Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (ARC Review)

Publisher: Ballantine Books
Page Count
: 384
Release Date: June 1, 2021

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: alcoholism, parental abandonment, loss of a loved one, adultification, mention of drug use, cheating

Many of my friends would probably gasp at the statement, but Malibu Rising was my first full length novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I had always meant to check out her books, had made plans so many times before, especially because I had enjoyed her novella Evidence of the Affair a whole lot, but apparently never followed through. I’m so very glad I remedied that now.

As we follow the Riva family through the decades, it is somehow easy to fall in love with all these characters. They felt real and flawed and relatable. With so many mentions of people that actually exist(ed), you were almost tempted to look up if their story was based on someone’s actual life.

As you alternate between the siblings Nina, Jay, Hub and Kit as grown-ups in the 80s and their parents June and Mick falling in love in the 50s, it becomes clear early on how these people shaped each other. While I first worried that some of the characters would get lost, there was a great balance between all of them and it felt astonishingly easy to follow their tale. Character traits as well as relationships to others but also money make a lot of sense when you consider the decisions made by those who came before you. It is all interwoven and shows how you can become the person you want to be because of or despite of your upbringing. My heart broke for these characters over and over and over again. I really just wanted to hold them and was proud of how they continued to trust in people and gave their love so freely even after the hardships they endured.

I have to say, as much as the book had me in the first half, it kind of lost me at times in the second one. I was so invested in the fate of the siblings, in their life story, I didn’t even really care if there was a bigger plot to it all. Just following their struggles and growth, seeing them get through it together, was enough for me. However, as much as I had forgotten the big life-changing party was going to take place later on in the book, it still came barreling in in the second half.
While I thought it was already bordering on too many POVs when we just had the siblings as well as their parents, Taylor Jenkins Reid doubled down and introduced many one-off POVs to show just how crowded and wild the party was getting. I understood that some of the fleeting perspectives added to the atmosphere, but overall, they weren’t necessary to further the story in my opinion. It all just became a bit too much and too disjointed for me.

Still, I cannot help but feel touched by all of it! Family and all its intricacies is one of my favorite topics to read about and Taylor Jenkins Reid managed to really bring that home. Each of the siblings was unique in their own way, but it was easy to find part of myself in each of them. The style of writing is engaging and manages to capture the flair of the setting and time period perfectly. I could picture everything in my mind as if I was watching a movie from back in the day. It’s rare that I read about a bunch of siblings who all love to surf with all their heart (something I know nothing about) and still feel so very connected to them. Definitely a read I will continue to cherish!

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Very strong start with a bit of a jumbled second half, but still SO MUCH heart!


Do you plan on reading Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest novel? What is your favorite one by her you’ve read so far? Let’s talk!

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin (ARC Review)

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count
: 362
Release Date: June 1, 2021

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

Advertised as “Practical Magic meets Twister“, The Nature of Witches immediately grabbed my attention when I first heard about it (those are legit two movies I adore with my whole heart). As much as I enjoy immersing myself in a high Fantasy concept, there’s something special about magic meeting our contemporary world, which this book does instead.
In this specific instance, witches have always lived among humans and helped them regulate the atmosphere and climate. But humans, as they tend to do in every reality it seems, wanted more. They went against the witches’ recommendations and tried to inhabit parts of the planet that should have been left to nature, always trying to push the limits further, until the Earth could take no more and the atmosphere became too erratic to be tamed by magic even.

As far as general premises go, this was something that interested me right away, because I loved the idea of mirroring our real life climate crisis in a magical way. However, the book only carried this idea as an underlying theme to propel the main character, Clara, further in her journey of accepting herself. Told from her POV, you mostly deal with her inner and very personal struggle. As an Everwitch, she can control magic no matter the season, whereas other witches are at their strongest or weakest depending on the time of year. Clara’s not just the only Everwitch there is, but because it has been so long since the last one lived, no one really knows what her powers entail, just that she is stronger and more dangerous and their only hope at counteracting the humans’ destruction. The danger in her abilities manifests specifically whenever she loses control, because her rampant magic seeks the people she loves the most and kills them, hence why she is reluctant to form any attachment to the people in her life.

