The Surface Breaks by Louise O'Neill

The Surface Breaks

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-...

Details The Surface Breaks

TitleThe Surface Breaks
Release DateMay 3rd, 2018
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Retellings, Feminism

Reviews The Surface Breaks

  • Emer
    Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid was my absolute favourite fairytale as a child. I loved it for its unrequited love story and bittersweet yet I always thought hopeful ending; I just loved the character of the little mermaid and how she gave everything for true love and when that didn't quite work out she tried to make the world better with her good deeds.FYI I hated the Disney film when it came out. It was so unlike the fairytale and ...
  • ☘Misericordia☘ ✺❂❤❣
    A retelling of Anderson's fairy tale. A feminist one. An awesome one. It was good to read about the merpeople kingdom.As for the world-building… 'Rusalka' is a 'mermaid' in Russian. Why the author thought them ferocious or anything, beats me. Obviously, yet another author became a translation troubles victim. Yes, they supposedly all mermaids have nasty tempers… Still, they are only mermaids.The concept of the armistice achieved by Muireann w...
  • milou (grumpy hobbit)
    "We are women. And women are warriors, after all." This story is a retelling of the famous The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen and therefore this book is anything but the happy and soppy Disney movie that everyone knows and has grown up with. Therefore the story is much darker than you might expect. Do not forget how tragic this tale truly is.When I first read the synopsis I was immediately sold because it had promised us that this s...
  • Katie.dorny
    Everyone oversold me on the feminist part of this story.Don’t read further on if you don’t like ranting.Gaia spends most of her time pinning after the main boy who ends up being an ass. Her inner monologue is recognising the boy is a stranger - but her must be perfect because she loves him!! Her father is an ass as well - what a surprise that is.She feels sorry for herself the entire time - a lovely whining monologue. The biggest feminist is ...
  • Minni Mouse
    Unpopular opinion coming against what's being popularly hailed as a feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid. I guess that means I need to stay in the kitchen and make my man a sandwich because 2.5 stars due to the amount of social political themes slapping me in the face that ruined the book for me. Fat shaming, #metoo movement, Donald Trump references, anti-men, glass ceiling, sexual orientations, patriarchy, Gossip Girl-esque social castes, fe...
  • Resh (The Book Satchel)
    A retelling of the Little mermaid. What to expect:- a patriarchal under water kingdom ruled by the Sea King- HIGHLY ENGAGING plot- plight of women in a partriarchal world - being wed without their permission, being called unnatural, being forced to behave, being cast out as rusalkas, life of a sea witch, a human wife who is emotionally wrecked by her selfish, lazy son and her husband who was in a world of his own.- the world building was excellen...
  • Es Summer
    "They estimate the beauty of each passing girl. Listing pros and cons to their friends as if it is their decision to make, that the girl's beauty will be determined by their opinions rather than objective fact, because they are men and a man's word is final. The girls, knowing the men are watching them but pretending to be unaware, performing a calculated innocence they have been told they must possess." Sappy, the retelling of The Little Mermai...
  • Gabriela Pop
    CW: fatshaming,homophobia,mentions of suicide,domestic violence,sexual harassment Disclaimer: I have read and loved all of Louise’s previous work and I love her newspaper pieces but this one just wasn’t for me and that’s that,so don’t come at me,please.For once,I quite honestly have no idea how to rate this.Most of it was floating (lmao,get it?) in a meh kind of space,while the last 30 pages or so felt so strong.However,all of that bein...
  • Chloe ✨
    Trigger warning: sexual assaultI will talk about this more on my channel, but some quick thoughts:I was really excited for this. I mean, a feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid? Yes please!! But unfortunately I was disappointed. The only things I really loved were Ceto (Sea Witch Queen) and the feminist passages where I was like YESSSSS! e.g.:"Being called fat is not an insult, little mermaid. It is as meaningless as being called thin. They ar...
  • Krissysch
    Dieses Buch ist eine Nacherzählung von Andersens Kleiner Meerjungfrau, allerdings wunderbar düster. Die Protagonistin Gaia fand ich super, denn im Gegensatz zu ihren Schwestern beginnt sie, die Regierung ihres Vaters und den Stand der weiblichen Meermenschen zu hinterfragen. Auch die Stimmung und der Schreibstil waren toll, märchenhaft, düster und sehr atmosphärisch. Nur das Ende kam mir etwas zu abrupt, da hätte ich die ein oder andere Sei...
