Rough Week

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, FallenCity of Bones, and Tithe will definitely enjoy Rayburn’s Siren and should pick it up July 13th.

Check out Rayburn’s blog and show her your love. As always, her books are available here.

Happy reading!

The Eterernal is Forever

I got a chance to read Kirsten Miller’s upcoming August release, The Eternal Ones. This novel is a romance that toys with the idea that love can reach across lifetimes. 17 year old Haven Moore has suffered visions of a handsome man and a place she had never been since she was a young girl. She lives in a heavily religious town that scorns her vibrant visions and her gay best friend. She escapes to New York, a place she has seen countless times in her dreams. She becomes involved in murders from her past lives as well as in her current life. She must choose whether to trust her heart or her reasoning to tell her what really happened in her past life.

I devoured this novel. A lot of YA authors approach the idea of love at first sight as well as knowing people in previous lives but they never really look at how some religions would react. Haven is raised in a Christian town– her visions of a passionate and intimate love from the past is definitely not what most people expect of a good southern girl. The novel kept me guessing. Was Iain the hero? Or was he the murderer? Every time I thought I had the trick, I found out that there was evidence pointing in the opposite direction. I never really knew what to expect.

Haven was very realistic to me. I felt like she was a real girl dealing with images and events that were out of her control. She was new to love yet still familiar to the ideas thanks to her past lives, she was vulnerable and exposed in front of the man she wanted to be her soul mate. The language was lyrical, often painting pictures of breath taking or destructive images. The details were not dragging on the scenes. They portrayed the right energies that moved the scene along, keeping the reader hooked on every word. I’m glad I had the opportunity to read this enthralling novel and I eagerly look forward to seeing it in stores come August.

Find out more about the novel and Kirsten Miller here.

Happy reading!