When We Believed In Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal

Rating: 2 out of 5.
"My Thoughts" Banner with book pages

What I Loved: I loved the cover of this book. Fair warning, this was not a well-liked book for me.

How I Felt: The beginning of this book had me completely hooked. “My sister had been dead for fifteen years when I see her on the TV news.” I was like, “Yes!” This book is going to be awesome!” I felt so let down from that point on. I, in no way, ever want to bash a book, and I am usually finding myself handing out 4 and 5 star reviews because I “justlovebooks”, but I was on the Struggle-Bus for this entire book.

My Gripes: I was bored with the story line and completely unconnected with the characters. O’Neal’s writing was beautiful and descriptive, however, it was overly fluffy for the story. There is an entire story line surrounding a house and it has all this mystery about a murder, and I kept waiting for that part of the story to flesh out, but it just fizzled into nothing. It could have been completely removed from the book and it would not have affected the story at all. It would have improved the length of the story, however.

The two main characters are sisters, and one is thought to be dead for 15 years until her sister catches a glimpse her on TV. There was so much side-fluff happening, and I couldn’t understand why. If I thought my sister had been dead for 15 years, and then I see her on TV, I wouldn’t be traipsing around New Zealand, I would be so focused on finding her. Ultimately, this book missed the mark for me because the characters were not written in a way that made you understand their actions enough. I was constantly questioning WHY this or that issue was the thing ruining their lives.

Additionally, I felt that the placement of when I was given a “big reveal” about what had happened to a character, it was truly the third or fourth time it had been referenced, and I just wasn’t surprised about it. I was, however, frustrated that I had to read it again.

To Read or Not To Read: For me, this is a big fat not to read. However, I have scanned the Goodreads comments, and while there are people like me, there are a lot of people that really did enjoy this book. Many of the 4+ star comments also note that they almost did not finish this book, so most readers and I agree that it’s a struggle. For some, however, the book redeemed itself, for me, it did not. So, I’m suggesting that if the synopsis sounds good to you, pick it up and give it a try. Maybe you’ll have a better experience than me!

Separation Header with book pages and "What's This Book About Anyway" text

Kit’s sister has been dead for 15 years until she spots her on a news reel on TV. At her mother’s instance, Kit hops on a plane to New Zealand where the news came from, checks into a hotel and starts looking for her sister. Kit finds an unexpected romance in the middle of all of this. She must break down her barriers built up from her childhood to be able to truly let love in. There are many childhood secrets and the memories begin to pop up for Kit.

The book is written from the perspective of Kit, and her sister Josie. Kit will be one chapter, and then it will change to Josie. The perspectives were nice to help understand why each character felt the way they did. There are a lot of flashbacks to help us see all the secrets from their past. They will need to understand each other and their childhood to move forward.


#whenwebelievedinmermaids #barbaraoneal #fiction #shejustlovesbooks

One thought on “When We Believed In Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal

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