While reading the book, I understood where Clara’s trauma came from. Imagine having powers you never asked for and that no one knows how to control, just to see them take every person you love from you at the slightest mistake. The conclusion that you would need to isolate yourself makes sense, but it still put the story in a repetitive loop, because not getting attached to anyone simply isn’t realistic. We are not even talking about romantic love here, but any kindness can make the heart grow fonder. Still, Clara focuses a lot on her romantic entanglements, which include her ex-girlfriend Paige and her current love interest Sang. I was personally more invested in Paige’s side of things, simply because she seemed like one of the few people willing to call out Clara when she was being self-centered and their history was really interesting. Sang, on the other hand, was one of the loveliest and sweetest characters. He was so supportive and exuded a calm that I wish I possessed too, but somehow I didn’t feel the depth of their love as much as it was described on the page.

All of this was a surprisingly quick read as you breeze through the seasons, but despite the dangerous situations the characters were put in, I didn’t feel the urgency of the plot. Usually, when it comes to magic, I try to just accept what I’m told, but I struggled a bit with the logistics. Here are a couple of examples that didn’t make sense to me entirely:

  • Every witch has their own seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) in which they are born, their personality is affected by and their magic is the strongest. However, seasons aren’t technically bound to certain months. They are marked by weather patterns and daylight hours, completely different depending on where you live on the planet. So, if a Summer witch didn’t want to see her powers wane after three months, wouldn’t they just be of better use in a different geographical area?
  • Clara had to live in a shed in the woods all by herself after a fatal incident with her powers, to make sure she wouldn’t get attached to any of her other classmates who lived together in dorms. This technically seems logical, but then they pair her with one person to train her alone, be it a teacher for years or a newly introduced person her age. If you spend time with someone in close proximity and they are your only close contact, you will form an attachment. People tend to grow on you over time, so this course of action was an odd choice for me, because it obviously counteracted what they were trying to do.
  • The big final plan (which I won’t go into detail about) was reckless, could have backfired so badly and was purely based on a hunch. Never mind that we don’t fully understand what happened or why it was necessary exactly, but it seemed to be a cure all.

Finally, this may not have been everything I’d hoped it would be, but the writing was beautiful, especially when it came to the weather and plant life. I also really liked the little quotes at the beginning of each chapter. They were a nice touch and I don’t want to reveal anything, but loved how it came full circle in the final chapters. Something about them worked so well as affirmations, you didn’t even have to be a witch to feel like they could be helpful to you as well.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! Very interesting concept and quick read, although it didn’t live up to my expectations!


Do you plan to read The Nature of Witches? What is your take on contemporary magical stories? Let’s talk!

Soulswift by Megan Bannen (Book Review)

Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Page Count
: 480

Honest question: Why has no one told me about this book before!?!?

I’m definitely not the most up to date person when it comes to book releases, but after reading the marvel that is Soulswift, I can whole-heartedly say that this book deserves more attention. I’m going to do my very best to not spoil anything for you, while still trying to convince you to pick up this book in the near future!

First off, I want to point out that Soulswift is a standalone fantasy, which is a rare bird to come across anyway (pun fully intended). So very often, you have to brace yourself for multiple volumes to release over an extended period of time to get to your conclusion, but somehow Bannen managed to pack a fully formed story, neither rushed nor dragging, into this one single book. I am in awe of that woman’s writing!

Stories about faith, even made up ones, are never easy in my opinion. There is such a fine line between religious fanaticism that feels harmful and a naivete towards the world and other beliefs that might be frustrating and annoying at times (although it didn’t feel annoying to me here), but offers great potential for growth. Bannen allowed us to draw our own conclusions, hearing different aspects and exploring the various angles. It felt very natural for the world she created and I loved that I knew that there were always going to be three sides to the belief system: Gelya’s version, Tavik’s story and the truth.