  • Denise Bücherwunderland
    3.5 Sterne 🤔 denke ich 😅The Surface Breaks war ein absoluter Coverkauf 😅. Nachdem sich auch der Inhalt toll angehört hat, musste ich es natürlich auch gleich lesen 🤗. Aktuell weiß ich aber noch nicht was ich von dem Buch halten soll 🤔. Es handelt sich um ein eher düsteres Retelling, was natürlich auch daran liegt, das die Vorlage nicht der süße Disney Film ist, sondern das Original Märchen 😅. Ich habe das Buch jetzt an e...
  • Mavence [semi-hiatus]
    Again, these types of books have thwarted my initial impressions. I never really expected much from this one, to be honest, yet it had completely stumped my meager expectations to no end. “There was no one there to hear them scream 'no'. Or maybe there was; but that 'no' wasn’t deemed worthy of being heard. Maybe they heard it and they didn’t care. A woman’s 'no' can so easily be turned into a 'yes' by men who do not want to listen.” ...
  • Miriam
    A book by Louise O'Neill? A fairytale retelling? Feminist? This should have been everything I wanted. But it wasn't. I read Almost Love when it came out and I can't help but wonder if maybe writing the two booms at the same time damaged this one. I had my issues with Almost Love but at least it was always written in O'Neill's startling, crisp prose. How I wish I could say the same for this. For the most part, the writing was very heavy handed, an...
  • Ezgi Tülü
    “The women always get blamed. Have you noticed that? The wives are nags. The mistress is a bitch for betraying the sisterhood. And the men just fall through the cracks in between. We expect so little from our boys, don’t we, Grace?”
  • Jess ☕️
    “Something hardens inside me, and I allow it to happen. Nay, I welcome it. I will be hard. I will be made of ice.”Holy shit. Disney’s The Little Mermaid was my fav as a kid so naturally this sparked my interest, as I’d never really gone much further than the Disney films lol. That could be a contributing factor to my 5 star rating, but I truly enjoyed every page of this book. All I have to say is: please read this. The ending. THE ENDING....
  • Rissa
    The surface breaks ⭐Star reasoning⭐the exterior is gorgeous so that deserves a star right there⭐the relationship between the sisters was golden⭐an interesting twist on the little mermaid. Loved the little bits of treasures and beautiful writing. -2 The story was slow. Interesting but not the best mermaid retelling I’ve read recently so it doesnt deserve a higher mark then them for a lesser mermaid quality. The surface breaks ⭐️St...
  • Kristen
    I will flay the skin from the bones of men like my father. I will tear them apart and I will eat them raw. Oh, I will set them on fire and devour their ashes whole... I will have my vengeance. Oh, this book got me all riled up now. I'm ready to kick some ass and take some names.I have to admit, it took me a solid 200 pages to start really enjoying this story. For the first two thirds of the story, the women are all so horribly oppressed, I was fi...
  • Toni Davis
    Honestly I didn't like this book at all. I try not to score low hut I've been generous giving a 3. I got a proof of this book and the cover is georgous however for me the story was contrived and the feminism was to angery to understand feminism isn't about bashing men. It about understanding woman working togher can empower the world. Its not men are evil so woman should be the power. there wasn't a single male charcter in the book that wasn't po...
  • Serena
    'Another human woman set on fire by an insatiable man.' Louise has done it again - she has reimagined this classic in a way that will make your brain do mental gymnastics to align what you thought you knew and what you know is right. I inhaled this book, much like every other feminist masterpiece Louise produced. I winced while reading this book, felt every sharp bit of pain that Gaia did. Admittedly I don't know much about the folklore surroundi...
  • Chloe
    Ahhhhhhhh this book!!! This book was so empowering, beautiful and perfect.Firstly, I was already on the hype train for this book because it's written by an Irish author. Despite being Irish myself, I haven't read anything by an Irish author since school so I was overly excited (from what I know, YA isn't that big of a genre over here). Secondly, this book talks a lot about feminism and women in society which isn't something I read about a lot. An...
  • Kelly-Marie
    5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 why? ... reimagining of a little mermaid what more could you want !
  • Katie (Melting Pages)
    I ended up DNFing this book at about 82%, so I feel like I know what it was that I did not like about this book and I feel confident in my rating.The synopsis of this book says that it is “reimagined through a searing feminist lens” and I do not agree with that at all. To me when a book says that it is a feminist retelling, I think that it is going to have female characters that stand up for themselves and fight for equality, but in the 254 p...