Ocean Heart is the debut novel by Ally Aldridge. And a great debut at that!  This is a slow burn, paranormal romance featuring mermaids, witches, werewolves and magic.

The story was very well written, with a unique and interesting storyline. The FMC was a little younger than is normally found in romance novels (15 – but please note that there are no sexual encounters in the book) and the author did a good job at portraying her as such. Unlike many books, Mariah acted her age – changing her mind, occasionally a little flighty, unsure of herself and her feelings – like any normal 15 year old! I’m looking forward to watching her mature and grow, coming into herself and her powers as the books progress.

Congratulations on your debut novel, I am looking forward to what comes next! ❤


Michaella’s review from Goodreads and Amazon

Michaella Dieter ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“If you believe in magic, magic will believe in you”

“If you believe in magic, magic will believe in you.”

– Ocean Heart

Ocean Heart is the story of a very grounded teenage girl, Mariah, who finds her world turned upside down when her best friend, Jace, moves away, and she is mysteriously drawn to the water. Mariah can’t explain this feeling, but she is no longer comfortable in her own shoes.

Reading Ally Aldridge’s sweet YA romance on the cusp of summer in Australia, Ocean Heart perfectly captured the sensations, sights, scents, and sounds of the warm weather we’re just beginning to enjoy– the smell and feel of grass underfoot, the temptation of ice cream, the clinking of ice in a glass. I can equally imagine curling up with this book in the winter, nostalgic for the very best of seasons.

SPOILER WARNING!

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Author Sarah Neofield’s Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I received this book as an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

I enjoyed the book; however, it did read a bit younger than YA for me. There were a few instances when I felt as if things could have been explained better, but I’m assuming they’ll be touched upon in the following books to the series.

Overall, it was an enjoyable book.


Kristen’s review from Goodreads.

Kristen Berger’s Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐

4.5 mertastic stars for a solid debut by an author to watch for.

Ocean Heart is a slow burn paranormal romance featuring mermaids, alongside witches, werewolves and other magical creatures. It doesn’t give us mermaids in their underwater home, so don’t expect that when you’re picking it up.

This is the story of one single mermaid, whose life is slowly turned completely topsy-turvy when she realizes what she really is. It is the tale of self-acceptance and love of a young 15 year old high school teen – Mariah. Complete with all the erratic emotions and insecurity of a normal girl her age. And it is beautifully done.

High school teen Mariah’s life is anything but simple. Between a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, her powers awaken early. And that gives the word complicated a whole new meaning.

Add in a handsome young man Mariah must make sure she will NOT kiss and a werewolf hungry for merblood, top it with a well-meaning guardian whose meddling magic spells do more harm than good and deadly powers difficult to control and there you go – the perfect recipe for a storm of trouble. One that may literally sweep Mariah up in its wake.

Saying more about it will definitely spoil, so I’ll leave the rest for you to find out. 😀

The storyline is unique and unexpected twists are present at almost every corner. The character development is wonderful while the prose is a pleasure to read. And everything is so beautifully interwoven that you can’t help but be swept away in a little mermaid’s complicated life.

Beware of one thing though. This tale is based on a love triangle. A warning I must make since I personally am absolutely NOT a fan of love triangles anywhere. They are a little pet peeve of mine because I cannot stand the careless way feelings are treated within them.

That being said, this love triangle here absolutely worked for me! And it even made me get invested. Kudos to the author for pulling that off.

I literally felt like reaching through the pages and box a certain young man’s ears, and found myself muttering ‘idiot’ while reproachfully shaking my head.

The longing of another certain young man made me want to give him a big hug, wile the hurt, loneliness and insecurity of a little lost young girl were powerful enough to make me tear up.

“The more I tried to talk, the more it hurt. I shut my eyes. I felt lost. The world felt vast and I was nothing, nobody….”

– Ocean Heart

Perhaps because of the naturally flowing 1st person POV, or the ease with which emotion seems to be imparted by words…

Perhaps because of the real seeming setting and characters alike…

Or the feelings that practically leap of the page…

This book drew me in and made me care and react. And that’s not something I can say for every book out there.

