[543]: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

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GOODREADS SUMMARY | Simon Pulse | Hardcover, 368 pp. | June 2nd, 2015 | Young Adult | Romance | Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars


The last book I’ve read from Sarah was Fixing Delilah back in 2010. It was the beginning of my love affair with Young Adult novels. Fixing Delilah, I thought, was an exceptionally heart-wrenching read. Believe it or not, I was kind of expecting the same. It was tragic and sad at  times, but not overly so.

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids features a character who’d recently lost a part of who she is. She was a songbird with a bright future in the entertainment industry, but an accident rendered her unable to speak, let alone sing. In an attempt to escape all the painful reminders of her old life, she cut herself off from her home in Trinidad-Tobago and from her family. Her move to Oregon was her way of dealing with her new reality. One where she can’t speak, not even use sign language. With a sharpie and a notebook, life in Atargatis Cove will force her to face her past; to learn to love, to forgive, and eventually, accept who’d she become.

There is a mystical quality to this story. It was in the way Elyse respected the power of the ocean and the deliberate way Ockler hid the details of her accident. The narrative was poetic at times; sometimes, dark and sinister. There is a tale about a revengeful sea goddess of sort that adds another layer of mysticism to this novel. But rest assured, this is not a paranormal novel. It was all contemporary fiction.

I was unclear about the circumstances of her accident. I’m not a doctor by any stretch of imagination, but <spoiler>if she drowned, then a tracheotomy <end of spoiler>would not make sense. That is how she lost her voice. If you’ve read this book, please feel free to correct me. Because <spoiler> a drowning person means, her lungs are filled with water. A tracheotomy is used when a person is choking on something. <end of spoiler> I wasn’t a fan of her romantic counterpart as well. He’s an apparent ‘man-whore’ or ‘boy-whore’ as it were. I don’t get the fascination with him.

This book sure has its pros and cons. But if you’re looking for the perfect beach read, this one is it.