Why should I worship something that cares so little for me, or for you?

As I moved through Soulswift, I found myself attached to Gelya and Tavik more and more. Their enemies to friends to lovers dynamic and banter was endearing like nothing else, but they were also great characters on their own accords. They both have to overcome a vast amount of prejudice and yet their bond is so strong and frankly beautiful. You will weep for these characters, without a shadow of a doubt, because they are so strong and dedicated and devoted. By the end, it’s just a question of who to.

Aside from really enjoying the religious aspect, the created world and the characters, it was the small things that made this novel stand out for me. It challenged gender norms and stereotypes without throwing it in your face, but rather letting the characters question their world view through dialogue and realistic situations. For example, I cannot recall another Fantasy novel where a character got her period while on the road, which wasn’t dismissed here, but also not made into this awkward big deal. I really appreciated that!

Life and Death
All things in balance.

Why wouldn’t this book be for you?

Aside from the topic of faith, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea, be it fictional or not, the ending isn’t something every reader will love either. I’m fully in the camp “a good ending doesn’t mean a happy ending”, but if you seek a story that will leave you warm and joyful, this is not it. I’m not saying it ends it utter devastation, because everything makes sense and is very beautiful in its own way, but also tragic. So very tragic and sad. I cried.

fly, little soulswift, fly

Fazit: 5/5 stars! 100% one of my new all-time favourites!!!


Could I convince you to take a look at Soulswift? Was it on your radar before? Let’s talk!

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar/Max Gladstone (Book Review)

Publisher: Saga Press
Page Count
: 209

I went into this book pretty naive. I thought that if I could grasp movies like Inception (not that it thematically has anything to do with this particular book, I was more thinking in terms of complexity), I’d surely be able to understand This Is How You Lose the Time War. Oh, how foolish a thought of mine!

From the get go, you get plunged into a world or multiple complex interweaving time strings you are not going to be able to comprehend. There is no explanation of this universe. There is no easing you into the matter of Red and Blue (the main characters who tell the stories, partly through letters but also just as you follow their path) and their unique rivalry turned deep connection. You just have to accept prompts such as:

Burn before reading.
Bubble to read.
Every seed is a letter.

When you start out, none of this makes sense. How do you burn a letter and THEN read it? But you soon come to accept that there are words on the page you know, that are familiar, but that don’t make sense in this constellation or context to you. It’s a process that took some time for me to come to terms with and just read like I understood what was going on. But then, Red and Blue aren’t “normal” people/humans. You cannot expect them to operate the way you would and to be confined to our meager options. They are agents of the Garden and the Agency respectively and that means something entirely new and complex again.

But as you go on, dive deeper, it doesn’t have to all seem logical to you. Maybe there is no universal logic that will ever be able to be applied to this novella and that is okay too. It works in its own unique way. I can see a lot of people struggling with it though and it is something to be aware of when you pick up This Is How You Lose the Time War.

What “saved” this book is the sapphic longing that oozed off the pages. It was beautiful and gave this confusing mess a purpose. There is really no other way to put it.

“I love you. I love you. I love you. I’ll write it in waves. In skies. In my heart. You’ll never see, but you will know. I’ll be all the poets, I’ll kill them all and take each one’s place in turn, and every time love’s written in all the strands it will be to you.”

Fazit: 3/5 stars! It makes more sense towards the end, but it’s still utterly confusing in its lyrical beauty.

What is the last read that had you all confused? How important is worldbuilding to you when the focus of the story lies on emotions? Let’s talk!

Anna K. by Jenny Lee (Book Review)

Publisher: Flatiron Books
Page Count
: 374

It’s time to make a confession: I have never read or watched Anna Karenina in all my life. Why is that little tidbit of info about me avoiding/being oblivious about a Russian classic vital to you in this very moment? Well, Anna K. is a the glorious modern retelling of said classic and I hereby freely admit that I have no way of comparing the two, but I hope that still gives me a “unique” view on the book. It definitely made me curious about the original novel, that’s for sure.

