Today you are getting a bit of a different book review from me. While no review isunbiased, we all take our own experiences with us after all, I do always try to point out where it is truly my personal bit and where I think a book could actually be improved on. I think that is always important.
This review however will be entirely personal. There is absolutely no way I could talk about this book without sharing about myself or how it impacted me. It would never get across what kind of book this truly is. Coral is not a little mermaid retelling with a bit of mental health. Coral is all about Mental Health. Everything else is secondary.
As such I want to start with the trigger warnings for Coral: Depression / Hospilization / Downplaying Depression / Suicidal Thoughts / Attempted Suicide / Succeeded Suicide / Suicide in Teens / Suicide by Drowning / Finding Someone Who Committed Suicide / Suicide in Middle School Children / Parental Abandonment / Disassociation / Anxiety / Cutting / Possible PTSD
The book focuses on three characters, Coral who is a mermaid, Brooke who has been hospitalized for depression and Merrick who is trying to protect his little sister from her own depression. As the book continues you start seeing how their stories come together. You start to wonder what is real and what is not.
Most of you will know by now that I am depressed. As such I think when I say that Coral has been one of the hardest reads for me this year and even in the last few years, will say enough. While my situation is very different for I am an adult, I still found a lot of myself back in this book. It was confronting. It was painful. It was honest. It was real.
That is the thing about mental illness. It has many faces. And most of them look pretty normal. You’d never know the person is slowly dying inside.
This book ripped out my heart, stomped on it, broke it into little pieces, ducktaped them back together, put it back. This repeated multiple times. I can’t give you an honest answer about the writing or the flow of the book because this book hit me in places that I try to hide.
Not even my own depression hit me but that our main character finds 2 people who committed suicide (one succeeded and one attempted). My father found his own mother after committing suicide. I know first hand what that does to a person. It made me wonder what kind of person he could have been had he gotten the help he needed (this was at the end of the sixties).
The author did write a note on the content. However it was not detailed and I think that is needed.
Having said all that, I rated the book 5 stars because of what it did to me. I think the book has a great way and representation of depression. There is a realness to it but that doesn’t mean that at the end of it there isn’t a hopeful note. This hopeful note doesn’t mean the depression is ‘cured’. That is just not the reality for many of us. But it ends on an up instead of a down. I think that is important too.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.
Book: Coral by Sara Ella
Release Date: November 12th 2019
Tags: Young Adult / Mental Health / Loose Little Mermaid Retelling