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The Accidental Siren Paperback – February 25, 2015

4.6 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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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 (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #460,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jake Vander Ark is one of the only self-published authors that I've read that I believe truly deserves to get a deal and see a wide release. I've read two of his books and for the life of me, I can't see why he's not signed to a major publisher. Although beautiful, don't be fooled by this book's YA-ish ebook cover. It has definitely attracted readers, but to me this book is darker than any young adult fiction I've ever come across.

The story takes place during the eventful summer of 1994 in western Michigan as young James Parker just wants to make an awesome movie with his buddies. Everything changes when they meet Mara, the most beautiful girl in the world, who not only changes the course of their summer, but changes their lives forever. The book begins as your usual coming-of-age tale, but as each chapter rolls along, and the atmosphere builds, you slowly begin to realize that you are reading something much more twisted and extraordinary than you originally expected.

Vander Ark's prose is a huge part of why the book works so well. It's gorgeous and really carries you through this ultimately haunting story of obsession and growing-up the way a great book can. When he details the awesome scene where James and the other neighborhood boys are listening silently in the trees one night as the mysterious girl finishes her hypnotic singing lessons at home, he writes THIS magnificent line:

“The night seemed suddenly defiled by the absence of music, as if the silence itself was injecting a sickness that only another song could cure.”

The book ultimately feels like something that Stephen King would be proud to write these days. You can find the ebook for free and if this review doesn't convince you to read the novel, then check out the plethora of 5-star reviews on its page. I can't wait to read more by this author! Check out his other novels as well: The Brandywine Prophet and Lighthouse Nights.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't review often, but a month or so ago I read another person's review of The Accidental Siren. I was intrigued and I immediately purchased it. This book did not disappoint me. It was captivating and struck me from start to finish. VanderArk paints a portrait of childhood, a childhood any of us might connect with. I enjoyed entering the book and remaining stuck within the words so that I was that twelve year old child experiencing all of the angst of the age. But there was more. There was the hint of something else... something different... something magical... something disconcerting. You aren't quite sure if it might be the overactive imagination of a twelve year old boy or maybe there really is something strange about Mara Lynn," the most beautiful in the world."

I highly recomend this one. The story will stick with you, it will become a part of you.
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