New to You (12): Lindsay Reviews The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler {+ a giveaway}

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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Next up for New to You is Lindsay, @bookiecrumbles on Twitter. Linds is going to be sharing her thoughts on The Summer of Chasing Mermaids. I don’t know about you but I originally was terrified to read this one because the concept sounds odd, but Sarah blew me away and in the end it is now a favorite book of mine. Let’s see what Linds thought!

New to You (12): Lindsay Reviews The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler {+ a giveaway}The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: June 7, 2016
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
five-stars

From the bestselling author of Twenty Boy Summer comes a “compelling and original” (Kirkus Reviews) novel about a talented singer that loses her ability to speak after a tragic accident, leading her to a postcard-perfect seaside town to find romance.

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 suppresses 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 had no idea what to expect from this book when Andi asked me to read it. I didn’t even read the synopsis before starting it, I trusted Andi that much. I did read another of Ockler’s books, Twenty Boy Summer, and loved it, so I suspected I would enjoy this one quite a bit as well…. And I did! I was pleasantly surprised that it was based on The Little Mermaid, especially since that is my favorite Disney movie. The similarities to the original source material, and the deviations that Ockler made were excellent, and provided a truly great reading experience.

First of all, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is an excellent summer read, and I’m glad Andi had me read it in June. I loved the writing and the prose throughout the book, both were absolutely gorgeous. Elyse’s writing style and poems were amazing, and one of my favorite parts of the story.

I truly enjoyed reading about Elyse’s journey to find herself again. The contrast Ockler showed in losing one’s physical and metaphorical voice was fantastic, and I loved how she compared the two of them. One of my other favorite aspects of the story was the slow burn romance with Christian. He was a complicated love interest, and I liked reading about his family and issues aside from the race. Speaking of his family, Sebastian was awesome! Such a fun (non-annoying) little brother. The relationship between the brothers was one of my favorite things in the entire story.

Ockler does an excellent job exploration a variety of relationships: parental, sibling, extended family, friendships, and romantic. They are all interesting and complicated in their own way, especially Elyse’s relationship with Kirby. I liked how their relationship evolved throughout the story. I also enjoyed Elyse’s new friendship with Vanessa. Both Kirby and Vanessa challenged Elyse in ways that she needed (even if one instance annoyed me…).

Underneath the overlying story of Elyse’s journey is the discussion of mermaids themselves, which was interesting and provided great background for many aspects of the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, thanks Andi for having me read it!

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 5, 2018. It is US ONLY!

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Thanks Lindsay for signing up for New to You! So happy you enjoyed your second Sarah Ockler book!

My The Summer of Chasing Mermaids review.

Have you read The Summer of Chasing Mermaids yet?

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New to You (10): April Reviews Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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Next up for New to You is April from Good Books and Good Wine. I have been suggesting books to April for the past few months (All in Pieces and I’ll Meet You There)  so I was really excited when she signed up. Truth be told I had some trouble deciding which one of my favorites I wanted her to read but I decided it had to be Twenty Boy Summer since it will forever and ever be a top favorite of mine! Let’s see what she had to say about Sarah Ockler’s book that was actually banned in some place(s)!

New to You (10): April Reviews Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah OcklerTwenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Published: May 1, 2010
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
four-stars

"Don't worry, Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.""Okay.""Promise me? Promise you won't say anything?""Don't worry." I laughed. "It's our secret, right?"

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in ZanzibarBay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie---she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.

Thank you so much, Andi, for hosting me on New To You. This is SUCH a cool feature, and honestly, I am glad you’re encouraging bloggers to read some awesome backlist books. I know that you’ve never lead me wrong when it comes to book recommendations!

The book Andi challenged me to read is none other than Sarah Ockler’s Twenty Boy Summer. Friends, I have had this book on my Kindle since AUGUST freakin 2011. What even! I cannot believe I slept on this book so long and it took being nudged into by this feature to read this book. I’ll tell you why I bought it — it was one of the BIG books back in the heyday of book blogging. Every other blogger received a copy from this publicity group so it was ALL over. However, like every other reader, my eyes were bigger than my reading time? (Does that even work as a saying?)

H’okay. So. Twenty Boy Summer. This book took me three days to get through. Honestly, that’s not bad considering my life these days. Ockler’s book is a contemporary YA about a girl and her best friend and how they go away for the summer. LOL. No, it is a bit more deep than that. Okay, so, the girl is Anna Reilly. She’s basically neighbors with Frankie Perino who is also her best friend. Anna and Frankie are both grieving Frankie’s brother Matt who died really before the events of this book take place.

Anna, however, is hiding something from Frankie. DRAMA. Basically, Anna dated Matt on the low. Matt wanted to break the news to Frankie himself and make sure she could handle it. So, without this knowledge, Frankie decides this is the summer that she and Anna will hook up with twenty boys. It is the summer where Anna will lose her virginity aka her albatross.

