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Monday, August 2, 2010

SIREN book review

SIREN by Tricia Rayburn
I can tell you that I was VERY excited to not only receive my first ARC, but for it to be of this book.  (Granted, I got the ARC about the same time you could buy the book, but who's counting?)  The cover is so amazing, I knew I just had to read it.  (And yes, I buy wine that has an attractive label too.)  I wish I could say I was enchanted by the story as I was its cover.
 Here's the plot line:

Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything--the dark, heights, the ocean--but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge.  That is until Justine goes cliff diving one night near the family's vacation house in Winter Harbor, Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.

Vanessa's parents want to work through the tragedy by returning to their everyday lives back in Boston, but Vanessa can't help feeling that her sister's death was more than an accident.  After discovering that Justine never applied to colleges, and that she was secretly in a relationship with longtime family friend Caleb Carmichael, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor to seek some answers.

But when Vanessa learns that Caleb has been missing since Justine's death, she and Caleb's older brother, Simon, join forces to try to find him, and in the process, their childhood friendship blossoms into something more. 
Soon it's not just Vanessa who is afraid.  All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes home to a string of fatal, water-related accidents . . . in which all the victims are found grinning from ear to ear. 

As Vanessa and Simon probe further into the connections between Justine's death and the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance, and that will change her life forever. 

I found the story a little hard to get into; probably about three or four chapters in before it really picked up for me.  I must say though that once it got going, the story really moved along.  It definitely ended up being one of those up-all-night, page-turners.

And just when I thought I was falling in love despite the slow-ish start, there were some logical failings at the end that left me spinning.  ***SPOILER ALERT***  For example, Vanessa thinks she gets headaches because she's "connected" to Zara -- but she's connected to Paige and Raina and Betty the same way as she is to Zara.  Why does she only get headaches around Zara?  And how the heck did Vanessa (or anyone else for that matter) survive being frozen alive?  If you can explain these things to me, I'd appreciate it, because I really wanted to love this book.

Some of the high points were: the fast-moving plot, as I mentioned.  Really three-dimensional characters.  Vanessa and Justine were multi-layered and the reader got to peel away layers like an onion. I loved that.  The romance between Nessa and Simon. Who doesn't love a good romance?
Overall, I still give the book 3 out of 4 coins (a URA* rating) and am really only disappointed because I wanted to like to MORE than that.  I suspect that I'm becoming a very fussy reader.  And yes, Ms. Rayburn, I am waiting on the sequel already...


salarsenッ said...

Ooh, it looks great. I skipped to the end after the 'spoiler alert'.

Thanks, Jessie

Jessica said...

I wanna read it!

Anonymous said...

Oooh great review ! This book sounds amazing !


Jessie said...

just wanted to say welcome to Jessica and LostInBelieving. thank you both for coming by.

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