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The Accidental Siren Paperback – February 25, 2015

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Written in beautiful prose, The Accidental Siren warns of the perils of obsession. The setting is described using flawless metaphors that paint James's world in the reader's mind. The plot becomes more haunting with every chapter, effectively dragging the reader deeper into the story with every twist and turn." -Blogcritics.org

From the Back Cover

Mara Lynn is the most beautiful girl in the world. James Parker is the ordinary boy who discovers her power.

'94 was a good year to be twelve. Star Wars still had two more years as Box Office King, cartoons were still hand-drawn, and the Disney "D" still looked like a backwards "G." Words like "Columbine," "Al Qaeda," and "Y2K" were not synonymous with terror, and 9-1-1 was an emergency number instead of a date. At twelve years old, summer still mattered. Monarch caterpillars still crawled beneath every milkweed leaf. Dandelions (or "wishes" as Mara called them) were flowers instead of pests. And Divorce was still considered a tragedy.

Before Mara, carnivals didn't make me sick.

Set on the beaches of Lake Michigan, this contemporary fairytale depicts the joys and consequences of young love as Mara and James meet, shoot a movie, fend off bullies, and explore the potential of infinite beauty.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: lulu.com (February 25, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 110576656X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1105766565
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,285,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"What I really want to do is direct."

Yeah, I was that kid.

I spent my high-school career as the ghost of the art room, passionately constructing a portfolio that would provide the first step toward a creative occupation. Luckily, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago didn't consider GPA when selecting applicants, so I was immediately accepted into one of the most prestigious art programs in the country.

Unfortunately, the only thing I learned in art school was how much I hated art.

But I found myself! And that's important, right?

I graduated with a BFA in 2006 and moved to Los Angeles to harness my dream of becoming the next Ingmar Bergman (thanks a lot, art school.)

In LA, i began writing screenplays as a means to direct. I found a job reading screenplays for the same reason. I read a lot of crap. I wrote a lot of crap. But little did i know... I was learning.

In the three-year process of creating short films and pursuing funding for features, I learned that directing came naturally to me, but producing did not.

I wasn't able to get a project off the ground. When my father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009, I moved back to my hometown of Grand Haven, MI with nothing to show but three screenplays.

One day, while working as a stage manager for a national dance competition, I had an epiphany that only a repressed, depressed, living-with-his-parents artist could have: what if I wrote books? Unlike screenplays, a book is finished when it's finished. When the final draft is complete, a book becomes a marketable product. If I work my butt off, maybe I could actually make money doing what I love!

I'm not a millionaire yet... but I did write three novels in two years and I'm proud of the accomplishment. Currently, I'm self-publishing "Lighthouse Nights," searching for an agent with "The Music Box on the Hill," and rewriting "The Day I Wore Purple."

Dreams, here I come.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stalked! Reviews by Melissa on August 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
I gave this book a 5 star rating, and here is why...

You know the part in Aladdin where the Genie says,

"PHEEEEEEEE - NOMEEEEEE - NALLLLLLL COOOOOOOOSMIC POWWWWWWWAHS!" ??

Well that's the only explanation that I could come up with as to how this book was that friggin good. lol He either laced the watering hole with the ceremonial kool-aid, or he was blessed by the gods with a ridiculously amazing talent for writing. I'm thinking both. haha ( I don't give out a five star rating lightly so it must have been hoodoo. lol)

I won't lie though, I was beyond hesitant to pick up this book. I dislike stories about pubescent young love. They do nothing for me because I have a hard time relating to the characters and everything seems rather perverse because it's an adult story that comes from the mouths of babes. I have a total disconnect and I just move on. However, a friend of mine read and reviewed the book and was falling all over her blog about it. And while I still had reservations, I scurried over and stalked out the author and decided it would be unfair of me, not to give it a shot. Now I can say that without a doubt, it was the best move I have made so far.

Right from the very first page I was intrigued. My fingers had a mind of their own and kept thumbing through the pages to absorb more. It felt as if I honestly couldn't get enough. Not only was I reading this twisted epic re telling of adolescence, but I was IN it. I wasn't in it in the traditional sense, but my whole reality was transformed into this world and I felt like part of it. It's an amazing feat for a writer to accomplish that level of intensity and he pulled it off. I applaud Jake Vander Ark for his abilities and his passion.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By lmarthens on August 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not a reader, I like audio books and hook that to my ears and go about my day. But this book, had me sitting and reading, almost skipping paragraphs because I wanted to see how each chapter ended. I didn't allow the skipping of the paragraphs, but I hurried through to see the unpredictable end. Then went back to make sure I didn't miss a word.

I loved all the images from that time period, I loved the characters and their conversations. They all sounded very preadolescent with their mild swearing and trying to be "cool".

The book was very engaging and disturbing at the same time. Vander Ark was able to get into the mind of a 12 year old and express those feelings on paper. He was able to talk about the foster care side of the family with good knowledge and show the difficulties foster families, in a rare situation, face.

I will be recommending this book to lots of my friends. Now on to get the next one of Vander Ark's books.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is well written and has very interesting concepts. It is told from the point of view of the 12-year-old protagonist, yet still poses questions about love and lust, good and evil, responsibility, hope, and what it means to be family. The author has a great vocabulary and an amazing ability to paint with words in order to show the reader his story.

Mini-spoilers:
Not for the squeamish or the easily offended, and not for children. Some of the bullying that occurs is violent and there are some bloody scenes.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
I found this hidden gem on wattpad, and read it from start to finish in two days. The complexity of the characters really pulled me in. Good story.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Phaedra C Seabolt on October 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
I received this as an ARC.

We all have either met girls or heard of girls that are so gorgeous that every girl wants to be just like her and every boy wants to own her. I am very serious about the word "own". She is the epitome of sweetness and beauty that you can't help but want to keep all to yourself. I have actually known two girls like this. As kids they always looked like they were ten years older than they were. They weren't devolped like a woman, but it was like a woman was trapped in this angelic body. The Accidental Siren is about a girl just like this. Every boy that sees her is instantly in love and it is rather obvious that adult males feel her allure as well. All the young girls want to be her best friend. Girls tend to have a little more resistance to her power, but even the strong fall.

Mara had lived a rough twelve years. James meets her when he tries to purchase a video camera from her "aunt" whom you will learn has a very interesting past. Upon their first meeting, James discovers boys watching her from nearby trees and videotaping as well. The reason for their leering? Mara has a voice that entrances everyone, young and old, when she sings. Hearing her songs once will leave you craving more like a cocaine addict. James finds this very interesting, but is even more shocked when Mara sends a note flying from her bedroom window to him asking to meet later in secret. He literally gets in a fist fight over the note from one of the stalkers. This is just the beginning of things to come during one of the craziest summers of James's life.

I must say that this was a very strange story, but I couldn't put it down. I, like the characters in the book, was entranced with Mara's seemingly supernatural abilities.
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