The Surface Breaks
Author: Louise O'Neill
Genre: Fantasy Retelling
Published: May 3, 2018
My Rating: ★★
Deep beneath the sea, off the cold Irish coast, Gaia is a young mermaid who dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy. She longs to join his carefree world, but how much will she have to sacrifice? What will it take for the little mermaid to find her voice? Hans Christian Andersen's original fairy tale is reimagined through a searing feminist lens, with the stunning, scalpel-sharp writing and world building that has won Louise her legions of devoted fans. A book with the darkest of undercurrents, full of rage and rallying cries: storytelling at its most spellbinding.
A new take on the classic Little Mermaid.
First, let me just say The Little Mermaid is my favorite Disney movie. Going into this book I did not have high expectations because it's a story that I have cherished from my childhood immensely. For that reason, the two-star rating wasn't as much of a let down to me. Honestly, I really only wanted this book because of the beautiful cover. I mean come on just look at it! It is one of the most beautiful book covers I have ever seen. The actual book itself on the inside even has shiny fish scales. I wanted it for the sole purpose of the cover and the way it looks alone to stand out on my bookshelf hahaha.
This book took me months to finally finish. If it wasn't for the sole fact that it was based on the Little Mermaid... I would not have finished this book. That's why I was in no rush to finish it. I was very close to DNF this book and not finish it. I kept reading because of the premise alone. The only reason it doesn't get a one star from me is that I actually did enjoy the ending quite a bit. It was something different than the average Disney ending. I will give the novel that.
There were a lot of triggering topics in here. I was looking for the beloved Disney story I had grown up on and instead was delivered difficult topics to read. It just overall was not my thing and I was not in the mood in the slightest. Thank god the actual book is short. Otherwise, I would never have finished it. This novel was one big flop. This book is not for children!!
Louise O' Neill is from Clonakilty, in west Cork. After graduating with a BA in English Studies at Trinity College Dublin, she went on to complete a post-grad in Fashion Buying at DIT. Having spent a year in New York working for Kate Lanphear, the senior Style Director of ELLE magazine, she returned home to Ireland to write her first novel. She went from hanging out on set with A-list celebrities to spending most of her days in pyjamas while she writes, and has never been happier.