Some things seem a little bit rushed or brushed over, but overall it was a mertastic read!

I absolutely loved it and am eagerly waiting for a sequel.

ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Find this review and more on my book review and cover art blog The Magic Book Corner


Laura’s Review from Goodreads

Laura was part of my Ocean Heart Book Blog Tour.

The Magic Book Corner’s Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐

🐟Love, Magic and Shifters🐟

4.5

This book is a sweet Young Adult Romance, meaning you can expect a love triangle. Jace, Mariah and Murray will make you scream in both anger and delight, forcing you to increase your reading pace to feed the “what will happen next” hunger.

The story revolves around Mariah and her journey of discovery, not only of herself but also of a supernatural world and the true meaning of friendship. Even though the plot starts a little slow, I assure you that by ch. 8 to 10 your interest will be fully captured by the tale of these crazy teens and you won’t be able to put the book down.

The fantasy aspect kicks up about the above mentioned chapters making the beginning have a more contemporary feel, feeling which returns again after a major event in the middle of the book. That’s the reason why I am detracting half a 🌟. The story concentrates a bit more in the romance aspect than the fantasy, otherwise Ocean Heart would be perfect.

Also, I would like to know the difference between the mermaids and sirens because the author gave emphasis to this but never really explained it. I hope it will answered in the next installments.

**I was given a free ARC in exchange for an honest review**


I.Velez’s review from Goodreads.

Author I.Velez’s Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐

5 Cranky Stars!

This is a cute YA story of love in high school. It takes place in England where Mariah and Jace are neighbors. They have been together since they can remember. Mariah and Jace have always had classes together, which they’re hoping for this year. Schools in England are different than in the US so I’m not sure how old they are, except I thought I saw it mentioned that Mariah was 15 years old. Well, they get put in different levels and different classes which devastates Mariah. Mariah wastes her time pining over Jace and makes friends with no one. Jace is easy going so he enjoys himself making new friends and even joining the football team. In fact, he evens finds a girlfriend. Clueless to Mariah’s feelings for him, he sets her up with his girlfriend’s older brother. Then, Mariah joins the swim team where she meets Ana who becomes her best friend.

Typical high school angst and bullying make their way into this book. Easy and fun to read with some twists and turns I didn’t see coming. All in all, its a great story for young people and all older readers.


Cranky’s review from Goodreads , BookBub and on @CrankyTBC’s Facebook Page.

Cranky – The Book Curmudgeon’s Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Ocean Heart is a beautiful novel, and not your typical mermaid book.

At nearly 400 pages, it’s not afraid to take its time getting to the magic, but that time is well spent developing young Mariah so I couldn’t complain.

Mariah is a very unusual mermaid. For one, she doesn’t start with a tail, a kingdom under the sea or a fish friend. In fact, thanks to some magic, she doesn’t even know she is a mermaid!

Instead, Mariah starts the book as a shy girl, undermined by her own doubts. Unable to believe in herself, she finds it nearly impossible to make friends or even find much success in school. For a book whose heroine can create lightning storms with her mind, and grows scales, its depiction of social anxiety and the way it leads us to self-isolate is both surprisingly realistic and heartbreaking. On top of this are the… surprisingly graphic depictions of puberty as seen through the eyes of a girl growing into young woman; the story doesn’t linger on them, but it does add colour to Mariah’s lack of faith in herself; after all, if even her own body is working against her, what chance does she have?

With this in mind, it’s no real surprise that Mariah latches onto the one real friend she’s made, Jace, and wishes that she could push beyond mere friendship into something more. He, of course, is completely unaware of her interest and it was refreshing to see that while he’s a nice guy, he’s not perfect; at one point he asks to practice kissing with her. In the context of the story, it makes sense; he isn’t aware of her feelings, but it’s nonetheless an abuse of their friendship to use her as a mere stand in for another girl whom he really desires.

