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I Chose to Die (Siren Suicides Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Ailen Bright is a rather damaged character. Her mother is gone, her father is abusive, and she doesn’t want to live anymore. I thought Anske handled Ailen’s depression and her feelings about committing suicide well. I understood her thought process and why Ailen makes most of the choices she does. However, she’s a little quirky when it comes to what things she thinks internally and what she decides to say aloud. She makes a number of comments aloud that I thought would have been more likely for her to have just internalized. Also, I didn’t like how she jumped back and forth between trusting Hunter and not trusting him. She seemed a little too wishy washy about that. I do commend her, however, for taking on the serious themes that are in this book and exploring them honestly.
There is some beautiful imagery in this book; I particularly love how the souls were described as sounds. Anske displays some true talent with her writing. However, while the imagery was well written, there was way too much of it. I feel like large chunks of detail could have been cut without affecting the storyline. At one point they were driving through town and there was so much detail it felt like I was being given directions, it was just unnecessary. The excessive imagery makes parts of the book feel drawn out, and overall the pacing feels off. There’s lots of action, but every action is drawn out with heavy imagery taking away from it.
If you’re the type of person who loves lyrical prose and enjoys detailed scenes, I would highly recommend this book. For me, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for Anske, but, this particular book didn’t suck me in the way I wanted it to.
1. The concept. The idea that is the foundation of the Siren Suicides is downright brilliant. A young girl makes a rash decision and the result is that something that she daydreamed about becomes a reality when she becomes a siren. The process isn't pleasant to say the least and Ailen Bright has gone through a ton of things in her search for making sense of her life. How she becomes a siren and what being a siren entails is a refreshing take and a good slice of fiction that was a treat to read.
2. The story arc. A strong start, a hit or miss middle, and a hurried finale left me curious to see what happens but I can't say I was fully satisfied as a reader. I think Anske could have offered a better resolution rather than a tie in for her next book and the last two chapters felt a bit rushed for me. When Ksenia takes her time to describe something and reveal a new concept bit by bit, great things happen. When her hands are trying to keep up with a story bursting forth, some pages feel as if they could have benefitted from a little marination. Like I said though, it's a strong start and it shows that when she hits her stride good things happen on a page.
3. Characters. Another mixed bag. Ailen and her transformation take off when you're riding on descriptions and her internal monologue. Hunter is a bit of an odd character. Canosa has moments when I love her and moments where I can't really see her intentions. Finally, Papa Bright is an intensely dislikable (Ailen consistently refers to him as Papa, and having seen Stranger Things recently, I can easily say that anyone called Papa is going to be awful). Papa and his Maserati and his fancy shoes is an awful antagonist that is pretty much instantly hatable. There's A lot to dislike there and he consistently delivers.
4. The dialogue. The only aspect that was more miss than hit for me, was the dialogue. Often times I was engaged with the descriptions but was knocked out of it with dialogue that at least for me missed the mark. I know Ailen is a teenager that's gone through a lot of things, but she kept stumbling back to the same thought patterns that would bite her in the tail. The dynamic between her and Hunter/Canosa/Papa was not consistent and you were only sure that she was in Hunter's graces, that her father hated her, and that Canosa was so on and off that you'd wonder if she were real.
That said, I still enjoyed the book even though it took me a while to read and I will be reading more work from the author. If you want a different take on fiction with a great concept, check this out. Even with its flaws, it has something to enjoy.
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“On the brink of death, I want to live like never before.Read more