The Siren

Book Information
Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Year: 2016
ISBN: 9780062391995
Pages: 327

It’s the 1950s and nineteen-year-old Kahlen finds herself the sole survivor of a cruise ship sinking in which thousands of people, including her entire family, have died. The Ocean has preserved her life in exchange for one hundred years of service as a Siren—charged with the task of feeding the Ocean souls and sustaining Her—and after which Kahlen will be given a new life. Kahlen accepts the Ocean’s offer and is transformed into a being of exquisite beauty, a deadly voice, and an indestructible body. She and her fellow Sirens are allowed to live amongst the humans but cannot use their voices for fear of sending such persons to a watery grave and revealing the secret of the Ocean. Eighty years in to her sentence, Kahlen finds herself in a terrifying situation: she is in love with a human boy, Akinli, and the Ocean will not allow it. Kahlen struggles between loyalties and love, sacrifice and survival in her pursuit to stay with the boy she cannot live without.

The initial premise of this book is very interesting, and had the potential for excellence. However, the most interesting and engaging interaction, which is between Kahlen and Akinli, lasts for about ten pages. The majority of the plot focuses on Kahlen’s insecurities and her indecisiveness. The conclusion of the book was unsatisfactory and the technicalities confusing. Fans of Kiera Cass’s Selection series may enjoy the self-sacrificing-for-love elements in The Siren, but should prepare themselves for an overall darker theme. The relationship between Kahlen, the other Sirens, and the Ocean is an interesting dynamic, but could have been developed further. Overall, The Siren is an easy, light read that most Young Adult Literature readers will read, like, but not love.

*Contains repeated references to the sirens causing people to drown.