book reviews

Coral by Sara Ella REVIEW

Coral by Sara Ella

Pub Date: November 12th, 2019

Rating: 3/5


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.


Thanks to Netgalley for the e-ARC. This doesn’t affect my review!

So what intrigued me about this novel was that it was a retelling of some sort of the Little Mermaid that explored mental health. I’m a sucker for retellings so I was really interested…

However… this book sort of just fell flat for me. I love stories where there are different perspectives that all interconnect at some point and I was looking forward to that… and while eventually it did make sense, it took about 60% of the book before I understood where the story was going.

I think the discussion of mental health and depression was very well done. I especially appreciated that the first page was just explaining the trigger warnings (mental health, suicide, etc.). I think that was really important and well done. The aspects of the mental health were well done, which is why I gave this a 3…

BUT the way the story was set up was just a bit confusing for me. The timelines and perspectives made the story a bit harder for me to follow and I honestly would have DNFed this if I wasn’t pushing myself. I had no idea where the story was going for half of the book and so it was harder for me to connect to it.

Despite the choppy feeling of the novel, I think the discussion made this book worth the read. The characters all had their own stories to tell and each aspect of mental health that was discussed was well done.

I would recommend this to anyone who wants to read about some different aspects of mental health and see a unique retelling of Little Mermaid. If you like mermaids, sad stories, interconnected stories, unique perspectives and storytelling, interesting metaphors and symbolism, you would enjoy this!

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