34. The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill

I got this book for my Birthday. It is a book I have seen featured a lot in other reviews and instagram pages and it looked like it would be a good read. I’m into these books that tell a re-imagining of a classic story.

Synopsis (as taken from the back of the book) is as follows:

The days of my childhood kept turning over; dissolving like sea foam on the crest of the waves. I have been counting them, the days and the nights, the weeks, the months, the years.

I have been waiting for this day.

Ability to read – I didn’t find this difficult to read but I did find it difficult to get into. It wasn’t the language per say, it was just something that didn’t click for me as well as it should have. It’s a shame really because I was so looking forward to reading this but I find that when something doesn’t click, then, as a reader, your enjoyment is hindered and I think that’s what got me here. It was also a lot darker than I had anticipated and I found that difficult to process.

Characterisation – The characters were fully formed and I had no real issue with them. In fact, I enjoyed the way the author had fleshed out the sisters of ‘the little mermaid’ so to speak because it made them more realistic and dimensional. I also thought the character of the Grandmother was a good addition to the storyline as was the character of the witch. I found Gaia to be slightly annoying at the beginning. I could tell the need for freedom was strong in her soul but I felt she was a little selfish in not realising the problems of others or for thinking the way she did about certain people.

Visualisation – It was easy to visualise this which is confusing since I had so much trouble getting into it and understanding it. I was able to visualise the world it was set in and all the characters easily and it helped me to understand what was happening.

Uniqueness – It was unique in that I hadn’t read a re-imagining of The Little Mermaid before, so that element of it was completely new to me.

Here’s the thing. I think I read so much hype about this book that the final product, the book that I read, didn’t live up to the hype created. It was a perfectly good book but I didn’t come to the end thinking I’d read something outstanding or that it deserved a place on my shelf. I came to the end thinking ‘it was good’ but not good enough for me to fully connect to it and have had it leave a lasting imprint. I so wanted to love this but I’ll have to settle for liking it instead.

Hannah xoxo

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