Siren by Tricia Rayburn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It's not spoiling the theme of this book if I say that this book is about sirens (the supernatural beautiful women who lure men into the sea, not the noise on a police car!). You can probably guess this from the cover and the title. This makes quite a refreshing change from some of the usual themes of YA paranoramal romance novels. We are slowly drawn into this mystery story as men start mysteriously drowning, and are found washed up with a big smile on their face. Vanessa has to learn who she can trust and discover that not everyone in the small seaside village is what they seem...
The cover is creepy, but it really matches the tone of the story. The writing is haunting and sometimes dreamlike. The description of the place also pulls you into this vivid setting- this beautiful seaside town- and draws you into the tragedy of pain of the loss of her sister. But Vanessa is such a wonderful character, instantly likeable, timid and vulnerable, and you really feel right there with her through everything. Her insecurities made her endearing, and her character and her sisters' really complemented each other. Vanessa has to adapt and learn to cope alone, and it's wonderful to see her grow into somebody stronger, braver and capable. Some of the flashbacks into the past show us hints of Vanessa's memories and the deeper connection between Vanessa and Justine.
I liked the main characters in Siren. The sisters have been childhood friends with brothers Simon and Caleb for many years. I liked that the nerdy guy gets the girl (again, this isn't a spoiler this happens near the beginning). Simon is warm and kind and such a caring sweetheart. Okay- so he occasionally wants to interrupt their date to take tide measurements, but I still really liked him! Simon is very sweet and protective and romantic, and I liked the slow building of their relationship, their initial uncertainty around each other. Again, this made a nice change from reading about childhood nice-guy best friends who are ignored in favour of the new bad-boy in town. Hooray for the geeks! Simon has a great relationship with his brother Caleb that was lovely to read, and these good sibling relationships contrast with Vanessa's friend Paige and her sister. There are many quirky characters in this small town, and Vanessa and Simon work together to uncover secrets about them from the past.
My only complaint is that the storyline seems to jump around occasionally, just hopping from place to place and some things happen with no explanation- events are just implied. Also the mythology of the sirens is never really explained (perhaps it will be further explored in the next book). But other than that I liked it. There is drama, action, mystery and romance, and some unexpected twists and surprises- all mixed up together in a story with a lot of heart. This book is very unique, very spooky and atmospheric, and a good read. There are still some unanswered questions by the end of the book, and although this book could stand alone fine, I'm glad that this tale will continue, and we can read more about these characters and their lives again.
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