Monday, September 12, 2016

Review: The Siren


"You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won't lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time..."

The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can't bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she's been waiting for doesn't seem nearly as important as the one she's living now.




Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Title: The Siren

Author: Kiera Cass

Release Date: January 26th, 2016

Pages:327

Publisher: HarperTeen

 

            I have a task for you: look at the cover of this book and tell me what the first thing that comes to your mind is. Was it the similarity of this cover to Kiera Cass’s other books? If it was, then great minds think alike because that is the FIRST thing that I noticed when this book popped up on my radar a few months back. I couldn’t believe Kiera had written yet another series already! Especially one that looked so similar to The Selection Series! Imagine my surprise then when I was told this book had been out since 2009. HOW DID I NOT KNOW? That, my friends, is good marketing though, which I can TOTALLY appreciate being a marketing major and all. From what I’ve gathered, The Siren was released in 2009 and didn’t garner as much attention as her other books did.  Once she was more popular from The Selection Series, HarperTeen redesigned the book’s cover, which is similar to the design for The Selection Series, and increased the attention it received. I am so glad they did because I might not have heard of this book otherwise! What’s more, I happened upon a copy of this at TJ Max for $5! A brand new hardcover copy! SCORE!
            As a big fan of Kiera’s already, I had high hopes for this one going into it. While the feel of her writing was the same, I’m a little disappointed in the outcome of this one. I’m not sure if that had to do with the fact that this was just a standalone and I wasn’t as invested in it as I was with The Selection Series, or if it was simply the plot of the book itself. Here are some of my favorites and not so favorite bits.

Favorite Bits:
o   The setup: I liked the order in which Kahlen’s story is told. I thought the setup was great for The Siren, because we got to see what led her to becoming a siren, and then it fast-forwarded to her life working as a siren for the Ocean, which was the majority of the storyline.
o   Akinli: Someone give Akinli an award. Homeboy was UNDERSTANDING! Even when Kahlen disappeared for long periods of time and showed back up months later out of the blue, he was STILL in love with her and willing to work on their friendship/relationship. I’m sorry, but if someone left me in some of the situations she left him, then I would not have been the same way. It was hard to tell whether this was a result of her effects as a siren and that he simply couldn’t resist her when she did return, or if it was simply a testament to his character that he was willing to forgive her so easily.  I would like to think the latter, since Akinli seemed like an overall genuine guy from the get-go, but it was unclear. Either way, I thought Akinli was a doll and he was such a good guy despite all the hardships he had to endure in the past couple of years leading up to his encounter with Kahlen at school. 
Not So Favorite Bits:
o   The Ocean: I just had such a hard time buying into this whole concept of the Ocean being an actual person/construct.  Even though she didn’t show up in the form of a human, she was able to interact and speak with the girls (the sirens) as if she was one of them. It was also INCREDIBLY weird to me how she treated them.  The book kept referencing the sirens as her “daughters” and her feelings towards them were supposed to be as a mother-figure, but she was so possessive over them it was creepy at times.  Even when she was chastising Khalen for her mistakes and telling her she couldn’t kill her because Khalen was her favorite, but that she would punish her if she stepped out of line again, I couldn’t help but cringe. It was just too weird how she treated them and a mother figure did not come to mind for me when I was reading these scenes in the book. 
o   The other girls: I wasn’t that attached to any of the other sirens that Khalen lived with.  I wanted to love her friendship with them, and typically when I’m reading books that involve girl friendships I love the protagonist’s best friend(s), but this time I didn’t really care for a single one of them. Most of them were a lot different than Khalen, hardly questioning the nature of their work or how disgusting it was that they were killing humans in order to serve their sentence to the Ocean, and for those reasons alone I couldn’t click with them at all.  

 

11 comments:

  1. I've been curious about this one, as I loved the selection series (well the first 3 at least. The last two were just ok IMO). St first when you described the ocean being an individual, like a mother, I thought it sounded cool. But I'm not so sure, seeing as it seems to be executed weirdly. Definitely keeping this on my TBR. Great review :)

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    1. It was ok! I enjoyed it but it wasn't a new favorite. Little commitment though since it's a standalone and not a series like The Selection ones were. and i didn't like the new selection books with their daughter. I tried reading them and could NOT get into her perspective she was so stuck up!

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  2. Yeah.. I'm really over the girl in dress covers. I recently found out about this standalone too. I'm debating whether I want to read it or not. The reviews seem to be mixed. The Ocean being a person/construct actually interests me! Sounds very ancient-gods like. I supposed I'll get to this book eventually. Thanks for sharing your review!

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    1. It was ok! Not a favorite of mine, but it wasn't too bad. I just thought the relationship with the Ocean and her sirens seemed more inclined towards romantic than familial. It was odd! but then again I might just been overreacting.
      Thanks for reading my review Ren!

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  3. UGH! I'm so on the fence about whether I should read this or not. The cover is a bit cliched, but you make the story sound like it was slightly entertaining.

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    1. It was ok! It might fair better for someone else, I just didn't get on with it as well as I'd hoped! Then again I had REALLY high expectations going into it, so that might have warped my opinion a bit.
      I would say give it a chance still Jessamine! Who knows, you might love it!
      Thanks for reading my review!

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  4. Marketing win! :) They totally capitalized on the covers/success of her other series - and why not? I think I'd have a tough time with the ocean as a person/entity thing, too. I'm not really loving that. I will eventually read The Selection series because it seems like such fun but I'll probably give this one a pass.

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    1. If you have to read any books by Cass, I would definitely say go with The Selection Series Tanya! I can't wait to hear your thoughts when you do! It's like reading a YA version of the bachelorette and it's adorable:) Well, like the bachelorette in a dystopian society, but you know what I mean:)

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  5. I didn't know about this one either, Emily. I do like this cover but I'm going to have to dig to see what the other cover looked like. ;) I'm glad you enjoyed The Siren for the most part. I know it's hard going into a book with high expectations because you like the author. We just have to remember that this was actually her first book. ;) The characters sound very interesting and you have me very curious about the Ocean being a character. I'll have to check out this one sometime...maybe I'll find it for a steal! ;)

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    1. The original cover almost looked like a self-published one (not sure if it was or not).
      And yes that is a good thing to keep in mind! I didn't even consider that. But it's a good testament to her growth as an author though, because I think her writing has gotten much better, especially since I thought The Selection Series was really well done.
      Thanks Brandee! And I hope you do! I'd love to hear your thoughts when you do!

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    2. Ah! Brandee on second thought, if you ever want a copy let me know and I will send you mine! I put it in my "to sell" pile for half priced books when I get around to going, but if it's something you want to give a go I would be more than happy to ship you mine! just let me know! You can always email me or tweet me your address and I can send it out with the post. I'm always happier with my books going to good homes than getting money for them if I think someone else will get some use out of them:)

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