Friday, March 25, 2016

Book Review: The Siren by Kiera Cass

Title: The Siren
Author: Kiera Cass
Publication Date: January 26, 2016 (July 1, 2009)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 327
Add to Goodreads

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.

I have a love/hate relationship with Kiera Cass. I loved her initial Selection trilogy, but I hated The Heir and never quite understood why there was ever a need for it to exist. I added The Siren to my TBR list way back before I ever read The Heir, when I was still excited about Kiera's books. Back when it looked like that. →

Even after really not liking The Heir, when I saw that The Siren was being re-released with an edit and a new cover, I decided to give it a try. Although I didn't go in with high expectations, I did expect to enjoy it since it was a departure from The Selection series.

The Siren begins with Kahlen's story before she became a siren. It's brief and doesn't give a huge amount of detail, although it's enough to explain how she became a mythical creature. Very quickly, we skip ahead 80 years and Kahlen is still a teenager in every way, which seems a little weird. It seems to me that if a person lives for almost 100 years, they should have a different level of maturity than your standard teenager, but okay... I don't really have much to say about Kahlen because, despite reading over 300 pages of her story, I don't feel like I learned anything about her. The entire story is literally about Kahlen moping and being depressed over the tragedy that is her life and her lost "soulmate," which brings me to Akinli.

Again, I don't feel like I learned enough about Akinli to make any kind of statement about his character. Kahlen repeatedly tells the reader what an incredible, perfect person he is, but how do I know this? All I came away from The Siren knowing about this character is that he's from Maine, likes cake, and knows how to dance. I don't feel like I have any reason to dislike Akinli, but I certainly don't know enough about him to say that I like him.

Let's jump right into the "romance" shall we? Allow me break this relationship down for you. Kahlen and Akinli meet twice, have one date, don't see each other for several months, spend less than 24 hours together, and are apparently soulmates.

Kahlen spends the entire book pining over a guy she has seen for less than 48 hours total. Less than 48 hours of 100 years, and that is completely ridiculous and unforgivable. Not only was there some pretty intense insta-love between the two love interests, but Akinli's entire family apparently instantly loves Kahlen too because... I have no idea why.

If I could sum up The Siren in one word it would be "incomplete." Reading this book, it is totally obvious that it was her first and that it needed a lot more work. Better yet, it should have been left alone. Nothing in The Siren seemed completely fleshed out. There was literally no history given on the sirens or how they came to be. The Ocean was vague and I didn't quite understand why She needed human sacrifices. The bit about the memories disappearing when a girl became a siren didn't make much sense because it only seemed to happen part of the time and the Ocean's rules seemed pointless since it seemed to be so easy to get around them.

In case I haven't made it clear, this book is NOT a book about sirens. The siren angle was secondary to the "romance" between Kahlen and Akinli. The fact that Kahlen was a siren only served as a way to keep the two apart so that they could pine over each other and almost die of heartbreak. (Excuse me while I go throw up.)

I didn't completely hate The Siren. There were a couple things I actually enjoyed, mainly Kahlen's sisters, but overall I was so disappointed by The Siren. I was really looking forward to another non-Selection book by Kiera Cass and truly hoped that I she would redeem herself in my eyes, but I have to report that was, sadly, not the case.