Every happy teenage girl is the same, while every unhappy teenage girl is miserable in her own special way.

This book really left me in some sort of emotional state of mind! It took me a bit to find my footing, but from the get go, Anna K. is a fast-paced whirlwind of amazing characters. A lot happens as you sort of play tag with the characters and switch from one POV to the next almost seamlessly. At first, I was a bit unsure of just the vast amount of characters, but they were interconnected beautifully and each had their own voice and personality and depth to them despite all of it being told in the 3rd person (to me that sometimes feels a little less personal, but not here). On the one hand, it felt like you were just observing the characters’ lives, but on the other hand, you had clear insight into all their motives and desires.

What I first believed to be a superficial glitzy love-at-first-sight teenage foolery, turned out to be so much more than that. I loved the upperclass Manhattan/Greenwich setting. I loved that Anna K. was a Korean-American teen and that her family’s tradition clashed and blended with American society standards. I adored the character dynamics and how everyone was connected in a more or less expected way. I loved how heightened and extra a lot of it was. At some point, there was one tragedy after the other and each time I thought my heart couldn’t possibly break any more, but then there was another one just around the corner. Yet, you don’t leave this book sad (maybe a little wistful), but rather full of hope and love for all these characters.

There’s not much fault one can find with this book in my opinion. The characters aren’t perfect paper cutouts, but actual human beings with faults and flaws. Anna and Steven even made it into my list of favourite literary characters and that’s not an easy one to get on. So, if you aren’t into cheating plotlines and characters using an excessive amount of drugs, maybe this isn’t the read for you. The love is also very … insta? Love at first sight in general comes quick to these characters. But if you want a Gossip Girl approach to a Russian classic (and I’ve been told Jenny Lee did a pretty remarkable job with the retelling) with a more diverse cast of characters, you should definitely check it out! I promise you will keep turning page after page in anticipation of what might happen next and how things could possibly go so terribly wrong for someone so lovely.

As a last thought, I would really encourage you to check out the Author’s Note at the end of the story. It really added even more spark to an already very entertaining and heartfelt rollercoaster of a read for me.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! A fun and emotional take on an old classic!

Have you read Anna K. or Anna Karenina for that matter? Would you be interested in doing so? Let’s chat!

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour (Book Review)

Publisher: Dutton Books
Page Count
: 240

This is my third Nina LaCour book and by now she definitely qualifies as an auto-buy author for me. I realise that some of her books are pretty hit or miss for a couple of people, but so far she hasn’t failed to capture my heart with her stories. We Are Okay is a really low-key tale about relationships, grief and forgiveness. You definitely cannot call it a plot-driven story, because barely anything happens. Instead Marin takes you on a journey through the past year of her life and how everything got turned upside down.  I tried to figure out what happened for quite a while, but I think I blew the whole thing up in my head. The reveal was way simpler than that, but it didn’t make the betrayal sting any less.

Something I really appreciated about Marin and Mabel’s relationship was how simple and complicated their love for each other was. Throughout life, they were friends, lovers and sisters – the lines were blurred, but it did not diminish their feelings for each other. Even as their relationship towards each other changed, they wanted nothing but the best. They worried and cared, even when it did not always seem that way. I just love when there is no malice between girls, they get pitched against each other or show signs of toxic friendships way too often in books for my taste. So here’s an example of just how beautiful and full of good will a relationship can be:

I look at her. I wish her everything good. A friendly cab driver and short lines through security. A flight with no turbulence and an empty seat next to her. A beautiful Christmas. I wish her more happiness than can fit in a person. I wish her the kind of happiness that spills over.

I always have troubles expressing myself when I loved a book, because I want to say more than what you can clearly see – that I enjoyed it. This book was not just about romantic relationships, in fact, that was the smallest and most insignificant part of it. Much more it dealt with family, knowing where you come from and who the people really are who are by your side all the way. It was about grief, and how everyone deals with it differently. And finally there’s the forgiveness and learning how to move on, which wraps it all up in so much hope. I loved all of those parts, the quiet, simple and real way it was told, which is why there were tears rolling down my cheeks by the end of it all.

