ARC Review of Coral by Sara Ella

I received an e-ARC of Coral by Sara Ella!

“I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.”

So for those who haven’t heard of Coral, coming out in December ’19, here is a quick blurb:

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

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?

 

My Review:

☆☆☆☆☆ / 5 Stars

 

Coral interested me for two reasons:

  1. I wanted to see how well it handled the topics of depression and suicide.
  2. Mermaids are cool. (Have you not seen my Instagram?)

Clearly, one reason is more adult than the other. Did I feel like I got what I came for? Yes, because hello, MERMAIDS.

Okay, slightly more serious talk now.

I’d call Coral a hard-hitting contemporary with an essence of magical realism. In real life I’m close to people who struggle with these sorts of problems and so I felt the topics were handled well in the story and it was insightful.

The story has three points of view it jumps between, Merrick, Brooke and Coral (the mermaid). All three POVs seem unrelated at first and so the book does require some patience, it’s not massively fast-paced but a story that lets you get to know the characters and makes you root for them to solve their problems.

Coral is our fantasy element, a mermaid who is worried to feel because that’s not what mermaids do.

Merrick is struggling to mend his broken family, or at least the pieces he cares about and tries to do the best he can.

Brooke is struggling with depression and perhaps the hardest point of view to read but the people she meets throughout makes it so much more rewarding to read about as we see how they affect her as a character.

Overall the story comes together like a puzzle, which makes it a fulfilling read at the end. I loved it by the end, it’s one of those novels that’s a journey. Sara Ella handled the topics brought up well. I seriously loved the book quotes Hope and Brooke share, they’re from modern stories like Divergent and it made the characters feel more modern and rooted in the real world.

 

 


On another note, why is this blog a little quiet?

I’m mainly active on Instagram as Ensworldofwords. I talk about bookish things nearly daily and take loads of pics, so go take a look! I’m updating my blog when I read mostly ARCs and updates about my own novels.

Love the mermaid featured? It’s a custom by UndertheSeaCrochet on Etsy. You can also find more examples of her work on Instagram. Use ENSWORLD15 to save on a mer of your own! 🙂

Book Boxes are they worth it? Unboxing Pics included.

There’s some immensely fun about watching unboxings, isn’t there? It’s like unwrapping a surprise birthday gift, except book boxes come monthly and it’s like every month is your birthday. Except, like birthday presents, someone buys you something you don’t want like (I can’t say socks because I like funny socks) LIKE PLAIN SOCKS. WHY. Sometimes you get a book box from a fandom you’ve never read a book for and have no intention of reading and you could feel like you’ve wasted your money.

But I suppose that is the risk everyone takes when they buy a monthly subscription box, you can get hints but they’re never going to tell you everything that comes in it. But I think half the fun is the surprise and I guess the gamble of liking it. I really do hope I like it. Always. So thanks to Bookstagram I’ve found myself unable to stop myself from trying out some of these boxes. I should start saying the boxes I’ve tried so far are all from fairly big companies, I’m trying The Bookish Box in April, so it’ll be nice to see how larger and smaller companies fair with my own eyes.

 

November 2018 Owlcrate

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  • Girls of Paper and Fire by Natash Ngan. Signed.
  • An Ember in the Ashes inspired pillow Case
  • Harry Potter sticker
  • Phoenix badge
  • Wishing Bracelet
  • Wax letter seal kit.
  • Skull planter

Owlcrate is considered the best of all the book boxes in most people’s opinion and so it was naturally the first box I went for. It’s quite pricey due to shipping if you’re not from US. Owlcrate makes a name for itself with its exclusive covers.

I personally didn’t love this box. The book was awesome (but I could have got that easily on Amazon with a different cover), the letter kit was neat but I honestly didn’t love much else about this. box There were bits of added art you can see in the picture but most boxes have this.

 

December 2018 Shelflove

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Box contained:

  • Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene
  • Rhysand 3D plush
  • Genya’s Face Mask
  • Night Circus Poster
  • Bookish ornament
  • Belle’s inspired mug.

Second up is Shelflove, it sold me on it’s exclusive plush item, which was honestly awesome. It came with a Rhysand plush, the design was cute. The box also came with a wonderfully designed mug that changes colour when hot too.

This was also the from the US too, but I loved the items so this box was worth it to me! Although other people I know didn’t like it as much. ( I guess it shows it really is opinion based!)

 

January 2019 Fairyloot

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Box contained:

  • Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye. Signed. With sprayed edges ooo.
  • Raven Boy’s inspired pillow case. Double sided art ooo.
  • Lord of the Rings inspired Woodmark
  • 2 ACOTAR tarot cards (Fairyloot collectables)
  • Six of Crows inspired Hairband.
  • The Infernal Devices inspired candle.
  • Lunar Chronicles Hot Chocolate

So this box was from the UK, great for me and it was packed with loads of little goodies and a nice pillowcase. The pillowcase was good quality (better than Owlcrate’s November item) and I loved the whimsical quote. I also loved the Woodmark, its like the worlds most sturdy bookmark that also doesn’t easily slip out a book and doesn’t get lost in the book. REVOLUTIONARY TECHNOLOGY RIGHT HERE. I also enjoyed the book! I also liked the added little bookmark of this month’s art and the art for Circle of Shadows. I personally wasn’t a fan of the other knickknacks. I don’t need food in my book boxes that is what supermarkets are for. I buy you for pretty books and book merch that is not edible. Don’t eat your books people.

 

February 2019 Illumicrate

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Contained:

  • Exclusive cover of The Orphanage of Gods by Helena Coggan. Signed and blue spray edges ooo
  • GoPaF inspired chopsticks.
  • V.E. Schwab quote pouch.
  • DoSaB bookmark collection
  • Dragon tin case.
  • Strange the Dreamer Umbrella

There were also sneak peaks to upcoming books, The Red Scrolls of Magic and The Binding, but I’m calling those extras. All in all this box had a lot going on. The umbrella is pretty although I personally hate umbrellas because they brake and I’m great at losing them. This beautiful umbrella will break my heart on a windy day. I bought this for the Daughter of Smoke and Bone art and I was pretty happy with this, but not mind blown.

 

So all in all I think it is pretty impossible to love everything that comes from one box. A lot of people sell certain items from boxes, but everyone has a different opinion and that is what it comes down to. The boxes I’ve tried are some of the mostly highly rated. Owlcrate’s November box seems pretty weak compared to the others in my opinion but I also got their January box as a late purchase as they had a few extra left because I loved the look of the items. If you want to see past boxes check out their websites. Some of book box companies occasionally have extra boxes from previous months that you can buy. So you can see all and have no surprises. I think the best boxes are probably the ones they do to one dedicated fandom but they are few and far between, usually only when an up and coming book in a series is coming out.

( I was too late to join the Kingdom of Ash bandwagon. This will be a regret I take to death with me!)

 

Hope you guys found this interesting! Let me know your thoughts on book boxes, do you buy them? What’s your favourite?