Reading level: Young Adult
Size: 368 pages
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 1st in a series
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
I had been wanted to read this book for some time. I ended up getting it to listen to on audiobook at one of Audible’s book sales. It was an okay book, while there wasn’t anything technically wrong with the story I had a lot of trouble engaging with the story or the characters.
I listened to this on audiobook and I don’t recommend it. The narrator had a breathy, cutesy voice that bothered me. I think the sounds of the narrator’s voice made me like the main character even less than if I had been reading about Vanessa in paperback.
Vanessa and Justine are sisters. They spend every summer at Winter Harbor with their family. Vanessa is scared of everything and Justine is fearless. Then one night everything goes wrong; Justine gets in a fight with their mother and storms out of the cabin…the next day she is dead. Two weeks after Justine’s death Vanessa can’t help but feel something isn’t right. She journeys back to Winter Harbor to confront Justine’s boyfriend about what really happened that night. Little does Vanessa know that she is going to be entagled in doings beyond her wildest imaginings.
Okay so my main problem with this book is that it is named Siren. Guess what Vanessa spends the whole book doing? Well, she is trying to figure out what is killing people in the waters outside of Winter Harbor. I felt like shaking her the whole book and saying “Duh, it’s Sirens! Obviously!” It would have been better to title the book something that doesn’t totally give away the mystery that the characters spend most of the book trying to solve.
Enough griping about that. This is one of those high school kids go away for the summer and solve some seaside mystery sorts of books. It moves pretty slow, Vanessa is kind of dense, and of course she has to fall in love with the boy who helps her unravel the mystery. I am not sure why but this book constantly reminded me of Moonglass by Jessi Kirby. Granted this book has more supernatural activity; but it also has that same feeling of high school age characters slowing getting over grief and slowly solving a mystery.
Vanessa was hard for me to engage with as a character; she is always uncertain and always scared. She grows a little in this story but not much and I found her difficult to be inspired by and hard to relate to. She was also incredibly dense, she just didn’t understand things and how they related and it frustrated me.
A lot of the characters in this book are fairly forgettable. They must be because I had trouble even distinguishing some of them from each other. I didn’t realize this was part of a series. By the times things are actually picking up pace and getting somewhat interesting the book ends.
Overall this was an okay book. There isn’t technically anything wrong with it. I just found the characters to be lackluster, the story predictable, and the mystery slow-moving and difficult to stay engaged with. So far I remain unimpressed with all of the Siren YA books I have read. I did think that Lost Voices by Sarah Porter was better than this book but not a ton better. I won’t be reading any more of this series.