Bringing you the spotlight on ‘Coral’ today! Thanks TFFBC for a chance to take part in promoting this book!
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.
By: Sara Ella
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: November 12th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Mermaids, Fairy Tales
Hey all, let me start off by giving you all the trigger warning that Ella was amazing enough to include herself in her book.
Trigger Warning & A Note to My Readers:
(*You will find this note at the beginning of this book as well.*)
For my friends who have experienced trauma, a warning—this story may be triggering. I have done my best to approach the mental health topics addressed in this book in the most sensitive and caring way possible. But even all the research and sensitivity readers in the world would never make it so I could approach every aspect of mental health from every perspective. Your experience is unique to you.
Potential triggers include suicide, self-harm, emotional abuse, anxiety, depression, PTSD, eating disorders, and unwanted/non-consensual advances.
With that said, while some of what I have written comes from research and some from the caring eyes of sensitivity readers who have lived through many of these experiences, other pieces come from my own personal experience with emotional trauma. If you have lost a loved one, I’m with you. If you face depression or anxiety, my heart aches with you in a truly personal way. If you have ever felt misunderstood for these things or simply wanted to escape altogether—I understand.
For the girl who is not okay. For the boy who wonders if it will ever get better. This story is for you.
My hope is that Coral’s tale may be a small pinprick of light in your darkness—a reminder that you are seen. You are loved. You are not alone. You are not nothing, my friend. And neither am I.
This is a really beautiful novel about mental health and it uses one of my favorite fairy tales. ‘The Little Mermaid.’
The original tale is so heart wrenching and tragic and beautiful, and, well, I’m so pleased to say that Ella captured that say tragic heartbreak in her own retelling as well. More than that though, she kept the spirit of ‘The Little Mermaid’ while making it this tale of mental health for YA readers that could use it now more than ever.
There are technically three characters that you switch around POVs for in the chapters, but there are some wonderful secondary characters as well, and they’re all fleshed out nicely. No one feels shallow or as if you didn’t get to properly know them if they were central to the story.
Ella’s prose is lovely and whimsical but with a haunting darkness that would have made Anderson proud.
The twist to this was so clever and I was thoroughly impressed by it, and while there are somethings that could have been done better, as with all things, I felt this was such a great attempt and I want to just buy this for schools everywhere. [Sadly I do not have that sort of cash flow lol]
Coral and Brooke were the most intriguing characters but I do really appreciate that Ella had Merrick and included him with having his own mental health issues/insecurities. It’s not too often you get a book with a boy who is vulnerable in his mental health and it’s not used as a ‘weakness.’ [And let me say it’s not often I’ve read a male protagonist with health/mental health issues in general so I’m not calling out any particular authors here]
My only complaint was definitely the timeline. The pacing seemed fine until you realized you were having to actively consider where/when things were happening as you read in order to keep everything straight. Because that was such an issue, that is my reasoning on the 3.5 rating, but I’ve rounded it up to four because it’s too lovely not to.
Thank you to TFFBC, publisher, and NetGalley for a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion.
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.
The Rest of the Tour
Musings of a (Book) Girl – Review