Google+ Reading Teen: Review: Siren by Tricia Rayburn

Friday, September 10, 2010

Review: Siren by Tricia Rayburn

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA (July 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606840746
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606840740

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.

I don't know what I was expecting out of this book, but it definitely was NOT what I got. I think I saw the title, and just thought, same old paranormal story, take out werewolves/vampires/faeries, insert sirens or mermaids or whatever, and continue with the love triangle or other cliche paranormal story. SO WRONG!

SIREN was, in a word, creepy! It hooked me from the very start. The mysterious death of Vanessa's sister, the bizarre disappearance of Simon's brother and the backdrop of this little eerie town, Winter Harbor, were just the perfect setting to pull me in.

Vanessa feels like her sister Justine's death is no accident, and even more than that, she feels a distinct pull to the ocean that claimed her sister's life. She feels that she must find the answers to why her sister died. But the one person who may be able to help her, Justine's boyfriend, Caleb, has gone missing, and the trail he left behind isn't making any sense. Even more strange and mysterious is the string of men who are washing up on shore almost daily, drowned but wearing enormous smiles on their faces.

I really enjoyed reading this book, and journeying with Vanessa to solve the mystery plaguing Winter Harbor. There were so many interesting elements to this book that I found fascinating. Vanessa herself was a little annoying because she was so fearful of everything, but she definitely works through it, and finds a courage she didn't know she could ever have. Semi-nerdy, but very gorgeous, Simon, is adorable, and I love the two of them together. There are quite a few little plot twists and turns that will keep you on your feet throughout the book, and the ending is just right, in my opinion. It wraps up nicely, but still leaves enough open that there could be a sequel. I do kind-of wish that the title didn't give away what the book was about, because I don't think I would've immediately known what was going on, and it would have added another element of mystery to the book, trying to figure out what exactly was happening to all the men. But it wasn't a big deal, and was still creepy and mysterious even knowing about the Siren ahead of time.

There was one thing about the book that really bugged me, but it is a little spoilery about the romance. It doesn't have anything to do with the plot, but if you don't want to know about the romance, don't read this next part:

*******Romance Spoiler*******

Vanessa has never even so much as kissed a guy. Then in one night, she loses her virginity to a guy that she does like a lot, but she's not even in a relationship with. This just seems so strange to me, and I really didn't like it. I know that most girls (especially those who read) will know that sleeping with a guy is not the way to get him to want to be in a relationship with you. But there are those girls out there who do use sex as a way to feel loved, and I would hate for any girl to think that a relationship begins with sex. In most cases, this is a surefire way to have your heart broken over and over. I understand that this was supposed to be a scene where she was conquering her fears and taking control, doing something out of character, but I feel like the same thing could have been accomplished without her having to jump into bed with a guy she wasn't even sure liked her. And it made things really awkward between them afterwards, like they weren't really sure where to go from there. After all....where do you go from there? A really great kissing scene instigated by Vanessa would have been more powerful, in my opinion. Just my thoughts! :)

*******End of Spoiler*******

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It swept me away into a mythological world and left me with a smile as big as the victims of Winter Harbor. I would love to see a companion/sequel to find out more about Vanessa and this fascinating world that Tricia has created.

5 out of 6

You may want to know: Siren has NO cussing in it at all. There are some creepy/intense situations, but nothing gory or bloody. There is one brief sex scene, with some details. For more information, go to SIREN on Parental Book Reviews.


  1. Very nice review! The book sounded really interesting, but I wasn't sure if it was something I would like. I think I'm gonna have to read it now!


  2. great review and thanks for the spoiler because thats seems to fast for a character who has never kissed.

  3. Great review, and thanks for the spoiler. It bugs me out too. The book seems great, anyway, if we think that every author makes mistakes. ;)

  4. Cool review. I think I may have to check this one out for myself.

  5. Great review!

    I LOVE this book! I definitely was not expecting what it gave me either. I scare really easy but this book hooked me!

    I can't wait for the sequel!

  6. Thanks for the comments! I hope you love the book!

  7. (spoilers!!!!)

    I'll be honest; I didn't like this book. I didn't like Vanessa nor did I fall in love with Simon. Vanessa was boring and Simon was just as dull. All those weather reports almost put me to sleep. They really were such a boring couple. The only thing that got me to the end of the book was the storyline, I just needed to find out how Sirens were being used in this book.

    One thing that REALLY annoyed me was the sex. It was just too dumb for words. I couldn't believe that the girl who hadn't even kissed a guy went all the way with the guy she's been good friends with (but has only just noticed is good-looking). Like you said, she didn't even know if he liked her back! A kissing scene where Vanessa was just as much in control would have been better, I agree. But this was just too much for someone who's not even been in a relationship before.
    Not only was the sex going too far too soon, I couldn't even see the relationship between these two! The romance was not really there for me.

  8. Sheepa,

    I just finished book 2, and I was thoroughly disappointed. The romance was even more dull, and I am seriously bored with Simon.

  9. Hahaha! Thanks for that! Saves me from reading it.
    I went on Rayburn's blog and read the first chapter, couldn't believe she put in another sex scene when the couple hadn't been talking to one another for 2 months. So that's my interest gone.

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