Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Coral” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.69  ·  Rating details ·  816 ratings  ·  410 reviews
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
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published November 12th 2019 by Thomas Nelson
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  816 ratings  ·  410 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Coral
Sara Ella
May 23, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Trigger Warning & A Note to My Readers:

(*You will find this note at the beginning of this book as well.*)

For my friends who have experienced trauma, a warning—this story may be triggering. I have done my best to approach the mental health topics addressed in this book in the most sensitive and caring way possible. But even all the research and sensitivity readers in the world would never make it so I could approach every aspect of mental health from every perspective. Your experience is unique t
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
Coral, a modern reimagining of The Little Mermaid, follows three perspectives through their struggles with mental illness.

Coral: A little mermaid who lost her oldest sister to Red Tide, a condition that mirrors depression.

Estranged and misunderstood by the rest of her family, Coral sets out to find the Prince she blames for her older sister's demise.

Merrick: A young man whose controlling father is definitely the villain of his story.

After his little sister attempts suicide, and their mother runs
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to Allison at Thomas Nelson for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

DNF at 55% for two reasons.

1. I'm confused - at one point or another I must have zoned out because I am quite confused and don't really know what's going on

2. Suicide/mental illness - there are a lot of themes surrounding mental illness and I always love to see those representations in books. Unfortunately, I'm going through a patch of particularly strong anxiety so I'm really sensitive to triggers. Als
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Coral by Sara Ella is a young adult fantasy that is a loosely based retelling of the Little Mermaid. This one is a rather dark version of the classic that comes with a long list of trigger warnings for readers including suicide, self-harm, emotional abuse, anxiety, depression, PTSD, eating disorders, and unwanted/non-consensual advances.

The book begins with Coral, our mermaid, who is different than all the others around her. Corals fears she has contracted a deadly disease that her older sister
Amanda Hupe
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-reads, netgalley
Just look at that cover. It isn’t hard to imagine why I wanted to read Coral by Sara Ella. Between the cover and finding out it has a fairy tale twist, I just could not pass it up. However, if you struggle with depression, mental illness and have certain triggers. You may want to avoid my review.


Coral is a mermaid and her father is the King. She has two sisters, Jordan and The Crown Princess. Emotions are for humans, not merpeople. The Crown Princess is struggling
Trina (Between Chapters)
Full disclosure: Sara Ella is a friend of mine and I was sent an ARC copy of the book for review. For me, some elements were 3 stars, some were 5 stars.

The worst I can say about it is that I spent a lot of time being confused about the timeline - I was reading too much into it, making up theories that I was WAY of about, so I think if you just take it at face value and allow the story to play out in its own time you won't feel the confusion that I did.

The best I can say is that Sara captures a l
Alysha (For The Love of Christian Fiction)
This book hits different. It’s deep and emotional and so many people need this story.

I’m beyond thankful Sara fought through the difficulties she had writing this story. This story could be the thing that saves someone’s life.

Such an unique twist on a well known fairytale! She did an amazing job wrapping everything up, and making me feel every emotion!

Sara is queen of plot twists and I loved them all. (Even though they broke my heart)

If you know anyone who has depression, if YOU have depression
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a big emotional read. It deals with emotional trauma and the many faces of mental illness in the most original way possible. Reading it was sometimes confusing, but in the end, it felt like I was wearing the story like a blanket. It's a part of who I am now. Depression, anxiety... it's an illness. Nothing is what it seems at first glance. You can't never know what's inside everyone's head, what they are thinking and feeling, beside their smile. The most important part of the story, for m ...more
R.F. Gammon
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lyrical, painful, and real. Was slightly distracted by two of the main characters having the same first names as my two best friends.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Coral is such a raw, beautiful story. It left me breathless and desperately wanting more, yet it was so satisfying in what it was, and ended so perfectly.

The characters are all so real. I felt their struggles in me. I felt their struggles in my friends. Coral, Brooke, Merrick, Hope, Grim, Nikki, Jake, Beck, Miss Brandes. Pieces of them are pieces of me, and that was amazing to read.

It's an incredibly brave thing to do: to write a story like this about mental health. For Sara Ella to be vulnerabl
Jun 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Okay... this got SUPER confusing at the end. I may have to reread it to fully get it (I think I read it too quickly hahah).
Laura A. Grace
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it

4.5 stars

I'm not 100% sure what to say.

