Coral by Sara Ella @SaraEllaWrites

Posted April 8, 2020 by midnightreview in Reviews / 0 Comments


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?

Taking a new twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved—yet tragic—fairy tale, Coral explores mental health from multiple perspectives, questioning what it means to be human in a world where humanity often seems lost.

My Review

This book was something special and will stay with me long after I’ve replaced it back on my shelf. I’m going to admit that I picked up this book based purely on the fact it was a Little Mermaid retelling. Not the happy ever after Disney version, but the dark and disturbing Hans Christian Andersen’s original.

I’m lucky to own an original copy of the tales from my Great Grandfather, and let me tell you those tales are dark. Nothing like the tales we tell our children today, because of this I could see how well it would fit the theme of mental health.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, I did love the nods to the Disney version, for example, one of the characters is called Grim. Other examples were much more subtle and cleverly worked in.

The story follows three characters; Coral, Brooke and Merrick, the chapters alternate between all three following them through the worst moments of their lives. There are trigger warnings at the beginning of this book for good reason. It is an important, no holds barred look at mental health and the way different members of society view it.

Sara has done a pheromonal job with this book, their stories are handled with immense care and it is clear a lot of research has been done to ensure an accurate portrayal. I loved the way the stories were weaved together and the final part of the book was handled beautifully.

I’m struggling to review this book because I think reading it is a deeply personal experience. It certainly was for me. If you are in a place to, I urge you to pick this up and read it, you will feel heard.

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