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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The Book Outlet

We all have those books, the ones that we are excited to read, that are coming out and we swear we are going to buy them, and then we don’t. Sometimes it is money, sometimes it is laziness, sometimes we just forget. I have done this more times than I can count and for all of these reasons. I have also read a book on my Kindle or that I have borrowed or is an ARC and I’ve loved it and swear I will by a physical copy and yet I never get around to it. This is when the Book Outlet comes in for me.

Once or twice a month I go and peruse the site and look to see what new books there are or if any books I need to finish a collection or wanted to read have popped up. Last year I even planned out my giveaways for New to You and bought the books I could from Book Outlet. Sure it took time to be planning those things that far in advance, but in the long run it was worth it. Recently I was able to order a book I need for a signing I knew was coming up which was perfect.

The thing about the Book Outlet that I love is the price and the authors that can easily be found there. I did a little search this morning and I found some of my faves (prices and available stock are subject to change):

Kasie West

Pivot Point ($4.29) || On the Fence ($3.79) || The Distance Between Us ($4.29)

Jodi Meadows

The Orphan Queen ($3.19) ||  Incarnate ($4.29) || My Lady Jane ($3.19)

Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin ($5.39) || Empire of Storms ($4.79) || Tower of Dawn ($5.89)

Sarah Ockler

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids ($3.19) || The Book of Broken Hearts ($2.19) || Fixing Delilah ($.59)

Suzanne Young

All in Pieces ($3.79) || The Program & The Treatment ($7.49) || Just Like Fate ($5.39)

Trish Doller

Something Like Normal ($4.79) || Where the Stars Still Shine ($6.99) || In a Perfect World ($6.39)

Heather Demetrios

I’ll Meet You There ($4.29) || Something Real ($4.29) || Bad Romance ($6.39)

Have you found any good gems on Book Outlet? Do you shop there? Tell me your thoughts below. Let me know if you plan to buy any of these. Remember shipping is free in the US for orders over $35. With these prices, think of how many books you can get for that amount!

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Scrap A Book (3)

And I’m back with the 3rd edition of Scrap A Book. (You can find the other two editions HERE and HERE).

When coming up with another book I wanted to do I thought back to books I love and things that have stood out to me in those books. My mind kept going back to one book that I read a long time ago but I still remember some of the descriptions and the cupcakes. Oh those cupcakes. I have never craved cupcakes more than when I read Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler. So today I give you my “scrapbook” page for Bittersweet. With winter fast approaching (ALL THE TEARS) this is the perfect book for you to pick up. Plus there is a cute hockey boy in it. 🙂

scrap3

*Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

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Challenge Updates: October Check-In

Along with my Goodreads Challenge (you can find my progress on the side bar) I also challenged myself to 2 other challenges for 2015. Every month I will check in with my challenge updates.

Back in December I signed up for The Re-Read Challenge hosted by Belle of the Literati and So Obsessed With. Honestly I didn’t expect this to be a problem and so far it hasn’t. I’m on track to reach my goal of 12-14 books without a hitch. My October rereads:

twenty


Title:
Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler
Date Read: October 16, 2015 – October 24, 2015
Type: Purchased

I read Twenty Boy Summer for the 3rd time and got even more emotional than I had in the past. I can’t put into words how much I actually love this book. It is Sarah’s first and it is amazing! If you have never read this or anything by this amazing author, FIX IT!

 

So I only did one reread but it was the best and better than I have in the past. This month I am aiming to finally reread Lauren Miller’s fabulous book Parallel. We shall see.

flightsoffantasy

I also committed the the Flights of Fantasy challenge run by Alexa Love Books and Hello, Chelly. As you may have heard, I am new to the fantasy genre (thank you Sarah J. Maas and Throne of Glass for this!) and I thought it would be good for me to challenge myself with this one. I have decided to do 12 so I only have to read 1 a month. My October fantasy reads:

Title: Dark Triumph
Author:  Robin LaFevers
Date Read: September 28, 2015 – October 4, 2015
Type: Gifted

I started this one in September but finished in October so this will have to count for 2 months. I didn’t love it. I found it slow but I didn’t hate it either. I look forward to book 3…at some point

 

 

 

 

demon

 

Title: The Demon King
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Date Read: October 11, 2015 – October 19, 2015
Type: Gifted

I struggled with this one. IT is a huge book and I felt like nothing happened at all until like 20 pages left and then nothing happened again. I was bummed that I didn’t love it as everyone seems to, but I will read book 2 at some point.

 

I’m kicking but in my fantasy challenge. I have already surpassed my goal but I’m not done yet. I still have 2 months of fun reading left. But I am proud of myself with this one.

October Wrap-Up: Post Edition

Make sure you sign-up for Pocket Letters before sign-ups close tomorrow night!

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