Lorali (Spoiler Free!) Book Review

“There was a storm in my heart. There was a war in my heart.”

-Laura Dockrill, Lorali 

Hey guys! Not too long ago I was lucky to receive a copy of the gorgeous book Lorali by Laura Dockrill from the lovely people at Hot Key Books!

If you’re interested in whimsical books with a touch of magic and mermaids, then you’re going to want to add this one to your summer tbrs.


Lorali begins on Rory’s sixteenth birthday, in his quiet home town of Hastings, Sussex. But his birthday doesn’t quite go as planned when he discovers a washed up, naked girl under the pier. Deciding to look after the mysterious girl, we soon find out from the variety of POVs in this book that Lorali is in fact, a mermaid. More specifically, she is a mermaid running away from the sea and her life as a princess. However, Lorali can only escape her destiny for so long, and soon the freak weather descending on the coast brings with it a collection of motley characters and a fresh set of mysteries.

Filled with mermaids, pirates, bird-type-women and plenty of adventure, the plot of Lorali sucks you in immediately and keeps you reading, providing plenty of unexpected turns along the way!

The POVs of Rory and Lorali were my favourites, and I enjoyed reading about Rory’s confusion and panic, which seems to me to be a more realistic reaction when faced with a spiralling out of control adventure! Lorali, by contrast is more aware of what must be happening since her absence beneath the sea, and there were some great bits in the start of the book of her adjusting to life as a human. The mythology of mermaids and how they come to exist as mermaids is completely reinvented, which I wasn’t expecting and made for some interesting backstories of the different characters. I also loved the inclusion of the sea as a POV, bringing the sea to live as a character in its own right and omnisciently observing everything that happens in its waters. Through the eyes of the sea, we’re showed what’s happening back in the mermaid world, as well as in the pirate ship above the waves, giving us a fuller picture of the unravelling story.

The writing is gorgeous and whimsical, exactly my favourite style of writing, and that was what I most enjoyed about this book. Set against the modern backdrop of the UK, the magical elements were a great contrast to Rory and his friends’ everyday life, keeping everything fresh and interesting. Although I really really wanted to love this book and it had many elements that I did enjoy, I’m giving Lorali 3.5/5 stars as I personally didn’t click with it as much as I wanted to and I wasn’t a big fan of the ending!

That said, if you enjoy unique reads and a blend of YA contemporary with magical, fantastical elements and a dash of the unexpected, then this might be the book for you!

Has anyone else read Lorali? What did you think of it?

“It’s a girl, about my age, completely naked. I drop the wood and let her eyes carry me toward her.”

-Laura Dockrill, Lorali 



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