Synopsis: Years ago, Kahlen was rescued from drowning by the Ocean. To repay her debt, she has served as a Siren ever since, using her voice to lure countless strangers to their deaths. Though a single word from Kahlen can kill, she can't resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again.
Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude...until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. And though she can't talk to him, they soon forge a connection neither of them can deny...and Kahlen doesn't want to.
Falling in love with a human breaks all the Ocean's rules, and if the Ocean discovers Kahlen's feelings, she'll be forced leave Akinli for good. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.
Date Published: January 26, 2016
Published By: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 336
The Siren reads like a modern-day fairy tale that definitely has a bit of a Little Mermaid vibe. Having never read Kiera Cass's Selection series, I didn't really know what to expect reading this book. While I thought some parts were interesting and liked it for the most part, The Siren suffers from Typical YA Syndrome*.
Kahlen is your Typical YA Heroine - she doesn't have much in the way of an actual personality except for the fact that she's obedient and knows how to dance the jitterbug. She'd much rather stay home and read than go out and party. Oh, and she yearns to fall in love and get married. Like, that's her goal in life. She looks at bridal magazines and fantasizes about what her wedding cake might look like. I'm sorry but after reading about other kickass YA heroines who can fall in love and still have other interests and motivations, the wedding-obsessed girl just doesn't do it for me.
Then you have Akinli, your Typical YA Love Interest. He's kind, understanding, respectful, romantic, (not to mention cute!) - basically he's Manic Pixie Dream Boy 101. The moments between Kahlen and Akinli are very sweet and nice - but not very swoon-worthy. I just didn't feel like they had a lot of chemistry. And it doesn't help that they spend most of the book apart. They only spend a few days together in total and yet they are OMG SO IN LOVE! WE'RE, LIKE, SOUL MATES, GUYS.
Here's what I liked - I liked the mythology in the book. The Ocean is this living, self-aware force that turns young girls into Sirens so they can lure people to their death so that the Ocean can survive. It's not really made clear why the Ocean needs to drown humans to sustain Herself but, still, it's a cool idea.
I also liked the deep friendships that Kahlen formed with the other Sirens. Here, we see a group of girls that love each other and support each other through the years they are together. They don't always get along and sometimes conflict with each other but they care for each other as sisters, and it shows. So yay for Kiera Cass for portraying strong female friendships!
I felt the ending was a little rushed and it all felt too easy. There wasn't a lot of conflict and the climax was kind of 'ho-hum.' In short, it was a Typical YA Ending.
You might enjoy The Siren if you're a fan of Kiera Cass's other books and/or like mermaid stories. If you're sick of Typical YA, skip it.
*To me, a Typical YA Book is competently written and I might even enjoy it, but it is usually average and nothing about the story is original.