Author: Tricia Rayburn
Release Date: July 13, 2010
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 Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.
Though her parents hope that they’ll be able to find closure back in Boston, Vanessa can’t help feeling that her sister’s death wasn’t an accident. After discovering that Justine was keeping a lot of secrets, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor, hoping that Justine’s boyfriend might know more. But Caleb has been missing since Justine’s death.
Soon, it’s not just Vanessa who’s afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes host to a string of fatal, water-related accidents in which all the victims are found, horrifically, grinning from ear to ear.
Vanessa turns to Caleb’s brother, Simon, for help, and begins to find herself drawn to him. As the pair try to understand the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance—and will change her life forever.
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: This is another one of those ARC’s I got from a conference I was at this year, but this one is signed, bonus! Anyway, let me just tell you one thing right off the bat that I loved about this book, there are no vamps or wolves running around. Yay for something new! Before you throw things at me, let me clarify. I love the bloodsuckers and the canine howlers, but every book I read can’t be about them. I need a break and this book was that breath of fresh air for me. I had it in my “to be read” pile until my friend James read a little snippet of it for his Fragment Friday on his blog and that’s when I said “hey, that sounds sweet!” So I found it on my shelf and proceeded to read.
The mythology behind this story was so interesting, because I don’t think I have read any other books out there that delve into this particular paranormal phenomenon. I think it is pretty obvious what the “mythology” in this book is about but just in cause you don’t know I am not going to say what it is. I will just say it is not something I have read about in YA before and I liked that it was a fresh outtake on the paranormal. It was fascinating to learn about a whole new world. With no vamps running around, you don’t have any frame of reference for the paranormal in this book. It was nice to learn about the lore right along with the characters and not have any preconceived notions going in.
One thing I learned through this book is Tricia is good with surprises. I thought I had the mystery figured out so I was waiting for the characters to catch up with me and see their reactions. I did not expect to be the one caught off guard. Looking back I see the signs there that I think I was just passing off as coincidence. Lesson learned, pay attention! I liked that Tricia left some of the twists for later in the book and not everything was just laid out for you in the beginning. Kept me on my toes as I was reading, which was gratifying.
Watching Vanessa and Simon try and make sense of their feelings was amusing. They have been friends for such a long time and Vanessa is not sure she should blur the lines between friendship and relationship. I do think by having them be friends first though, it did make the relationship flow more naturally. It wasn’t “oh, I met this really hot, mysterious, guy and now were dating!” Vanessa has known Simon for years. There is a foundation already in place for them to build on.
While the relationship between Simon and Vanessa was a big focus, there was also a large emphasis on Vanessa and her sister Justine. While Vanessa dives deeper into the mystery that surrounds her sisters death she starts to learn things she almost wishes she didn’t know. It also brings up a really good question, how well do you know your loved ones? What are they really thinking and doing when you are not there? Those are questions Vanessa and Simon search for answers to and are not so sure they are going to like what they find.
As the pages started to run out I was so sad, because the events leading up to ending left so many more questions than answers. Which I am of course not going to delve into here because that would ruin the story, silly. I am hoping these unanswered questions will mean that a sequel is on the way. I could not find anything about one online, but I am going to hold out hope. Siren brings sparkle to the YA genre with originality and mystery. It is something different for this genre and I hope Tricia will keep going so we can get to visit Winter Harbor again.