Coral by Sara Ella

There is more than one way to drown


Coral has always been different, standing out from her mermaid 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-emotions. Can she face the darkness long enough to surface in the light.

Above the sea, Brooke has nothing left to give. Depression and anxiety have left her feeling isolated. Forgotten. The only thing she can rely on is the numbness she finds within the cool and comforting ocean waves. If only she weren’t stuck at Fathoms-a new group therapy home that promises a second chance at life. But what’s the point of living if her soul is destined to bleed.

Merrick may be San Francisco’s golden boy, but he wants nothing more than to escape his controlling father. When his younger sister’s suicide attempt sends Merrick to his breaking point, escape becomes the only option. If he can find their mom, everything will be made right again-right.

When their worlds collide, all three will do whatever it takes to survive, and Coral might even catch a prince in the process. But what-and who-must they leave behind for life to finally begin.

Hiya bookish people!

Today I come to you with a book yeah we know it’s a book that I really loved the premise of; mermaids (and by now we all know that mermaids and pirates are my favourite) and representation of mental health. Have I lost you yet? Well, fair warning, this book is hella dark, and rather triggering – even for someone who loves to read dark novels. But the thing I love the most is that Coral takes the traditional ‘Little Mermaid’ and reversed even more.

In the more traditional Little Mermaid stories, mermaids are depicted as having no souls, but they want souls, and that is what they steal from humans. But Coral takes a twisted story and makes mermaid scared of souls, that emotions are nothing but a disease – a disease to be feared at all costs.

If I am honest, I love the idea of the representation – children who grew up on tales of Ariel and Flounder will be at an age where reading this is natural progression – but this book is almost too much of a not-so-hidden-message. I felt a little bit like I was in my mental-health awareness assembly where the whole school had to sit on the floor for like 2.5 hours, thanks Principal.

There was a lot of really abrupt changes between Ella, Coral and Merrick, and it was really quite jarring. I think that Sara Ella was trying to create suspense between events but all I felt was frustration; just as I was getting somewhere, I had to move on *cough cough* Emma don’t you mean your chemistry class? The end dragged slightly, but I was willing to overlook it.

Overall, I would say that if you can handle dark – and I have to make this clear, I mean really dark – then you might go this way. However, this book stirred a few things in me that I was really quite disturbed by. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it triggering, though. Fans of Sara Ella will be slightly surprised at just how dark this novel is in comparison to her other works, though.

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13 thoughts on “

  1. I really like the sound of the reverse Little Mermaid things although I didn’t realize it would be as dark as you’ve described. Or that it would feel a bit like an assembly on Mental Health. I’ll still keep an eye out for this though, I do want to read it eventually. If I ever catch up at least a little with my TBR 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry to hear that! I like them if they are written well – if you ever want to try get into them, there is a book called Our Bloody Pearl by D.N. Bryn, it is super good!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t really read any mermaid retelling but this sounds interesting with the mermaid being scared of souls and emotions!! And I do like dark retellings, I think there is something interesting to twist something that I know as happy and made it really dark, haha!!
    It is a shame the plot moved on quickly never allowing you to sink into the moment!! I hate it when that happens.
    Great review, thanks for sharing!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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