After a few chapters, we learn the root cause of Mariah’s self-doubt. I think that everyone has felt the frustration of being denied the opportunity to do the things you’re really good at, but when you’re a mermaid and your mother – for entirely rational reasons – forbade you from going near the water, it suddenly makes sense why she’s so insular and uncertain about herself; she’s literally not been allowed to explore who she really is.

Once she does get into the water, things change; she gets more confidence, makes new friends and even starts to look at boys other than Jace. Unfortunately, change can be bad as well as good, because it tuns out that mermaids have more than the power to breath under water, and Mariah learns that she may be dangerous to her newfound friends unless she learns to control these new powers.

Certainly not what I expected when I picked it up, but all in all, a fantastic read; I might wish it concentrated on the magic a bit more, but exploring Mariah’s world through her eyes is a fascinating trip.


Tarot’s review on Goodreads.

Tarot Barnes’ Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Ocean Heart is the first YA book I’ve read in a while, and boy it didn’t disappoint! I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for vamps and werewolves, but Ally’s twist on Mermaids brought an entirely fresh perspective to the genre. It was nice to read something not only different, but well written and an engaging read.

Mariah is 15 and she reads like it, she’s confused, naive, and has a sweet honesty about her that most of us lose in our teens. It can be really hard to portray young teens without making them irritating, however Ally managed to make me not only connect with Mariah, but feel for her. I think it brought back a nostalgic feeling of stuff we all go through in our early teens in a lovely kind of way.

Teenagers always have plenty of drama, and Mariah’s life is no exception. I loved the little love triangle, and I found myself torn at different points in the story about who I wanted her to choose. But it’s not that simple, there’s magic involved and it’s crazy magic she doesn’t understand or know how to control. I enjoyed the ‘charged’ connection going on, it kept me wanting to read more, and the magic spices things up in all the right ways!

The world building was subtle, as Mariah found out more so did we. I’m excited to see more of the intricate world Ally has built in the books that follow, I can tell there’s a lot more depth to be explored (excuse the pun!) and I like seeing Mariah grow into her powers and confidence.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Ocean Heart. It was a fun read that put me in a good mood, with a fresh twist on mermaids and an interesting plot, along with the perfect dash of romance. It made my heart happy and I can’t wait for the next book in this series!


Ciara’s review on Goodreads

Ciara was part of my Ocean Heart Book Blog Tour.

Ciara Delahunt’s Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Brilliant Read!

This book griped me from the start and I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out, and find out what happens next, Ally well done I wish you all the best on the next book.


Chloe’s review on Amazon (verified purchase).

Chloe Compton’s Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Fantastic YA book with a fresh twist and a love triangle that won’t let you put it down!

Ocean Heart is the first YA book I’ve read in a while, and boy it didn’t disappoint! I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for vamps and werewolves, but Ally’s twist on Mermaids brought an entirely fresh perspective to the genre. It was nice to read something not only different, but well written and an engaging read.

Mariah is 15 and she reads like it, she’s confused, naive, and has a sweet honesty about her that most of us lose in our teens. It can be really hard to portray young teens without making them irritating, however Ally managed to make me not only connect with Mariah, but feel for her. I think it brought back a nostalgic feeling of stuff we all go through in our early teens in a lovely kind of way.

Teenagers always have plenty of drama, and Mariah’s life is no exception. I loved the little love triangle, and I found myself torn at different points in the story about who I wanted her to choose. But it’s not that simple, there’s magic involved and it’s crazy magic she doesn’t understand or know how to control. I enjoyed the ‘charged’ connection going on, it kept me wanting to read more, and the magic spices things up in all the right ways!

The world building was subtle, as Mariah found out more so did we. I’m excited to see more of the intricate world Ally has built in the books that follow, I can tell there’s a lot more depth to be explored (excuse the pun!) and I like seeing Mariah grow into her powers and confidence.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Ocean Heart. It was a fun read that put me in a good mood, with a fresh twist on mermaids and an interesting plot, along with the perfect dash of romance. It made my heart happy and I can’t wait for the next book in this series!


Melanie’s review on Amazon.

Melanie’s Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