Review: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler



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 . . .


What a wonderful, refreshing and inspiring read! I don’t even know where to start, this book has a bit of everything, it was one of the books I was most excited about this year, and it didn’t disappoint at all.

Not so long ago I’d been convinced that losing my voice was the worst thing that could ever happen to me, the worst tragedy. But since then I’d been losing my whole self, everything I stood for, believed in, felt. Everything I ever wanted to be. Everything I ever was.

Elyse lost her voice due to an accident, we don’t get the whole story immediatly, what we know is that after the accident she wasn’t the same anymore so she left her home and her family to try and find herself again. Here she meets new people, people who don’t compare the girl she’s become with the girl she once was, and that somehow set her free.

Sometimes love was a tonic. Sometimes it was a weapon. And so often it was nearly impossible to tell the difference.

Christian *sighs* *drools* *grabby hands* Oh, Christian. He’s something else, guys. Trust me. When they decide to compete together to the regatta that will set the future of the town, they get closer every day. Christian, although has the usual reputation as womanizer, is sweet, and kind and really pays attention to Elyse.

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.

Even if Elyse can’t speak, this book is all about communication. Elyse is an observer, and everyone who cares about her has to really look at her. That’s how we get a very deep understanding of these characters. But it’s also all about acceptance, friendship and family, diversity and sexism. I also loved how the topic of sex was handled! It showed how different girls had different ways to relate to sex, and how all those ways are OK(!!!) It’s difficult to talk about this stuff in YA novels, but Sarah Ockler rocked it! Seriously, this book beautifully touches all these important topics, that are too often bypassed.

Love didn’t save me; it changed me. Changed me into someone who could save myself.

I was really amazed with the amazing narration, reading this book feels like really entering this island and being sucked into the lives of these characters, and saying goodbye at the end was so hard. (I’ll probably reread this very soon). Do yourself a favor and add this book to your shelf!

manuela calloway sisters


One thought on “Review: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

  1. Pingback: Recommendation Saturday: standalones | Calloway Books

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