Ocean Heart review on Amazon (verified purchase)

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 Compton

Ocean Heart review on Goodreads

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 Barnes

Ocean Heart review on Amazon (verified purchase)

Bought this for my wife on her kindle and I have ordered it on paperback. My wife has just completed the book and reports that it was a thoroughly good read from beginning to end. Great characters and a feel good story, she enjoyed it tremendously and can’t wait for the next instalment.

Robert J Aldridge

Ocean Heart review on Goodreads

This book was a 3.5-3.75 star read for me. I don’t see a lot of mermaid books out there and I really appreciated the feeling of reading something new. This book did feel a bit on the younger side of YA for me and I personally haven’t read a YA book with such a young protagonist in a really long time. I definitely feel like 13-16 year old me would have really liked this book and I would highly recommend this book to teenage readers. One thing I liked about this book is there was a good level of character growth. At the beginning the main character Mariah was very dramatic and reactive and almost possessive of her best friend Jace and his attention. But as the story progressed you see her find her own way and discover more of who she is and what matters to her. I also really loved Ana and Murray! The side characters were really fun in this book :). I thought the storyline was creative, and the writing style was enjoyable. I did struggle at times to understand the lore and I felt like some things were brushed over and not explained well. But that could also be because the author is planning to reveal more in upcoming books :). If you like mermaids, cute boys, and magic give this one a try :).

Natalie Reddy

Ocean Heart Review on Goodreads

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 Dieter