Just look at that cover. It isn’t hard to imagine why I wanted to read Coral by Sara Ella. Between the cover and finding out it has a fairy tale twist, I just could not pass it up. However, if you struggle with depression, mental illness and have certain triggers. You may want to avoid my review.
WARNING! MENTAL HEALTH TRIGGERS!
Coral is a mermaid and her father is the King. She has two sisters, Jordan and The Crown Princess. Emotions are for humans, not merpeople. The Crown Princess is struggling. Her father doesn’t seem to understand. Coral is the only one who shows any empathy towards The Crown Princess. She has a disease and Coral is showing signs of it as well. On land, Brooke is admitted into a mental health group therapy facility. No matter if those around her try to reach out she still feels alone. Then there is Merrick. He comes from a wealthy family, but they also are torn apart by mental illness. After is mom leaves, he goes to find her, and along the way meets a mesmerizing girl named Coral.
I am so torn. I really wanted to love this book. However, I want to give a HUGE thank you to the author. I love that she took a popular fairy tale and used it to bring awareness to mental health, depression, anxiety, and suicide. The fact that mental health is the sole focus of this book is amazing.
That being said. The book is hard to read. Not the themes. The points of view transitions of Coral, Brooke, and Merrick are so rough. There were many times where I thought I had to re-read the book because I was so confused. There are a few moments where I didn’t even know that the characters changed points of view. That brings me to the characters. We don’t ever get detail about the characters. They are all defined by their mental illness or how it has affected those around them. We don’t really get to know them outside of their internal struggles. This makes the story feel like it has a lack of depth.
This may seem silly. And it may just be me. But personally, I was not a fan of the description. Specifically in the Mer World. (Is that what we call it?) She talks about the seaweed bedsheets or eel gel. I know this is a young adult book, but this felt like something that would have been in a children’s book. Instead of immersing me in this world, it actually made me tune out. Plus, when Coral comes to the surface, she just seems to blend right in like it is second nature. It just didn’t seem believable.
Overall, I really applaud the author for trying to bring a story that we love and bring awareness to mental health. The story just needs a little work. So I rate this book 2 out of 5 stars.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you.