its rich mermaid folklore, and Christian - the handsome boy next door, who has the summer playboy reputation down pat, is also the first person to not treat her with pity.  Even so, Elyse may be too broken to be saved from the sea... who seems to still call her name.

It has been a little while since I've read Sarah Ockler (I missed the last book or two) but I've always loved her edge to a story. The books that I have read (Twenty Boy Summer and Fixing Delilah) seem to have an underlying theme of empowerment.  In this book, empowerment is all over the place!  This is all about finding your voice - even if you cannot speak - and using it so that people listen.  Elyse is surrounded by people who in one way or another, have lost their voice or are being told that what they are saying is wrong without allowing for an argument.

Christian has a younger brother who is obsessed with the mermaid folklore, is constantly searching for mermaids, and wants nothing more than to dress as a mermaid in the town's annual Mermaid Celebration.  However, people keep telling him that he can't or shouldn't want these things because he is a boy.  I kind of loved how this was included as a subplot, even if it made me angry and frustrated.
There is a lot going on here, and I loved it all.  Perfect for older teens who are looking for their voice and figuring out what they want to do in life.... with a nice side of romance as well.

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
by Sarah Ockler
Simon Pulse, 2015
399 pages
Source:  Purchased New



Cozy in Texas said...

I stopped by your blog today.

Sarah Reads Too Much said...

Thank you Ann!

Cozy in Texas said...
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