Coral is a story centred around one’s mental health, the society’s perception of it and the thoughts of this individual. It brings important, often undiscussed, problems and truths to the table—familial pressure to push down mental struggles, the efforts one puts into bettering their mental health (especially when taking that effort is difficult) and finding love as a healer.
➝ Sum it up in points!
✔depression, anxiety & suicide rep
✔love as a healer
✔inspired by ‘the little mermaid’
➝ Trigger Warnings
⇾ suicide & self-harm
⇾ emotional abuse
⇾ anxiety & panic attacks
⇾ eating disorders
⇾ non-consensual advances.
The story revolves around three main characters—Coral, Merrick, and Brooke—who are all tied with a common thread of sadness and struggle. Coral doesn’t want to confine herself as a mermaid, perform the sole role her family thinks she should carry out and is probably afflicted with the Disease that is seen only in humans: emotions. On the land, Brooke’s anxiety and depression have made her numb, despite the claims of this therapy home where she currently lives, and the consecutive loneliness and isolation is only leading her to a deeper and darker tunnel. Merrick wants to make things right in his house—considering a controlling father and the suicide attempt by his younger sister—and maybe finding his mother will be the solution.
The excellent anxiety and depression rep is the strongest aspect of this story. While I can vouch for the anxiety representation as an ownvoices reviewer, I can’t say the same for depression or suicide rep so my opinions on the execution of the latter should be considered secondary to those who have experienced them. The descriptions and vivid emotions were reflected in a very natural yet powerful manner that forces the readers to empathise and feel the characters’ feelings. Coral also works on exhibiting therapy sessions and mental institutions under a bright light so as to open conversations about the importance of such initiatives.
The overall story and romance weren’t my most favourite since the multiple POVs weren’t distinct enough and the story lines didn’t always merge smoothly, but the commendable dialogue surrounding mental health and projection of the need for more serious reactions when considering mental illness has won my heart.
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this via my participation in a blog tour but that, in no way, affects my rating and/or review. Thank you, FFBC tours, Thomas Nelson, and Sara Ella! This post contains affiliate links.
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Author: Sara Ella
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: November 12, 2019
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.
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.”