Book Talk: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

Book Talk: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah OcklerThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
Published by Simon Pulse on June 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA
Also by this author: Twenty Boy Summer, The Book of Broken Hearts, #Scandal
Format: eARC
Source: For Review

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!




Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”



Elyse was on her way to a singing career with her twin sister when an accident took everything away from her — her voice. She decides to get away from her home in Tobago and goes to live with her aunt and cousin in a seaside town in Oregon. She meets Christian Kane — a notorious ladies man — who doesn’t treat her like she’s The Girl Who Can’t Talk and his adorable mermaid chasing little brother Sebastian and suddenly finds herself, in spite of her new fear of the ocean after the accident, in a high stakes boat race to fight for the town and the people in it she’s grown to love.

a2“Where’s my quote notebook? A few I need to add from this one!!”


I think this one was so excellent and it was one of those books that got better to me after I finished it and thought about it a bit! It’s a contemporary Little Mermaid retelling but don’t let that scare you off if you don’t typically do retellings — it’s pretty loose on the retelling. I would say more INSPIRED BY. I honestly didn’t know until about half way through the book and would have probably never thought OOOH LITTLE MERMAID RETELLING.

Here’s what I enjoyed about it:

1. The idea of losing one’s voice: In the book the main character physically cannot speak anymore after an accident but throughout the book you see all sorts of people who have lost their voices to some degree. They can’t speak up. Elyse experiences the physical loss of her voice but throughout the story she really GAINS her real voice. I loved the exploration of ones voice — losing it, finding it, etc. It’s one of those books I really wish I read with a book club to TALK about this because I think this is something a lot of us can relate to.

2. The setting: Oh my gawwwwd you have no idea how badly I want to visit the Pacific Northwest now. It’s set in a teeny seaside town on the Oregon and the way Sarah wrote it is beyond gorgeous. I could envision it all and just found myself yearning to be there. VERY strong setting that really added so much!

3. The romance: One of the sweetest romances I’ve seen in a while. I loved it — their banter, the way they became friends first, the way they really got to see things in each other that they wouldn’t open up to others about. I didn’t think I was going Christian at all because he’s the town player that everyone has hooked up with but there’s definitely more to him but not in a super angsty “I’m just misunderstood/my tragedy made me this way” sort of way. He has depth and I really grew to like him.

4. The absolutely gorgeous writing: This is my 4th Sarah Ockler book and I think she’s an amazing writer but this book really stood out to me in the writing department. It’s just so BEAUTIFUL — I can’t even explain it. Lots of lines that just cause you to pause and really soak it in and beautiful descriptions that made me pause.

5. HELL YES STRONG WOMEN & FEMINISM: There are so many strong and flawed and amazing women in this novel. Elyse herself is amazing and I really enjoyed her as a character watching her fight through the hardest thing she’s ever been through and rebuilding her life after her dreams are taken from her. But then there are all these amazing ladies — Elyse’s aunt and cousin, Vanessa, Vanessa’s mom, etc. I just loved the strong women and how I could feel that pulse of feminism in this novel.



factors+ characters, writing, romance, setting, plot, how it made me reflect about a lot of things
Nothing really..maybe that it took me a little to really get into it/care.

Re-readability: I would probably audio it sometime later in the future.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Probably not but making sure my library ordered it!

a5contemporary YA fans, readers looking for an amazing and absorbing setting, readers who are looking for a book that is equally as sweet as it is heart-wrenching.

a8I loved Elyse’s story so much and watching her find her voice again after a terrible accident and start living life after her dreams are shattered. It was an emotionally powerful journey with a vivid setting and a stirring romance.

review-on-post-itThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids review Sarah Ockler


a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?



The Perpetual Page-Turner

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I’m so happy you reviewed this! I love Sarah Ockler, but I’ve been hesitant to pick this one up – although I’m not sure why (I think the name threw me off). After reading your review, I’m definitely keeping it on my TBR list. I had no idea it was a retelling! I also loved your reaction – if it has some good quotes, it just makes me want to pick it up even more. I trust your opinion, and I’m hopefully going to pick it up soon!

    • YAY! I’m so happy you are going to pick it up! You’ll see how the chasing mermaids comes into play but I can def see how the title might be like hmmmm? I didn’t really love her last book #scandal but loved Twenty Boy Summer and The Book of Broken Hearts so I’m sooo happy to be back in love with her most recent release!!

  2. Read this one for the blog tour and just loved it. I loved how Elyse couldn’t speak and it was great to see the character development in Elyse as well. She starts this book off so angry and upset over her loss of voice and by the end of the book, she has really accepted that and I loved that. Plus I loved all the characters and how supportive they were of her. This was all such a great read and I loved it! Great review and happy to hear your thoughts. 🙂


    • YES! I loved how realistic her arc was in that way — she didn’t just lose the anger or the bitterness but she started to soften more and more and start to shed those negative feelings and deal with things. And I’m glad it was not all BECAUSE of Christian. Christian wasn’t the REASON she found her voice but he definitely helped just like she helped him to find his voice against his dad and to find his voice to be the person HE wanted to be. It was soooo great!

  3. I was a little hesitant to read this at first too because I got excited by the title and thought it was about actual mermaids. I’m currently reading it now and so far I’m really glad I picked it up anyways! You’re completely right about others not having a voice around her, I actually didn’t even see that until you pointed it out. I can’t wait to see what else happens!

  4. I am going to suggest this to my YA book club for our September read. I’ll be reading my first Sarah Ockler book this month. I picked The Book of Broken Hearts for my reading challenge because I needed to pick a book based on the cover, and the cover is so cute!

    I already want to go to Oregon, so I need to read this book. I’m trying to get a trip planned for this fall or maybe next spring. I can’t wait to read about the Oregon coast!

    I love the Little Mermaid, so I am very interested in this retelling. Good review!

  5. I’ve heard SOOOOOOO much about this book. I need to go pick it up ASAP. Also, I adore the Little Mermaid, so I’m pretty sure I will love it.
    <3 your blog!

  6. I’ve heard mixed reviews, but knowing that you liked it makes me want to go pick it up!!

  7. I’m glad you liked this one. I just couldn’t get into it, despite my love of Ockler’s writing. :/

  8. I read this one last month and really enjoyed it too. It’s my first Ockler and I think it was a really good place to start. I was worried I wouldn’t love it going in because I had expectations and adored the cover but it was totally great–I actually only just wrote my review and even with all that pondering I’m afraid my review didn’t do it justice. I loved the romance and the setting/characters but man this was a great feminist book. So much to unpack and recommend!

  9. I really do need to read this one! And come on over to the pacific nw!! 🙂 it’s funny, I didn’t even know it was loosely a little mermaid retelling until recently!

  10. I’ve seen this around, but never knew what it was about. It sounds so good! I don’t read a ton of contemporary, but I think I would enjoy this. Definitely adding to my TBR 🙂

    • It was sooo good! Definitely one to add if you feel like injecting a little contemporary into your life!