So, Anna and Frankie, and the adult Perinos fly from New York to California to Zanzibar Bay. Bad life choices are made. There’s more drama. And well, okay during the flashbacks I found myself wondering where in Upstate NY they are from, because they mention being an hour from Cornell and Matt has a Syracuse Orange shirt. So a little piece of me likes to think they’re from Syracuse.

Anyways, I mostly enjoyed this book. I found myself getting very reactive though. You see, Frankie’s character just kept irritating me. AND THEN. She does something no good very bad. And well, it was hard for me to be loyal. I was Team Anna throughout the book. And well, Frankie is not a great friend to Anna. That’s all. I think there’s a lot of realism in this book.

Give Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler a read if you want a book that showcases first love, friendship, drama, and ultimately, forgiveness.

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Thanks April for signing up for New to You! I’m so happy you trust my recommendations! Next I suggestion you read Second Chance Summer if you want to cry. 🙂

My review of Twenty Boy Summer.

Have you read anything by Sarah Ockler yet? I’m a massive fan of her books and of her (I got to meet her last year and it was the best!).

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Blog Tour Review: Summer of Chasing Mermaids – Sarah Ockler {giveaway}

Blog Tour Review: Summer of Chasing Mermaids - Sarah Ockler {giveaway}

 Blog Tour Review: Summer of Chasing Mermaids – Sarah Ockler {giveaway}The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
Published by Simon Pulse
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
five-stars

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…

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I have been a Sarah Ockler fan since I read Twenty Boy Summer in 2011. Since reading that one my love for her has only grown. But I must confess that I was scared when I read the concept for this story. You see The Little Mermaid is my all-time favorite Disney movie. It has a special place in my heart for reason and I just couldn’t see how it would translate to inspire a book. I mean I knew I would read it because it is a Sarah book, but I was scared that I wouldn’t love it. Well SHAME ON ME! The Summer of Chasing Mermaids was FANTASTIC and the inspiration translated beautifully.

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is about Elyse, the youngest of 6 sisters from Tobago, that had the voice of an angel. She was slated to be a star until an accident took that from her but taking her voice. Needing to get away she heads to the Oregon coast to stay with a family friend. While there Elyse has to deal with what her new life will be now that she can’t sing or talk, and what this means for her and her place in her family. As she navigates the grey skies of Oregon and gets closer to her neighbor Christian Kane , who she knows she should stay away from, she must figure out how to be heard when she has something to say and how to let the past pain go so she can move on to the now.

I loved this book more than I could imagine. Elyse’s story hit me hard for some reason. My heart just broke for this poor girl that was alive but had her whole life taken from her. She didn’t know how to fit in with her family anymore, or how her family fit in with her so she ran. She took refuge with people that knew her but didn’t know her and she tried to fit in. But Elyse was never about fitting in. It was about her standing out and finding how to voice what she felt without being able to talk. It was about opening herself up and allowing herself to feel and even love and to trust in herself and the sea.

What I really loved about this book beside Elyse was the side characters. Christian, Lemon, Vanessa, Kirby and Sebastian. They are all vitale to Elyse’s growth and her growing trust and they are used in a way that is befitting to the story. They aren’t just there as background or to move the story along. They are 100% the support characters that Elyse needed to give her the push and the drive. Between Christian open Eylse’s heart to love, Lemon opening her home to this lost girl, Vanessa and Kirby showing what it is like to go after what you want/believe in and the adorable Sebastian (read the book for him alone) opening Elyse’s up to life, you have a perfect cast of characters that only added to the story.

I don’t know how Ockler did it but what she did with The Summer of Chasing Mermaids was amazing. She took the best parts of Twenty Boy Summer, Bittersweet and Fixing Delilah and made me fall in love with her writing and storytelling at a whole new level. The book is emotional and real and will make you smile and then break down in tears. It is a journey of a girl trying to fine her place in the world and I promise you won’t be sorry you read it. You may be singing The Little Mermaid songs in your head, but your heart will be filled with love. READ IT!

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twentyfixingbitterbrokenscandal

About Sarah Ockler

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.

Follow the Summer of Chasing Mermaids Blog Tour and don’t miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

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 GIVEAWAY:

Details: Win (1) of (2) Sarah Ockler’s prize packs that include a hardcover copy of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids and paperback copies of #Scandal, The Book of Broken Hearts and Bittersweet (US Only)

Giveaway starts on MAY 27th and finishes on JUNE 8th

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#MermaidMonday: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids Giveaway

You all know what a HUGE fan of Sarah Ockler I am. I mean I mention it as often as I can. 🙂 Well in case you don’t know, Sarah has a new book coming out on June 2nd. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids.

#MermaidMonday: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids GiveawayThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
Published by Simon Pulse
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads

From the bestselling author of Twenty Boy Summer, a talented singer loses her ability to speak after a tragic accident, leading her to a postcard-perfect seaside town to find romance.

