Siren (Siren Novels - Book 1)
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 Winter Harbor, Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.
Vanessa's parents want to work through the tragedy by returning to their everyday lives back in Boston, but Vanessa can't help feeling that her sister's death was more than an accident. After discovering that Justine never applied to colleges, and that she was secretly in a relationship with longtime family friend Caleb Carmichael, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor to seek some answers.
But when Vanessa learns that Caleb has been missing since Justine's death, she and Caleb's older brother, Simon, join forces to try to find him, and in the process, their childhood friendship blossoms into something more.
Soon it's not just Vanessa who is afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes home to a string of fatal, water-related accidents . . . in which all the victims are found grinning from ear to ear.
As Vanessa and Simon probe further into the connections between Justine's death and the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance, and that will change her life forever.
Personally, if I read a fantasy book, sirens and mermaids aren't really my cup of tea. Who would believe the little mermaid could be scary? But i was pleasantly surprised with this book! The mystery of the story is haunting and a little creepy! It never seemed to surprise me, but it did keep me wanting more. The main character Vanessa sands, was who really kept me reading. It was refreshing to have a character that i could relate to and actually has normal, human fears. She grows throughout the series in a believable way. The plot was good, and satisfied my craving for a nice, creepy book! I'll definitely be looking below me when i go swimming from now on!
Good, Creepy Mermaid Tale
Although I tend to devour young adult novels like a lion setting on an antelope, I am often disappointed by my reading. For some reason, this does not make me crave the paranormal teen stories any less. You will still see me drooling (not literally, I hope) over the latest novels about vampires, mermaids/sirens, werewolves, fairies, unicorns, etc. I am happy to report that Siren, while not the best of the best, is a good solid read and that I am looking forward to reading the sequel, which is good since my friend brought it back from ALA for me. So yay, the book is not as fail as the cover. That is just terrifying!
Of the various paranormal topics, mermaids/sirens (which area apparently interchangeable?) are definitely among my least favorites. I have read two practically in a row this week, not because I planned it, but just because that's how it happened. I definitely recommend Siren over Lost Voices for those looking for a novel about sirens, although really the sirens are rather different. Rayburn's focus on individual males, rather than taking down whole ships at once. Singing is less important here, replaced by almost a sort of mindspeak with their victims (although they do sing occasionally). Most overtly, these sirens do not seem to have tails of any sort (I can't tell you how much I thought Vanessa was going to walk in on one in the bathtub and see she had a tail like in the movie Splash); they're just women who need to drink salt water and can be underwater for a really long time.
Vanessa made a good main character, with a very human set of weaknesses but the inner strength to overcome them when she really needs to. Simon and Caleb were both great guys in completely different ways. Of course, I would want a Simon for myself; he's just so adorably nerdy sounding. :-)
Siren is a great beach read, although maybe not for those who are easily terrified by literature. You don't want to be afraid to go in the water on your holiday!