Saturday, August 7, 2010

Review: Siren

Book: Siren (Tricia Rayburn)
Stand-Alone or Series:  Series, Siren  #1
Pages: 344 
Genre: Young Adult
Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything—the dark, heights, the ocean—but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is, until Justine goes cliff-diving one night near the family’s vacation house in Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.

Though her parents hope that they’ll be able to find closure back in Boston, Vanessa can’t help feeling that her sister’s death wasn’t an accident. After discovering that Justine was keeping a lot of secrets, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor, hoping that Justine’s boyfriend might know more. But Caleb has been missing since Justine’s death.

Soon, it’s not just Vanessa who’s afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes host to a string of fatal, water-related accidents in which all the victims are found, horrifically, grinning from ear to ear.

Vanessa turns to Caleb’s brother, Simon, for help, and begins to find herself drawn to him. As the pair try to understand the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance—and will change her life forever.

A seductive paranormal romance full of unexpected twists, Siren is certain to make a big summer splash.
I first decided to read Siren when I saw the cover on amazon months ago (it is just so pretty, and in person her silver eyes shift when you move the book!) Yes, I instantly fell victim to the terrible crime of cover shopping. In fact, when I began reading the book, I honestly did not know much about the premise – I just thought because the book was so beautiful, it must be worth the brilliant cover.

Luckily, I was right. I was instantly pulled head first into the story and easy connect to Vanessa. Within the first two chapters, Vanessa loses her older sister, Justine. She quickly discovers that Justine was keeping secrets from her and Vanessa feels extremely betrayed. So, she decides to do some investigating with the help of their childhood friends, the Carmichael boys.

While reading the beginning of this book, I was astounded to realize how emotionally involved I was from the get go. From reading the description on the jacket, I knew that Justine was going to die and it seriously hurt me. I don’t know if it was simply because I have an older sister, but I honestly was on the verge of tears within the first few chapters of the book. I cannot remember any book doing that to me, so quickly. I often cry while reading books, but not within the first 50 pages or so. This story just seemed to pull on all my heartstrings.

As the book progresses, Vanessa begins to hear Justine’s voice in her head. Justine often comforts Vanessa and urges her forward when Vanessa falls victim to one of her fears. She also provides hints to keep Vanessa on the right track to solving the books mystery. I thought this was a wonderful touch for the author to incorporate, because it was a way to keep the story progresses without Vanessa having to know everything. By keeping the character of Justine involved, Justine could give Vanessa information that she wouldn’t have been able to obtain on her own. Or if she did obtain it on her own, it would seem odd and almost too easy.

Another one of the main story arcs of Siren was the relationship between Simon Carmichael and Vanessa. Simon is a few years older than Vanessa and they have always had a strong friendship. After Justine’s death and Caleb’s (Simon’s brother/Justine’s boyfriend) disappearance, the two of them embark on a mission to track down Caleb. There is an obvious chemistry between them and their story folds out very sweetly. I really liked how they had known each other for years, because when their relationship progresses, it did not feel rushed. Their relationship felt grounded and I really appreciated how it wasn’t unrealistic or all-consuming. Simon was important to Vanessa, but she wasn’t blinded to the world around her because of him.

I did however, have a few slight issues with this book. A lot of the plot points were not explained in as much detail as I would have liked. For instance, why could Vanessa talk to Justine? For those of you who have read this book, I am not oblivious the revelation Vanessa’s character comes to in the end, but that still doesn’t explain why she can hear her dead sister talk. I also felt like a whole lot of questions were left unanswered. While I was reading the book, I was immediately frustrated with the plot twists towards the end, because I didn’t like the strain they would put on Vanessa’s relationship with Simon. However, once I finished it and ran to the internet to see if there was going to be a sequel, I calmed down. I still feel that there were one too many unanswered questions in the end. I now know that the author wanted to keep things open for the next book, but it almost felt on unfinished and I did feel a little short changed.

But, I did enjoy the book immensely. It was my first book about Sirens and I think they are a spectacular subject. like I said, I have a lot of unanswered questions, so I cannot wait until the next book comes out next Summer.


Anonymous said...

The eyes move on the cover?? That's freaky! Yet awesome. I really want to read this. Thanks for this great review! :)

Danielle said...

Yeah, you did a great review and your not the only one who does a little cover shopping. I'm a sucker for a cool cover.

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