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…

I will be posting my review for this fabulous book on Saturday May 30th, but today is all about one thing…the words.

Sarah has written some of my favorite quotes in her books. My all time favorite is still from her first book Twenty Boy Summer…”I’m fine, thanks for not asking.”. She has this magical ability to put pen onto paper and wow me with her prose.

So today I am sharing with you one of the 3 quotes I highlighted when reading. Each of the quotes stood out to me, but this one really touched my soul in a place all beautiful writing can.

summer1.1

When you read the book you will see just how perfect this quote is for Elyse’s story.

And that brings us to the giveaway. This one is a little different as today is all about the quote graphics which Sarah is a huge fan of. Below are the rules:

1) Share the above graphic. You can Tweet it, Instagram it, reblog it, Facebook it, Tumblr it, Pin it. What ever one you like to use, use. That is up to you. And can use all 5 options if you would like.

2) Use the hashtag #MermaidMonday

3) Tag me in the post. I’m AndiABCs on all forms of social media so I should be easy to tag. And if you can’t find my pages use the social media buttons on the side bar. After you have done this leave your email in the comments so I can contact you should you win.

4) US ONLY. Sorry guys, but rules are rules.

5) 5 Entries person. I will check so don’t try to sneak by.

And now you want to know what you are winning I’m sure. Well one lucky winner will get a finished hardcover of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids and a seashell jewelry dish (which I personally love). Contest goes until 11:59pm EST on 6/2/15.

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Tour Schedule:

10:00am EST
Andi’s ABCs

12:00pm EST
Novel Novice

2:00pm EST
Uncreatively Zoey

3:00pm EST
Elizziebooks

4:00pm EST
Words Like Silver

5:00pm EST
BookCrushin

6:00pm EST (First 2 chapters of TSOCM)
Perpetual Page Turner

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Review: The Book of Broken Hearts – Sarah Ockler

Review: The Book of Broken Hearts – Sarah OcklerThe Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
Published by Simon and Schuster
Published: May 21st 2013
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
five-stars

When all signs point to heartbreak, can love still be a rule of the road? A poignant and romantic novel from the author of Bittersweet and Twenty Boy Summer.

Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath—with candles and a contract and everything—to never have anything to do with one.

Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle—which means hiring a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to be cute? And surprisingly sweet? And a Vargas?

Jude tells herself it’s strictly bike business with Emilio. Her sisters will never find out, and Jude can spot those flirty little Vargas tricks a mile away—no way would she fall for them. But Jude’s defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak…unless her sisters were wrong?

Jude may have taken an oath, but she’s beginning to think that when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

thoughts1 Straight up I’m a major, major, major Sarah Ockler fan. She is one of my auto-buy authors so I truly don’t think she could do any wrong in my eyes. But I will admit when I started The Book of Broken Hearts I was nervous. I was really nervous because I wasn’t sure I liked Jude or how the story jumped in and sort of seemed rushed. But then I kept reading and reading and reading. And I can happily report that I really loved the story. It was definitely a different kind of Ockler read I thought, but it still had that same magic hidden in the pages just like her other 3 amazing books.

The Book of Broken Hearts is the story of Jude, a girl with three older sister who might as well have been an only child thanks to the age gap between them. But Jude remembers one thing from her time with her sisters, she remembers she should stay away from the Vargas brothers at all costs because all they will bring is heart ache and tears. But Jude suddenly finds herself sending her summer days working on a project with/for her dad with Emilio Vargas and can’t bring herself to remember why her sisters hated the Vargas boys to begin with. Between illness and family drama Jude and Emilio form a bond that could either lead to love or the worst broken heart Jude has ever had. Jude has to figure out just what is the right thing to do, listen to her heart and make her own choices or follow the path her older sisters had set for her.

Truthfully my description doesn’t really do the story justice. I just didn’t want to give much away and ruin some of the stuff that is revealed through reading. Because Jude really is a great character and everything that she is going through is very relatable. Even as an only child I could relate to the feeling that you don’t get to make your own decisions and that a life is already mapped out for you. I understood her need to want to abide by her sisters but also to show she isn’t that little girl anymore and she needs to make her own choices whether it leads to a broken heart or a grand love. And Emilio was fighting the same things Jude was. He was labeled as his brothers, as a heartbreaker, as a screw-up. Like Jude he wasn’t able to make his own mistakes without being scrutinized. But unlike Jude he didn’t care. He went after what he wanted and that made me love him completely.

Really Sarah Ockler seems to just get it. She seems to understand people and it comes through in her writing and I am always so grateful for that. Whether my heart is breaking during Twenty Boy Summer, my heartstrings are being tugged during Fixing Delilah, my stomach craving cupcakes and a cute boy in Bittersweet or I’m rooting for a couple that has to fight to be together in The Book of Broken Hearts, Sarah Ockler makes me believe all of it. I personally loved this book and I think you might too if you give it a chance. And like I have said before and will say again, if you have never read and Ockler book, get on that right now!

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