A website dedicated to books in the Young Adult genre, featuring book reviews, author interviews contests and much more!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Book Review: Siren by Tricia Rayburn


Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: EgmontUSA (July 13, 2010)
Language: English
Interest: Mermaids
Buy This Book: Amazon|Indiebound|Barnes & Noble

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.
Vanessa’s sister Justine died in a tragic cliff diving accident and Caleb, the only witness at the time of her death, has been missing every since. While normally a sleepy small town, Winter Harbor has recently fallen prey to many more disturbing incidents involving the water. Though Vanessa is normally afraid of anything and everything, she travels back to Winter Harbor desperate for answers. With Caleb’s concerned brother Simon in tote, the pair soon find themselves navigating through a town filled with strange locals and unexplained drownings. Will they find out what really lies beneath the surface of Winter Harbor? Can it be stopped before even more lives are lost?

As a protagonist, I found Vanessa extremely likable and could empathize with her character. Who wouldn’t go through the myriad of emotions after losing a sibling? The fear, the self doubt and the need for answers all made sense to me. I appreciated how Vanessa was a girl struggling to overcome her self-acknowledged fears and lack of confidence. So often in Young Adult books, the protagonist is passive about everything, but Vanessa was a character determined to stop being afraid and take a more pro-active role in her life. It was also refreshing to have the romantic element not pushed to the front lines of the plot. I appreciated how Tricia Rayburn chose to keep it in the background- just enough to keep me intrigued, but never overshadowing the more important elements of the story.

The history behind the supernatural elements of Siren was very well thought out and tensions ran throughout the narrative. Yet in the end, I felt like things tied up too neatly and without enough closure. Despite some loose ends and somewhat unsatisfactory ending, Siren was a haunting and compelling novel I enjoyed. I look forward to the sequel.
View an in depth look into my star rating.


trishalynn0708 said...

I have this book and I read half of it and never picked it back up. What I did read was really good but I had found another book I wanted to read and sat this one aside and never started it again.. Great review!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review! I've been meaning to read this one for ages :)

Maidenveil said...

Hi! I have an award for you here:

Musings of a Reader Happy

Kate said...

Superb review! Siren sounds pretty good.

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

Admittedly, this one started out slow for me but it I loved the characters and then it pick up the pace and had me riveted! Thanks for the wonderful review!

Teens Read & Write

M.Lange said...

Wow. This book sounds really intriguing, but I have the nagging feeling that its going to be predictable. I really hope not.

YA Book Lover said...

I have given you an award. Head on over to my blog to pick up the Versatile Blogger award!