Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Blog Tour: When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O'Neal | Review

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for When We Believed in Mermaids hosted by TLC Book Tours.  Thank you TLC Book Tours!!

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Kit was working in the ER when she looked at the TV and saw her died sister of fifteen years.  Her sister Josie was supposedly killed in a terrorist train attack in France.  On the TV there was a live coverage of a nightclub fire in Auckland and the woman on the screen looked identical to Kit's sister.  Kit decides she is going to go to Auckland and find her.  

The book is told in two perspectives Kit and Mari, which is her sister Josie.  She stole someone's identity and is going by Mari now.  She is married and has two children and loves her life.  While Kit is an ER doctor and is very lonely.  When Kit gets to Auckland she is on her search for her sister and she meets a man who she can confide in and talk to about her sister and they end up having a romantic relationship.

This is a very character based book you learn through the two perspectives about their childhood and what made them into the people they are today.  I honestly can't believe Josie would leave her family high and dry and fake her own death.  Leaving your family to grieve over you and your not even dead.  I kind of think it's selfish.  And poor Kit I would be pissed if I saw my dead sister alive.  At first I though Kit and Javier, her love interest was kind of creepy.  He was kind of mysterious, but after getting to know him he was a really nice and genuine guy.  Kit definitely deserves someone good in her life for everything she has gone through.  I felt the book was beautifully well written and recommend if you are into family dramas and character driven books.

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

I'm the author of more than a dozen books of women's fiction, which have been translated into many languages and won many awards. 

I love in Colorado with my partner, a British endurance athlete who doesn't mind my predilection for too many pets. 

Author Links

Are you going to pick up When We Believed in Mermaids?  Let me know in the comments!


  1. The premise of this one is definitely interesting - what would make a woman start all over and let her family believe her to be dead? - but when I think about it I’m betting I would have a hard time connecting to Josie/Mari. I would feel such resentment to her for putting her sister through that. I can’t imagine a scenario where that would be okay.

  2. I really am interested in this one and curious how it all comes together. Thank you for being on this tour, you've piqued my interest. Sara @ TLC Book Tours

    1. Aww your welcome! It was a lot of fun! Thank you for having me!!

  3. Hello, I got this book as it really gets high praises wherever I look, and I've got through 70 pages so far. I've been expecting interesting characters but honestly, I can't see it just yet and I'm wondering if you would still recommend it; more precisely, I'm wondering if it really will be satisfying in the end.

    Up to 70 pages, all it's been was random, but very similar and repetitive memories of surfing and things about the ocean, A mom and dad who seem strangely uninterested in parenting but loved each other insanely but not much else, we get told Josie is "so smart. so doomed" a number of times but there's no convincing evidence of Josie being smart and I don't see why she's doomed(All we know is she turns heads). She's a free spirit, sure, but how's that "doomed?" Same goes for Kit, who we know is an expert in medicine(which, automatically makes her smart?) but not much more substance apart from hints of a bad romantic relationship in the past.
    I still can't picture either of these characters, and therefore don't feel intrigued to know or care about them. The writing seems focused more on trying to sound dramatic and not on fleshing out the characters.

    And the mystery element of "how and why did Josie fake her death?" still hasn't progressed since the first page, where Kit sees Josie in the News, leaving me bored. Instead, they focus on a dream house and a dead actress. It also bothers me how a lot of the depictions are physical and material; Simon, for all we know, is a handsome man with a good body, "like a wall" when hugged as Josie describes, and doesn't like fejoa, and owns a gym. Sure, he doesn't tolerate bullying but who would say otherwise?

    My impression so far is none of the various characters are "characters" and only seems to me a series of description that could fit just any body I find around on the streets.

    So in summary, a lot of it is just repetitive, there's not much that's interesting about the characters, and the story doesn't progress while it seems to waste a lot of time describing New Zealand accents and scenery.

    But my question is, am I too early to think this way in mere 70 pages? Is there a very good reason the memories are all similar and repetitive? Should I read on to get more essence and get attached to any of the characters? Or would you say, after 70 pages or so of not being interested in it, it's not the right book for me?(By the way, I loved books like "What the wind knows" by Amy Harmon because that really made me feel love for the characters)

    1. I agree with you 100%. I'm further along than you and sadly, it doesn't get better. I have a feeling that these Book Club books from the Amazon publishing arm Lake Union are pretty close to self-published and do not benefit from an editor. The writing is no Show or Feel, and all Tell. I almost stopped reading it when the author wrote "a chill walked down her spine" - really, it walked? Chills have legs and feet? Groan. Then there was an entire paragraph of whether Mari should put on a hat. I would imagine Lake Union has a word minimum for submission, hence the overuse of adverbs, adjectives and paragraphs droning on with zero relevant information. Shallow character development, a lack of any real mystery to be solved, and poor overall writing is about all this book has to offer readers.

  4. I'm new to this book , when we believed in mermaids. Does this book have anything to do with mermaids at all??? Thanks


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