Love is a risk worth taking.
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 to leave Akinli for good. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.
Okay, let's start with Cover Love! Look at this beauty! The back cover and the flaps continue with the beautiful blue-green ocean waves. I only actually read the last 50 or so pages, and I kept turning the book over to look at it.
So, let's throwback. I would say maybe a year ago I was in Barnes and Noble (aka my second home) and what do I see in the clearance bin?
I grabbed it, of course, as soon as I realized what it was -- a pre-Selection Kiera Cass book! It's been sitting on my shelf since then, and I finally pulled it down when I started listening to the audiobook. Fun fact: changes were made! I thought I would be able to match the audio of the edited Harper version with this earlier version of the book, but that's not the case. The writer in me is curious and may go back and read this other version just to see what was changed. I only read the first few pages, skimmed the middle a bit, and read the last few pages and those were different in the new version.
But back to The Siren 2016! I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did. Sure, I always enjoy Kiera's stories. They are cute and they make me smile. But this one had a depth that, to me, the Selection series didn't quite have. It was beautiful and intense and my heart ached for all of these characters. I'll start backwards and talk about the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen talks a lot about the myths and stories that we (humans) believe of sirens. This shows the kind of research that Kiera did into the topic for the book and was fascinating. I loved how she took the general idea that sirens were soulless and completely turned it around to these beautiful and fun girls who are every bit as "human" as your best friend. They go out, they shop, they dance, they travel, they dream, and they are dedicated to each other. But they must also find a way to live with the fact that they kill people. Elizabeth shops. Miaka paints. Kahlen researches. I love how each girl dealt with what they did in such a unique way.
Akinli, of course, is adorable. What I love most about his and Kahlen's relationship is how it shows that we can connect with others through more than our words. Kind of a deeper Little Mermaid type scenario. Deeper because Akinli wanted to learn more about the person Kahlen was, and he told her about the person who he was.
The Ocean...I don't know how to feel about her. I understand where she's coming from, but I also don't. I can see how she loves, but she is not good at showing love. She is a complex character who plays both the hero and the villain, who gives life but also takes it away, who has deep emotions but comes off cold. She's full of contradictions, and like I said, by the end I came to understand (I guess...) her, but I don't think I really came to like her.
And finally Kahlen. She is so complex. It's just interesting to me to compare her to American and Eadlyn. Not that the two royal ladies didn't have some things they were going through, but Kahlen to me had so much more soul and emotion. She hating taking lives and could never let that go. She carried all the lives with her, through her scrapbooks. She carried her dreams of falling in love and having a beautiful wedding. She carried her sisters by taking care of them. She carried the Ocean, as she was the favored siren. And as the book progressed she carried even more -- heartache for Akinli, pain for her sister Padma, secrets of Aisling's. She was seen as the best siren because she was the most obedient, but I think of them all she wanted the most to experience the depth of humanity.
The Siren had a lovely, beautiful ending. I closed the book with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.
I'd definitely recommend this one! Just don't go into it expecting it to be like the Selection series, because it is most definitely not.