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
stowsher 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 . . .
Guys, I just really loved this book. It was so different from the last Sarah Ockler book I read (#scandal), but I loved the diversity of her writing. And speaking of diversity, I LOVED reading about a character from another country, and a POC as the main protagonist. Elyse was such a beautiful person inside and out and being inside her head was worth the pain and tears. She starts out so lost inside herself and just transforms into this beautiful and strong young woman. You’ll be hard pressed not to like her after you turn the last page.
When I started reading this, I had no idea it was a retelling of Little Mermaid. In fact, I didn’t realize it until AFTER I finished the book. And you know what? That’s so brilliant. I saw it perfectly and it just made me love the book even more. I mean, the little brother’s name is Sebastian for crying out loud! And he’s obsessed with finding mermaids. The aunt’s name is Ursula and she is a witch… who lives by the sea. Genius! (Also, how did I NOT see that this was a retelling when I was reading it!?)
The prologue is deep and meaningful and will grab ahold of you. If you are a fan of poetic, lyrical prose, you will fall madly in love with this prologue. I loved that the flow of the prologue was weaved and embedded within the story. It moved like waves, crashing over you and pulling your heart in over and over again.
The thing I loved most about this book wasn’t the swooning (and the swooning is awesome. So, SO, awesome. You’re gonna fall head over heels for Christian Kane). It was the positive narrative of sex and female empowerment. This book is more than just a summer romance — it’s about a girl who lost the ability to speak finding her voice. And that is so powerful. There are some books that just glaze over sex, but this book really did such a great job with it.
This book was chock full of strong, independent women and yet it didn’t shove feminism down your throat. It was subtle and powerful all at once — and took on misogyny in such a fantastic way, I’m recommending it to every teenage girl I meet.
This book was the perfect way to start off the summer. It’s beauty actual made my heart ache. I’m going to be hard-pressed to find a book I love more this summer. While you may want to read this by the pool, be aware you’ll laugh, cry, swoon, and ache — so if other people are around you may make a fool of yourself. Of course, you’ll be so happy, you probably won’t even care.
Also this one, which apparently is too awesome a song to live on Spotify
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Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of young adult novels, including #scandal, The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Fixing Delilah, and the critically acclaimed Twenty Boy Summer, a YALSA Teens’ Top Ten nominee and IndieNext List pick. Her latest, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, hits the shelves in June 2015.
Sarah is a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm. When she’s not writing or reading at home in Washington, she enjoys taking pictures, hugging trees, and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex.
Visit her website at sarahockler.com or find her on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook.