The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

The perfect summer book, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler is a story about life, love, family, and courage. It’s about finding your voice, and the strength to use it. And it’s also a shining example of what makes the Oregon coast so spectacularly magical.

summer of chasing mermaidsThe 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 . . .

I’ll be honest — though I was already intrigued by the premise of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, when I found out it was set on the Oregon coast (one of my favorite places on earth), I HAD to read it immediately. And I’m so glad I did. The book is like a manifesto about why the Oregon coast is such a magnificent place, and Ockler’s descriptions brings the sometimes-sunny, sometimes-overcast seaside setting to life in brilliant technicolor. I was actually on the Oregon coast just recently, and it made me want to read The Summer of Chasing Mermaids all over again.

Of course, beyond its seductive setting, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is filled with everything you’d expect from Sarah Ockler, and the perfect summer reading experience: romance, drama, and beautifully written characters. It’s not just Elyse and Christian who are so captivating; a very strong cast of supporting characters really heighten the story and bring it to life. They are fully realized, and brilliantly written — and I’d happily spend time reading about their stories, as well. (Hint, hint.)

Whether you can hit the beach or not, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids should be the one summer-themed book you read this year. It’s magical, romantic, and honestly raw. It’s in stores now.

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