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The Siren Hardcover – January 26, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Kahlen still has trouble adjusting to the life of a siren. After becoming a siren 80 years ago, she is still unable to subdue the disgust and shame she feels while taking innocent lives in order to feed the Ocean. The Ocean is a motherly being who feeds off lives that drown in her waters. Sirens are the few young women whose lives she saves from death in order to keep her fed. Ocean cares intensely for Kahlen. However, when the protagonist falls in love with Akinli, a human boy, her responsibility to care for her sisters (also sirens) and the Ocean becomes a complicated task. Her sisters, along with the Ocean, watch her soul and body deteriorate the longer she is away from Akinli, who appreciates the true Kahlen, aside from her beauty and silence. Overall, the heroine is a meek character, but her muddled past, thoughts, and actions make her slightly interesting. Teens will appreciate her passion for her relationships—whether romantic or sisterly. Secondary characters aren't as intriguing or fully developed. Despite these shortcomings, the novel is fairly well written and offers a twist on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" that romance fans will enjoy. VERDICT A satisfactory purchase for libraries with a strong and faithful Cass fan base.—Briana Moore, School Library Journal
“A twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ that romance fans will enjoy.” (School Library Journal)
PRAISE FOR KIERA CASS: “A real page-turner. Romance, royalty, and revolution in a reality-show format serve Cass’ boldly rendered heroine well in her quest for justice and love.” (ALA Booklist)
“An engrossing tale reminiscent of Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy and Ally Condie’s Matched. Fairy-tale lovers will lose themselves in America’s alternate reality and wish that the next glamorous sequel were waiting for them.” (School Library Journal)
“Deliciously entertaining.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Cass’s immensely readable debut novel is a less drastic Hunger Games, with elaborate fashion and trappings. The fast-paced action will have readers gasping for the upcoming sequel.” (ALA Booklist)
“A cross between The Hunger Games (minus the bloodsport) and The Bachelor (minus the bloodsport), this trilogy launch is a lot of fun. Cass deftly builds the chemistry between America and Maxon, while stoking the embers of America’s first, forbidden love.” (Publishers Weekly)
Top customer reviews
The friendship between Kahlen and the other sirens is even more amazing. They help her through everything and they do everything they can to save her, make her happy, etc. It is truly amazing the love they have for her, and this story was just simply unbelievable. I fell in love with every aspect of this book, and it will always make me giddy.
PLUS: I loved all the mythology surrounding Sirens and the fact that the Ocean is very much "alive" in this book. It's a She by the way. I really liked that fact that the Ocean is treated with respect... I don't know why... maybe it's because Basque people are taught to respect the Ocean since they're children. Anyway, another plus was the strong bond these Sirens have. It's like a sisterhood! even though these girls are from all over the world they take care of each other like a family.
Also there are some plot-twists. Small ones but the kind that make you change your perspective.
MINUS: My only minus is that Kahlen sometimes exaggerates a lot the whole love thing. I mean... well I don't know because I've never been in love so maybe not. To a certain extend I can understand her because she was born in the era where you were supposed to marry and have a family and live happily ever after so that's what she has wanted all her live but now as a Siren it's not possible anymore. Her mind is in conflict and it can be frustrating for the reader. It didn't bother me much though.
OVERALL: 5 stars and goes to favorites. Since the only minus didn't even bother me, it's only fair to give all stars. I'm so happy I pre-ordered it and now I own a beautiful hardcover :D
(Note: maybe some people didn't like the book so much because it's not in their age range? or maybe it's not the right genre for them? I don't know I'm still trying to see the flaws... meh, different opinions = good)
EXTRA: The song Kiera wrote is beautiful by the way. Check it out! It's called "Into The Waves" (links on Soundcloud and YT)
I struggled with deciding what rating I wanted to give this book. I so loved it, but there are a couple of things that bothered me as I read it. 1. Where did they get all this money to survive. I know Miaka sells her paintings, but what about the others? 2. Kahlen did not give away that much that Akinli should have suspected that something was abnormal about her. Other than those 2 issues I fell in love with this story. I've never read anything like this and truly enjoyed the magic of it all. Getting to know Ocean was wondrous, and I would have loved to learn more. I loved learning about each girl and almost wish I could have known more about their past but that wasn't possible due to the fact that it would have essentially ruined the story. It's rare to find a book that makes you contradict yourself. I loved it!
I rated this 5/5 stars and highly recommend it.
Kahlen is saved from drowning by the ocean and in return she must serve the ocean with her voice as a Siren. She is content to do so until she meets Akinli. The story is unique and captivating.
I can't wait to read more by this author.