Coral was nothing like expected, but everything I needed.

It ripped off the "blinders" concerning mental health in a way where these characters are not just characters on the page. They are reflections of real people, real stories. It made me realize that it can be so easy due to social media to feel "involved" in others' lives, but also make us feel like a mermaid out of water. That so many of us struggle with
Merie Shen
Ooooookay.... That was brilliant. Beautifully textured, vibrant, deep, and raw. I understand the hype now.
Marta Cox
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-reviews, netgalley
Absolutely beautiful, heart breaking and ultimately about the power of love. I note that many view this as a retelling of The Little Mermaid but I beg to disagree. I found this to be slightly inspired by it yes but only as a vehicle to tell a profound story about depression and the ugly consequences.
This quite rightly carries a trigger warning as it's a very heavy subject but told in a deft intriguing way. Its surprising, profound and imaginative. Told initially from the point of view of Coral
Anubha (BooksFullOfLife, LifeFullOfBooks)
I don't want to ever read this book, never ever again. I don't even know what all I should point in the book I hated, cuz I disliked the entirety of it, so cliché, so unoriginal. Nope. No.
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
Pre Teens- One Star
New Teens- One Star
Early High School Teens- Two Stars
Older High School Teens- Two Stars
My personal Rating- Two Stars

{{ Major trigger warnings to those sensitive to suicide, self-harm, emotional abuse, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, PTSD, and unwanted advances. }}
{{ Ratings are for content, please decide for yourself on what content/topics you are okay with. }}

I knew this book was a Little Mermaid retelling (though, perhaps, reimagined would be best like the author sa
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it

**Disclaimer: I received a free electronic ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

"Coral" is a loose retelling of the classic tale of "The Little Mermaid". I'm not super familiar with all the nitty-gritty details of the classic, just the kids friendly Disney version that most of the general population have come to love. Aside from this, I can confirm it is a VERY loose retelling.

This book has a very interesting premise, but once I started to read it I began to lose interest
hallie bertling
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
i'm going to attempt to put into (just a few) words how an anticipated book release can exceed any & all expectations.

it's like THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER. but instead of magical realism, it's a fairy tale. but instead of a fairy tale, it's real life.

with subtle references to the original hans christian andersen "the little mermaid" fairy tale, and deftly woven allusions to the disney classic, sara ella's CORAL stands on its own as a powerful tribute to life, loss, hope, depression, and ment
Carlye Krul
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
I have no words for how amazing this book.
I also have no words on how relatable this book is.
This book was raw pure emotion.
Read it.
Mel (Epic Reading)
While I appreciate what Sara Ella is trying to do with Coral it just didn’t work for her. Unfortunately the ever twists that might make a book like this work feel flat and confusing. The focus of the story is not related to mermaids at all. It’s really about depression and suicide; that one of our gals starts as a mermaid is generally irrelevant. The love story is okay, but features frustrating moments and is very teen angsty. This might work for some teens in certain mindsets but for this adult ...more
Cassie O. | Lost In Tomes
DNF @ 45%

For fairytale retellings to be truly successful they need to do one of two things:
A - Invoke strong feelings of any type; fun, nostalgia, love, sorrow etc. or
B - Provide intrigue through a clever, dark or unique twist
This did neither for me.


Cue somewhat ranty but spoiler-free review below.

This is a story about mental health, wrapped in the clothing of The Little Mermaid.
My family has been touched by a lot of mental health issues; especially suicide and
Julie (Struck by Stories)
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-read-2019
* I received a free eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my thoughts or opinions of this book *

This book, was just, WOW.

When I went into it, I was expecting a retelling of the Little Mermaid, but, oh my gosh, this book is so much more than that. It was a beautiful and exquisite take on mental health in today's society, and for that, I honestly cannot recommend it enough.

However, I will say that I experienced a lot of difficulty following along with the story,
Nadhira Satria
I got approved for the arc, yeahhhhh man
Sydney (sydneysshelves) West
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Before I even start this I want to bring your attention to the author’s note. She is very clear about trigger warnings and that she wants you to talk care of your mental health. So if subjects like suicide, self harm, depression, anxiety, death of a loved one bother you at all, maybe wait to pick this one up until you are in a good
I. B.
Ughhhhhhh I wanted to like this book so bad!!


