Let’s Talk YA #3

Last month, the lovely Emma from Never Judge A Book By Its Cover and I launched Let’s Talk YA and I shared the first and second instalment.

Today, I’m shouting about the incredible feminist fairy-tale re-telling, The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill.



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-sharp writing and world building that has won Louise her legions of devoted fans. A book with the darkest of undercurrents, full of rage and rallying cries: storytelling at its most spellbinding.

Why I Love It:

Firstly, I love fairy-tale re-tellings and I adore feminist stories, so I’m a sucker for anything that combines the two. Also, that cover is just gorgeous!

Louise O’Neill has truly established herself as a feminist, fire-cracker author whose prose cuts as sharply and precisely as a knife. The Surface Breaks just continues her dark, feminist brand of YA that is sorely needed.

On top of that, Gaia is a complex protagonist whose journey is so compelling and relatable for me.

This is the Little Mermaid re-telling for teens today: fierce, awesome and empowering. It rips apart so many ideas from the beauty myth to the silencing of women, which are perpetuated so often to young women and have such a damaging effect.

Let’s talk!

Have you read The Surface Breaks or any of Louise’s work? What did you think? 

What other feminist YA books have you read and what would you recommend?

As always, please check out Emma’s blog for her recommendation and we will be talking on Twitter, so please get involved and use the hashtag #LetsTalkYA.

7 thoughts on “Let’s Talk YA #3

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