Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Blog Tour: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler {Review + Favorite Quotes + Playlist + Giveaway}

Release date: June 2, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 368
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
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 . . .
Well, I didn't know what to expect with The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, aside from some romance, but boy did my first Sarah Ockler book blow. me. away. It's beautifully written and emotionally powerful, the rare contemporary novel that will stay with me for a long time to come.

Born a gifted singer, Elyse has lost her voice in an accident. Fleeing the pain and sadness of staying at home, where seeing her twin sister forces her to confront what she's lost, Elyse goes to stay with family friends in Oregon. There, she's planning on recovering by spending time alone and collecting her thoughts. Those plans are quickly derailed, however, by the people she meets, and soon she's unwillingly being pulled from her shell and finding a new identity after the one she'd grown up with was shattered.

Elyse's journey is simply lovely. It's painful, yes, but seeing her open up to new people, people who want to love and accept her just as she is beautiful. Elyse's identity has so long been oriented around her planned future with her sister as singers that she's lost without that. She's lost her ability to speak, but she has to come to see that she still has a voice.

And while Elyse's story is delightful in and of itself, the secondary characters are standouts as well. To be brief, I can't extol everyone's virtues, but Elyse manages to have such a strong support system. Even while she wallows a bit, there are those who are pulling her out, making her see what she's missing, and showing her that just because she can't speak doesn't mean she can't make new relationships. And Christian! From the first time he shows up on the page, he's more than the rumored bad boy. Going just by his interactions with his brother, Sebastian, he's wonderful--but there's so much more.

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a beach read, sure, but it's also beautiful. It sounds like a story where love saves all, yet Elyse proves it's much more.

About the author:

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.

Favorite Quotes:

This is mine, I thought. Music. Rhythm. The intense rush that came from connecting with something so deeply, so right. No matter that I couldn't sing. I could breathe. I could dance. I could move. The music was still in me. It always would be.


Port of Spain, Trinidad, was only fifty miles from our resort--much closer than the other continents across which my sisters had traversed. But looking out at the islands from that hospital window in the city, when my twin sister and a doctor who looked that much older than me said I'd never sing again? That was the day I lost my home.


When I met his eyes, Christian winked at me, and in an instant I felt the force of his confidence, of his faith, a sudden weight around my neck.

Intentional or not, gratitude could so often turn into expectations, into hope. It was one thing to have your own kind of hope, an ember you could nurture inside, something to inspire you when things got dark. If it died, it was on you; no one else even had to know about it, and you were free to reignite it, or to give up and walk away. But when you were carrying it with another person, for another person, it was a treacherous dream. Treacherous as the sea, yet fragile as a bubble.

Faith was a funny thing.


What happened when the one thing you loved, the song of your soul, was taken from you? What pieces of your old life were you left with, and how could you begin to put them back together? How could you find your way back to the people who'd hurt you the most?


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