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Siren by [Rayburn, Tricia]
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Siren Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Vanessa and Justine Sands have spent their summers in Maine hanging out with the neighboring Carmichael brothers for almost as long as they can remember. But this year, after a terrible fight with their parents about her future plans, Justine jumps off a cliff to her death. Vanessa doesn't believe that her sister killed herself so she starts digging for answers. It turns out that Justine's death isn't the only one that summer. Dead men are washing ashore all along the coast, and the weather is going crazy. As she searches for clues, Vanessa begins to suspect that there might be a connection between the many deaths. This novel starts out well, but quickly drags. Rayburn's writing has an almost cinematic quality, but that causes problems when things aren't explained clearly and readers are left to infer too much in the action. While the premise of sirens in modern-day North America is fascinating, the idea is not fully explored. Far too much of the book is spent with Vanessa chasing after her sister's boyfriend for answers. Also, the science behind the climactic scene makes absolutely no sense and isn't plausible.-Necia Blundy, Marlborough Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Vanessa, 17, wishes that she was more like her confident older sister Justine and was less afraid of the dark and the ocean at her family's Maine summerhouse. Then, shockingly, Justine is found dead on the shore, and although the death is termed accidental, Vanessa decides to travel from their family home in Boston to Maine to search for answers. There, she learns that Caleb, Justine's regular summer boyfriend, is missing, and of the mysterious, sea-related deaths of local men—each, eerily, found smiling. Together with Simon, Caleb's brother, Vanessa begins to unfold intertwined mysteries and searches for the courage to thwart a sinister, potentially deadly plan. Rayburn's modern-day, edgy spin on siren mythology combines suspense, dark drama, and romance. Vanessa is an appealing protagonist, whose detailed narrative incorporates well-drawn issues, from grief to relationship complexities. Although the sometimes dense story includes occasional contrivances and a rushed conclusion, this will appeal to fans of contemporary supernatural novels, and the lingering ambiguities and loose ends will leave readers wanting more. Grades 9-12. --Shelle Rosenfeld

Product Details

  • File Size: 1121 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: e-penguin (July 28, 2010)
  • Publication Date: July 28, 2010
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006O8VEQQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,616,577 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Meegan VINE VOICE on September 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wanted to like this book. The plot sounded really cool and this specific fantasy element is one that hasn't been explored much (if at all) in YA fiction. But it just didn't work for me. The beginning was strong and definitely pulled me into the story. But the remainder of the book felt disjointed and I had a hard time following the plot at certain points. Specifically:

- I was pretty surprised at the fact that after the loss of their older daughter, Vanessa's parents were comfortable allowing her to stay in their summer cottage without supervision. It felt forced and unrealistic.
- Speaking of parents, why do ALL the parents in this book seem totally clueless and/or irresponsible. What the hell happened to Caleb and Simon's parents? Their youngest son vanishes and we never hear a peep from them. And the less said about Paige's mom, the better.
- The romance element felt flat to me. I don't mind that it didn't dominate the entire story...but I would have liked it to feel more real than it did. I never got a sense of Simon's appearance at all...nor did I really understand what Vanessa saw in him.
- I'm still trying to figure out what the heck happened at the end of the story.
- Vanessa's total lack of insight about herself, her relationship with her sister, and the big reveal towards the end of the book jarred with her otherwise intelligent and perceptive nature. It felt like there were two Vanessas...one who seemed to be Vanessa and one who popped in once in a while to introduce key, dramatic elements into the plot and then vanish.

In summary, the author is obviously very talented but the story lacks cohesion and the characters were either too flat or schizo to hold my interest. I assume this is going to be a series...I might pick up the next book just to see if the plot gels and comes together more. We'll see.
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Format: Hardcover
Tricia Rayburn's Siren, is a paranormal mystery with a nice touch of romance. Are you looking for a suspenseful paranormal novel that doesn't involve vampires, werewolves, or angels? If so, then Siren might be exactly what you need. This quick summertime read follows Vanessa Sands, a teenager looking into a series of mysterious deaths off the coast of Maine.

What I Liked:
- This book pulled me into the story immediately. Not only is Justine's death tragic and suspicious, but the overall atmosphere in Winter Harbor is eerie and intriguing.
- Vanessa is a likable heroine with a family that cares about her. Vanessa's fears feel genuine and endearing, and it is impossible not to hope she is able to find some closure regarding her sister's death.
- Simon is not a 'bad boy' romantic hero. He is a kind, slightly nerdy guy with an interest in meteorology. He and Vanessa have known each other for many years, and when they begin to act on their non-platonic feelings for one another, their changing relationship is presented in a lovely, realistic way. Their romantic scenes together are sweet and sensuous without being overly explicit.
- Winter Harbor is filled with a variety of unique characters that keep the story interesting - snotty Zara, friendly Paige, gorgeous Raina, intelligent Bettina, smitten Garrett, and unsociable Oliver.
- Much like his brother Simon, Caleb is also sincere, thoughtful, and easy to like. Both Carmichael brothers increase this novel's appeal, but I would still consider the story more of a paranormal thriller than a paranormal romance.
- Siren is not afraid to venture into dark territory with several murders and an unremorseful villain.
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Format: Hardcover
I know I am the first person to give this book less than a "4 star" rating, but I couldn't help it. Although I love YA fiction, I loved the premise of this story, and I loved the folklore, I couldn't help but be left wanting. The ending was inappropriately placed as I feel much was left to be desired. I wanted to know what happened between Vanessa and Simon, what about Caleb? I know those who have not read the book and therefore don't know what I mean about questioning the relationships between the characters, but I have to throw it in here.

As for the plot, the story had/has great potential (if it becomes a series). If it becomes a series, then I know why I was left hanging on at the end. I agree with the other reviews that it was well written and interesting, but I couldn't help but believe that some of the mythology and folklore could have been explained a little better. I know what sirens are mythologically speaking, but what are they and how are they different in this story? I could try to flesh it out for you, but I don't feel like it was done justice. If the author had been pushed a bit further developing the idea of using a powerful creature like the siren, I believe this story could have been truly superb.

I do believe it is worth reading, if anything to give other writers an idea about how to flesh out their mythologies a little better. As for characterization, that I believe, was done beautifully. Not only were the primary characters interesting, but so were the secondary. Twists and turns definitely kept me reading and I finished the book in a little over a day. It is a wonderful piece to add to my YA fiction collection, but unless there is a series, the best rating I can give is three stars.
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