Book Review | Coral #BlogTour @The_FFBC #2019RetellingChallenge

I have been a busy little bee so this is the first time I’ve managed to drop by in a while, but I think I have a pretty good book to get back into the swing of things with…

about the book

book cover

Multiple award-winning young adult author Sara Ella reimagines The Little Mermaid in a powerful and unexpected way.

Sixteen-year-old mermaid Coral has always been different, standing out from her stoic sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease. Said to be carried by humans, the Disease imposes emotions on its victims, causing them to commit unspeakable acts. The growing illness inside her, while terrifying, fascinates her very core. Where others see danger, Coral sees life. Could it be the colorless merfolk who are truly ill?

Above the sea, seventeen-year-old Brooke Jordan has nothing left to give. A homeless girl abandoned and forgotten, the only thing Brooke can rely on is the ocean. Her aching feet find refuge within the cool and comforting waves, while her broken heart grows harder with each passing day. When Brooke’s and Coral’s worlds collide, everything alters in an instant. From learning to stand alone, to discovering the strength it takes to rely on another, the girls find that living requires taking that first painful breath. Each must make sacrifices, and when it comes to finding true love? Let’s just say the boys in their lives must learn to swim if they’re ever going to survive the storms.

Battling the odds against them, the girls will do whatever it takes to survive. But what must end for love and life to finally begin?

Taking a new twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fairy tale, this modern-day story explores mental health from several perspectives, questioning what it means to be human in a world where humanity often seems lost.

 

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my thoughts

Wow I think it is safe to say that I wasn’t expecting this book, I thought that this was going to be an imaginative slant on The Little Mermaid, and whilst it is that it is also a book of emotion and complex issues. As I say I wasn’t expecting that but I definitely needed to read it.

I’ll start by saying that the author has taken the time to write trigger warnings for this book so if you need them I would give those a read before diving in. This book at its heart is a very moving story about mental health issues, I don’t think I have read a book that has managed to explore it so profoundly before and have to give Sara Ella a lot of credit for handling the subject matter with such care.

I definitely felt very emotional reading this book, I could feel the peaks and troughs of the story and at times I will admit that I struggled with continuing on occasion, purely because I would feel so angry about a situation or upset for a character. I think this speaks volumes about how well this book has been written because it is not always easy for me to feel that intensely about a story. I’m also glad that even though I had to take a wee break here and there that I came back to the story, because even though it can be heavy reading at points it is also very hopeful and has a lot of positive and important messages.

I will admit that from the start I was wondering when or if our three main characters Coral, Brooke, and Merrick were going to make an appearance in each other’s storylines, but I certainly did not predict the way it was going to play out. Each character felt so different at the beginning of the book and each has such a hard journey to follow, I think this is one of the things that I most admired about this book that we get to see how their perspectives change and that they can accept that they may not have always seen the whole picture.

Coral is billed as a Little Mermaid retelling and it is in some ways, you can see a lot of influences but it is vastly different in others, but I quite like that it takes some events and themes from the original and then runs in a different direction. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to have more time in Coral’s underwater kingdom. I feel that is where the author’s writing was at her best, the descriptions were amazing and I was fascinated by the colours being different sounds and feelings.

I also quite liked the contrast between Coral’s world and ours and how this made ours look a little dull and flat but how that turns around as each of the characters find each other until they are all in a better place than when they started.

Coral is a book that you need to take your time over because there are some parts that can get a little confusing but it is a novel that will have you engrossed and pull you through a range of emotions. Definitely make sure that you have some tissues on standby and that you are prepared to take the time to invest in this beautiful story.

4

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about the author

Once upon a time, Sara Ella dreamed she would marry a prince and live in a Disney castle. Today, she spends her days throwing living room dance parties for her two princesses, raising her little prince to be a king, and conquering realms of her own imaginings. Oh, and her husband is definitely more swoon-worthy than any Prince Charming.

Sara’s UNBLEMISHED trilogy has received high praise and multiple awards, but none as rewarding as the love and support she receives from her readers every day. Her new story CORAL, a reimagining of THE LITTLE MERMAID, releases in the fall of 2019.

When she’s not on deadline, Sara Ella can most often be found fangirling on Twitter, Instagram, or her YouTube channel. She may or may not be obsessed with #Bookstagram, and she has a serious condition known as “Coffee Snob-itis.” She believes “Happily Ever After is Never Far Away.”

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