Listen, before I get into this review, I want to applaud Sara Ella. Mental health is so complex, and people who don't deal with it just don't understand. What the author tried to do here is fantastic, she tried to spread an awareness and understanding of people who struggle with loss and poor mental health.

When I picked up this book, and one of the first lines was, "You are not nothing, my friend, and neither am I." I wanted to cry!! I have struggle
Allisa White
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This beautiful retelling of "The Little Mermaid" broke my heart many times over, but the feelings of hope made me love it even more.


Content Warnings: Suicide, self-harm, depression, anxiety.

This book is inspired by "The Little Mermaid" by Hans Christian Anderson. This is my all-time favorite fairy tale (and yes, I love the tragic tale more than the Disney movie), so I was intrigued to read the premise of this book. It takes some hard-hitting topics and weaves it into a mermaid story. I thoug
Sep 17, 2019 rated it liked it
“Who knew a person could drown without ever stepping off land?”

Coral has always been different, standing out from her mermaid sisters where blending in is key. Above the sea, Brooke is overcome with depression and anxiety, but is trying a group therapy home that promises a second chance at life. Merrick is San Francisco’s golden boy, but he wants nothing more to escape his controlling father.

Ok. I really and truly wanted to fall in love with this book. And there are aspects of it that moved me
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: disappointed, arcs
3 🌟-----------------------------------------------------------------
Now I just want to make one thing really clear. I did not dislike this book. i just did not LOVE this book.

I am in a place in my life where I am feeling pretty good, pretty stable and this completely abolished it. I do not have anything against books about depression or books that make me feel depressed I just felt this book kinda missed the point. For reasons of non-spoilery reviews, I will go into the fact why. This book coul
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Coral is a unique approach to heavy topics like mental illness and suicide. The author uses mermaids to represent a group that sees emotions as bad things - the disease that humans have - and Coral, a young mermaid, learns to stifle her shameful emotions. We also meet Merrick and Brooke in this story. Both are teenagers with tough things to work out in their lives. Merrick harbors an inner rage toward his father and blames him for his sister’s attempted suicide and mother’s abandonment. Brooke’s ...more
Jaye Berry
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
TWs (from the author): suicide, self-harm, emotional abuse, anxiety, depression, PTSD, eating disorders, and unwanted/non-consensual advances

While I appreciate the idea of using a fairytale retelling to talk extensively about mental health... this just wasn't good and felt gimmicky instead.

Coral is a very loosely based retelling of The Little Mermaid about three different characters and their troubles. Coral is a mermaid who has never fit into mermaid society. To her horror, she finds herself st
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
YA Buddy Readers'...: Coral by Sara Ella - Starting September 7th 2019 2 11 Aug 25, 2019 02:59AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Memory Thief
  • The Weight of a Soul
  • The Bone Ships (The Tide Child, #1)
  • The Story Hunter (The Weaver Trilogy, #3)
  • Dust (Heirs of Neverland, #1)
  • The Story Raider (The Weaver Trilogy, #2)
  • Beyond the Shadowed Earth (Beneath the Haunting Sea, #2)
  • We Met in December
  • All That's Bright and Gone
  • Slumber
  • The Dating Charade
  • Songs from the Deep
  • Good Girls Lie
  • The Stone Rainbow
  • Dewdrop
  • The Words Between Us
  • Would Like to Meet
  • Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox, #2)
See similar books…
Once upon a time, Sara Ella dreamed she would marry a prince and live in a Disney castle. Today, she spends her days throwing living room dance parties for her two princesses, raising her little prince to be a king, and conquering realms of her own imaginings. Oh, and her husband is definitely more swoon-worthy than any Prince Charming.

Sara’s UNBLEMISHED trilogy has received high praise and multip

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
6 likes · 7 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“No one would ever tell a cancer patient to 'just get over it.' Why people think they can tell those with a mental illness as much is baffling.” 9 likes
“Sometimes you have to swim through a bit of darkness if you’re ever going to surface in the light.” 3 likes
More quotes…