July 28, 2017

Book Review: The Siren by Kiera Cass

The Siren

by Kiera Cass

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology, Romance, Fairy-Tale Retelling
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 267 pages
Published: July 1, 2009
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Audible
Note: Kiera Cass is the bestselling author of the young adult romance series, The Selection.

My Goodreads Rating: 2.5 or 3 out of 5 stars

Official Book Summary:

"'You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won't lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time...'

The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can't bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she's been waiting for doesn't seem nearly as important as the one she's living now." 


“Books were a safe place, a world apart from my own. No matter what had happened that day, that year, there was always a story in which someone overcame their darkest hour. I wasn't alone.”


"It's funny what you hold on to, the things you remember when everything ends. I can still picture the paneling on the walls of our stateroom and recall precisely how plush the carpet was. I remember the saltwater smell, permeating the air and sticking to my skin, and the sound of my brothers' laughter in the other room, like the storm was an exciting adventure instead of a nightmare.

More than any sense of fear or worry, there was an air of irritation hanging in the room. The storm was throwing off our evening's plans; there would be no dancing on the upper deck tonight, no chance to parade around in my new dress. These were the wose that plagued my life then, so insignificant they're almost shameful to own up to. But that was my once upon a time, back when my reality felt like a story because it was so good.

'If this rocking doesn't stop soon, I won't have time to fix my hair before dinner,' Mama complained. I peeked up at her from where I was lying on the floor, trying desperately not to throw up. Mama's reflection looked as glamorous as a movie star, and her finger waves seemed perfect to me. But she was never satisfied. 'You ought to get off the floor,' she continued, glancing down at me. 'What if the help comes in?'"

My Book Review: 

Super cheesy young adult, fantasy romance. In other words, there is a HUGE audience for this book.

The beginning is really attention-grabbing: Kahlen is on a ship with her family when a huge storm hits and the boat sinks. Though she is miraculously rescued, she loses her soul to the realm and rules of sirenhood. I enjoyed this premise, a modern-day twist on the myth of the sirens with a splash of "The Little Mermaid" and the super-villain Ursula thrown in. As a retelling, however, the story became a bit predictable and sappy near the end, but I imagine that's exactly what Cass's young readers will love about it.

At first I thought I might end up rating the book as high as four-stars--an innocent, guilty pleasure for teens against the backdrop of sirens being forced to murder to appease a possessive and controlling sea queen. The overly dramatic ending lowered my personal rating of the book, but I would still definitely recommend it to young teen readers who enjoy fantasy and romance. To these audiences, I'd also recommend Cass's Selection series as well as Allie Condie's Matched series. I'll be keeping up on Cass's future publications, too.

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