Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Book Review: Siren by Tricia Rayburn.

Product details:
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Release date: February 3rd 2011 (first published 2010).
Paperback, 320 pages.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Ages: YA
Source: Received from publisher for review.

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.

Siren, the first book in a new trilogy by Tricia Rayburn is a captivating read, and with its combination of murder, mystery and magical mythology, definitely adds a something a little different to the ever-popular field of YA paranormal romance. For me, Siren was a slow burner, and I admit that it took me a little while to connect with the story and its characters, but, once I did, I was completely hooked. This one just kept on getting better with every page.  With numerous plot twists and a seductive romance that I just loved, the dramatic conclusion of this one has left me in shock and wondering what on earth will happen next!

Siren revolves around two sisters, Justine and Vanessa Sands who have been vacationing at the beach community of Winter Harbour for many years. I grew up in a small town beach community and I just love books that have this appealing, romantic setting. Beach communities just come alive in the summertime, and they are wonderful settings for both sweet first kisses, and hot summer romances!  Justine and Vanessa couldn’t be more different. Justine, the older sister, is a beautiful, feisty daredevil who has had lots of boyfriends and is an all round popular girl. Vanessa, on the other hand, is quiet and cautious, and hasn’t had much experience in the boy department.  Nonetheless, the sisters are as close as can be and they spend their days hanging out with the boys next door, Simon and Caleb Carmichael.  They are looking forward to a summer of fun and frolics on the beach, until tragedy strikes when Justine dies in a mysterious accident.  Vanessa knows immediately that there is more to Justine’s death than meets the eye, and so she goes about uncovering the mystery of her sisters death. What she finds is very dark and scary, and it looks like nothing in Winter Harbour is as it first seems…

Ooooh….this one is actually quite creepy at times, and so, Vanessa is glad that she has Simon Carmichael for company as she goes about uncovering the strange things that are happening in Winter Harbour.  Simon is the strong and silent type, and I liked him right from the start.  Since reading The Body Finder and falling for Jay, I have developed a penchant for love interests who are of the ‘unassuming boy-next-door with no magic powers’ variety.  I loved watching the relationship between Vanessa and her older guy crush, Simon, grow.  It rang true, was easy to relate to, and was also pretty steamy in places!  I love a good steamy YA romance, as you all know.  So, while Simon and Vanessa are falling for each other, they are also trying to figure out what is happening in once sleepy seaside town of Winter Harbour.  It seems that Justine’s death has set a series of events in motion, and now something or someone is on a killing spree, and this time the men of Winter Harbour are in danger. Could Simon and Caleb be next on the list?! Eeek!

From here the action is non-stop, and oh, there are some great plot twists.  This book is just full of surprises!  The character of Vanessa annoyed me a little at the start of the book, but this book is all about her coming of age, and she really blossoms as a character as the book progresses. I was really rooting for her as the story raced towards its dramatic conclusion.  The mystery of Winter Harbour lies in its history, and we learn about the town’s past and that of its inhabitants, another element of the story that I really loved.  We are left on quite a cliffhanger and the end of this one with some amazing revelations about certain characters and quite a few unanswered questions. I’ve found a new series to add to my must-read list, and I can’t wait for the next installment Undercurrent which is due for release later this year.


  1. Great review! I love creepy, so I’ll make sure to check this one out :)

  2. I am so glad writers are moving away from vampires and angels - shake it up a bit! This one sounds so deliciously creepy! A must read!

  3. Thanks for the review! I've heard a lot of good things so far about this book so I've got to try it. I loved The Body Finder and Jay too:)

  4. @Danna - Just to let you know - this guy is nice, but not as yummy as Jay. Jay is still my #1! lol!

  5. I am with you on liking the unassuming guys too, and I love reading stories set in small beach communities too. I am glad the book got more exciting as I have had my eye on this one since I first read the summary. Terrific review!

  6. The premise sounds so intriguing and creepy! It seems very different from the usual YA paranormal romances. I will be adding this to my TBR!

  7. I have this book in my reading stack somewhere. Thanks for letting us know that it is a bit slow in the beginning and not to give up on it. Great review :)

  8. It's creepy at times? Dark and scary? But I love the sound of the mystery and romance. I like your honesty on what you liked and didn't like about the book. I don't care for this cover. However, I totally love the paperback version. I can't wait for it to come out in May! And the second book's cover is just as gorgeous.

  9. Fantastic review Leanna - I couldnt rersist the cover when I was In Tesco or the BOGOF. Desperately reshuffling :D

  10. Fantastic review! You had me at "small beach community." You know how much I love that setting! I am so jealous that you grew up in a beach community, especially in Ireland....sounds amazing. Anyway, this one sounds like something I'd like. I am definitely going to have to get my hands on a copy.

  11. I have to admit, the cover made it seem kind of boring to me. Your review makes the book sound so exciting though! I probably wouldn't have gotten around to reading Siren, but your review has given me motivation now.

  12. @Small - this cover didn't appeal to me either, and I wouldn't have picked the book up had it not been sent for review. I'm glad I did though!

    Have you seen the new covers for the series? I featured them in a Cover Candy post a while back. They're gorgeous, and really fit in well with the story. :)

  13. Oooh. Glad to hear that you enjoyed this :) I've had my eye on it for a while but I haven't snagged a copy yet.

  14. Oh I really loved this one, and especially Simon as the love interest. He's so nerdy, I love it!


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