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The Surface Breaks Reviews

The Surface Breaks by Louise O'Neill

The Surface Breaks

Louise O'Neill

Score pending

1 review

Category: Children's
Imprint: Scholastic
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication date: 3 May 2018
ISBN: 9781407185538

Deep beneath the sea off the cold Irish coast, Gaia is a young mermaid who dreams of being human... but at what terrible price? Hans Christian Andersen's dark 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.

1 Prize for The Surface Breaks

YA Book Prize
2019 Shortlist

Caroline Carpenter, The Bookseller's web editor and one of the panel of judges said: "We’re delighted to share this year’s YA10, showcasing the breadth and brilliance of YA publishing in the UK and Ireland today. Among the submissions, we saw three main trends: books about teenagers struggling with their mental health, books set in or around water, and books increasingly concerned with borders. These timely themes reflect some of the biggest issues facing not just young people, but also society in general at the moment, and they are all represented on the shortlist in some way. I’m excited to see which book the judges select as their victor.”


4 stars out of 5
Fiona Noble
8 May 2018

"O’Neill’s prose cuts and rages "

 Louise O’Neill harnesses that darkness and transforms the mermaid’s plight into a tale of feminist awakening. On her first swim to the surface young mermaid Gaia falls for a human boy, but what must she sacrifice to be with him? The suffocating patriarchy of the underwater kingdom, where women are reduced to their physical appearance, feels almost dystopian. O’Neill’s prose cuts and rages and her vision of the sea witch is truly transformative.