The Siren is a new standalone novel from the YA author Keira Cass. You might recognize the name because she’s the writer of a small series that you’ve probably never heard of, The Selection. That was sarcasm by the way, just in case you didn’t realize it.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Selection when I first read it. I found Cass’s style of writing to be average at best and her characters were a little too cliché with no depth to them. Her story was interesting but brought nothing new to the YA genre. It was a fun read but that’s about the beginning and end of it. Just my opinion though, I know tons of people are major fans.
So I wasn’t too sure when I started seeing The Siren taking the bookstagram community by storm. The premise of the story intrigued me but I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend the money to see for myself if it was living up to the hype. However, when I joined the Goodreads book club, The Court of Books and Readers (which was started by some amazing girls in the bookstagram community), they chose The Siren as the book for the month of February. Now I knew it was time to just break down and buy it.
From Kiera Cass, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Selection series, comes a sweeping stand-alone fantasy romance.
A girl with a secret.
The boy of her dreams.
An Ocean between them.
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.
Falling in love with a human breaks the Ocean’s rules. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.
Okay, okay – I’m very glad that I ended up reading this book. This novel is definitely a step above The Selection in terms of writing, depth, character development, plot, the whole shebang really. It was immediately obvious to me that Cass has matured as a writer. I found myself shaking my head in disbelief at silly parts just a few times, which is a whole lot more than I can say happened during the other books. I actually finished this book in less than 24 hours, so you can see that it captured my attention.
For me, the only part I had a hard time believing was the romance. As a standalone novel, I know it’s hard to be able to set a plot development at a reasonable/believable pace. There’s only so many pages to fall in love, right? But even for that it seemed a bit too quick for me. I’m pretty sure I even snorted a few times from how unbelievable it was. But due to lack of real human interaction as a siren, I guess I can let the romance part slide.
I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Kahlen was a bit hard for me to connect with, as I didn’t really understand the ways she chose to cope with her issues. I think my favorite thing about her is that she liked to read, so there’s that. However, I love Akinli (hate his name). He was funny, charming, and just a happy person in general which was a nice contrast to the antisocial Kahlen (seriously, what is up with these names?!). I think Elizabeth was my favorite because she was such a spitfire, reminds me of someone I know but I can’t think of who. Heh.
I found there to be a very mature aspect to The Siren in general. Padma and Miyaka’s stories were very poignant and I appreciated Cass adding them to the book. The rights of women all over the world is something very important in society today and this was a great way to highlight that. The relationship between The Ocean and the girls also showed a lot of depth. You could really see how convoluted the relationship was and how different they each felt about their overall situation. It was interesting to see it how it changed throughout the book.
Overall this book was a great, quick read. I’m looking forward to seeing how Keira Cass progresses as a writer in the future. I expect to see some very good stories from her in the future if this book is any indication. Well done.
Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars