So it’s been really difficult the past few days. I graduated last Thursday, celebrated Friday, worked all weekend, and barely had a second to breathe. Not to mention, my colleagues have had their own problems with family and home life. So, in deference to them, I think it’s only fair that BEA review waits until they’re ready to write. Thank you all for your patience and support. To make it up to you, I have a book review! Hooray.
Siren by Tricia Rayburn is a novel about a girl that is terrified of everything. Vanessa jumps at shadows cast by the sun shining through the leaves, the creaky groans of an old house, and the silence that fills you when there’s nothing left to say. Her sister is the complete opposite, proud and fearless. Justine is beautiful, vivacious, and foolish. A fight ignites between mother and daughters. Justine ran away into the stormy night, never to be seen again alive. Vanessa is shattered by the death, but is driven to discover the secrets her sister had been keeping. In a glimmering hope to face her fears and find out what Justine had been hiding, Vanessa seeks out Justine’s summer flame, Caleb. He had been there the night she died, and he had the answers. To her surprise, Caleb ran away from home, leaving his own brother perplexed and looking for answers. Together, Simon and Vanessa work to track down Caleb and find out what he knows about Justine’s death. The secrets are nothing like they expect, uncovering rapid and escalating storms that lead to mysterious deaths ending with smiles.
Rayburn’s novel was something different for me. The heroine began in a terrified state and changed, but not into a brave and fearless Valkyrie. She gained confidence throughout the novel, which is only natural when a character comes of age. The character development worked incredibly well. Vanessa pushed through mostly on her own. There were outside forces helping her along but it was still Vanessa that made decisions. I had not yet read a book about sirens in the YA genre, and this was a great introduction. I love when authors take myths and own them, which is what Rayburn did. These sirens were terrifying and beautiful, real and destructive. Some of the teen drama was predictable, but necessary to drive Vanessa’s heart. I would have liked it if certain story lines had been fulfilled and details hashed out, but the novel ended with a little question mark. I can live with the little question mark.
The novel was filled with twists and turns that kept me hooked from page to page. I didn’t really know who the villain was or who was responsible for what terrible occurrence until towards the end of the novel. I certainly didn’t anticipate the connections between Vanessa and the sirens. Fans of Twilight, Fallen, City of Bones, and Tithe will definitely enjoy Rayburn’s Siren and should pick it up July 13th.