CORAL by Sara Ella is a moving standalone that focuses on the challenges of anxiety and depression. This post DOES NOT CONTAIN SPOILERS.
I was fortunate to receive a copy through NetGalley from Thomas Nelson. Here is the summary and shortened review.
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?
Note: When you purchase the book with the link above, you are supporting my local indie bookstore, Avid Bookshop. Thank you.
Why I was interested: As someone who adores retellings — especially of The Little Mermaid! — and faces anxiety and depression, I was interested in seeing a mental health angle to the beloved classic. Plus, I really love mermaid stories.
Judge a book by it’s cover: The cover is lovely and focuses so much on the colors that are discussed within the story. Including Coral and Brooke on the cover is a nice detail along with their books and the message in a bottle.
What to expect: This story really, truly focuses on mental health. Suicide and suicidal-attempts does show appear in this story, forewarning, but it is handled with such care you really empathise with the main characters, Brooke, Coral, and Merrick. This standalone is at once heart-shattering but also healing with hope truly at its core. It was nice to be able to truly relate with characters who feel anxiety and depression; their emotions feel so raw and how it feels to be battling with these “Diseases.”
Why you should pick this book up: CORAL truly understands the rawness of mental health and the stigma around it. However, it also really focuses on the hope of “after.” This contemporary-fantasy story is heartfelt and caring in all the right ways with just the amount of plot twists you’ll be happy to find.
Want more?: This book is out today, Tuesday, Nov. 12!
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