Genre and audience: Romance for YA
You’ll like this if you like: Gorgeous, poetic prose, addictive books, a haunting, yet enchanting story concept, unique, well-developed characters, sweet, natural romance.
Cleanliness: One of the characters has a wild streak–she goes home with a different guy each night and wears what she calls “stripper heels.” Ironically, her name is Elizabeth.
Hero Type: Beta Male
The sirens have one job: to feed the Ocean. The Ocean is alive, intelligent, and feeling. She takes girls from shipwrecks and offers them another chance at life–as Her siren, feeding Her by luring humans into the Ocean. The sirens are made immortal, unnaturally beautiful. Their voices are poison to any who hear it. After 100 years of loyal service, they’re granted their freedom, a chance to be human again. Kahlen is the most beloved of all the sirens. She follows the rules strictly, staying far away from humans, until she runs into an irresistibly sweet guy at the library, who somehow understands and communicates with Kahlen without her having to say a word. Sirens are allowed to have lovers, but nothing with commitment or love. Suddenly, Kahlen finds herself yearning for what could never be.
The book itself is a siren. Whenever I had to put it down, I could feel its song tugging at me, drawing me back to the story. Every second of reading was pure joy. Every paragraph was riveting, even if it wasn’t packed with romance or action. Kahlen and her world are both absolutely enchanting. I couldn’t wait to learn more about them. The only issue I have is that the power of their song is inconsistent. At one time, they said only one siren was needed to drown a boat full of people, but during one particular singing, when three sirens out of four were singing, they lost control of some of the people. At another point, it only took one word for her to drown a person, though she tried to stop him. At another point, as soon as she stopped singing, the spell was broken. But this is a relatively minor, nit-picky detail, and in the grand scheme of things, it was a minor distraction, but didn’t detract from the pleasure I experienced reading this. Overall, I think this is one of Kiera Cass’s best—if not the best.
What would you do in Kahlen’s position? Ask for life, but work as a siren? Or die? What other YA romance novels do you like to read?