Fazit: 5/5 stars! A slow and extremely moving story about grief.

Have you read We Are Okay? Have you read other books by LaCour?

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Book Review)

mby

Publisher: Penguin
Page Count
: 448

There is so much hype around this book and there has been for a while, but I feel it has intensified ever since the Trailer for the movie came out. It’s as if that had been the final nudge for all the people out there who hadn’t read the book yet, including me, Cátia and Cristina as we once again attempted a buddy read together.

I was prepared with some tissues by my side and quite honestly a little surprised when it turned out to be a really easy and fast paced read. Lou’s voice is relatable and the few chapters that were thrown in from different POVs were a nice change as well, even if they weren’t always strictly necessary. I enjoyed it right from the beginning, the only thing that kept nagging me were basically all the side characters except for Nathan. I was able to get and even like some of them more by the end, but overall they were a selfish and nonsupporting lot.

The book gets more difficult as you get from page to page, asking some tough questions you will probably be glad not to have to answer for real. When I finished Me Before You, I felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest, however, I did NOT cry all that much and here’s why:

Lou’s and Will’s story is heartbreaking. There is no denying that. You get to see their relationship develop over time and you want them to be happy. But the thing is, their life will never be sunshine and rainbows and glitter bombs, that’s just not how it is. And even though you might wish for it to turn out differently in the end, a part of you always knew what this whole story would lead to. So, I shed that single tear when it was over, but I also recognised what the story was about – being granted the right to make your own choices. Something that, in my opinion, many people take for granted these days. It also encourages one to live boldly, a message that I always appreciate and try to embrace as much as possible.

Finally, I am glad I picked up the book before going to watch the movie. It looks great from the Trailer and as if they stuck really close to the original story, but I am still struggling with some of the casting (not Lou and Will – they look awesomepants!). I bet it will be fun either way and not only because of the bumblebee tights moment!

4stars

Fazit: 4/5 stars! A story that will target your heart viciously with main characters that are compelling until the final page.

Have you read Me Before You? Are you excited for the movie? How many packs of tissues did you need?

The Love Tag

love

Remember back around the time of Valentine’s Day when all the love-related tags swarmed the blogosphere? Well, that’s when Lashaan and Trang @bookidote tagged me for The Love Tag and I can’t believe that it has been sitting around in my drafts until now. Sorry for taking so long and thank you so much for tagging me, here we finally go (better late than never)!

Books Other People Love But You Haven’t Gotten Around to Read

I feel like someone is going to punch me for this answer, but I still haven’t yet read the Harry Potter books and I don’t think I will anytime soon. However, I am not saying it won’t ever happen. Maybe … someday …

A Book That You Love But No One Else Talks About

I still feel like not enough people talk about Trial by Fire or the Worldwalker series in general. What’s up with that? It has a super intriguing world, an interesting love story, humour and magic! Like elemental, kind-of-scientifically-explained-magic! Read it!

Stand Alone Books You Love

There are way too many books for that category … here are just a few:

standalone

Favourite Book Couple

MALEC! Okay, I am not even sure that’s true. I love them to bits, but I’ve been heavily reminded of my love for them because of Shadowhunters, because otherwise I am not sure I really would have chosen them. There are just so many great couples out there in the bookish world, but just look at that gif …

Series That You Love

I can never choose just one … it’s just way too difficult!

serries

The Perfect Song

There is no such thing as perfection! I am just going to share one of the latest songs on my never ending earworm list:

A Cute DIY

Wow! This is hard! I used some leftover felt bits to make these little minions. I guess if you don’t make them 3-dimensional and flat instead, you’d get some monster-y bookmarks? So in the end it’s just cutting and gluing some felt … I am sorry, that was terrible! Just be glad I don’t have anything like a tutorial channel!

I TAG

*If you’ve done this already or don’t feel like doing it, just ignore that I tagged you!*

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Bloggers Who Brighten My Day

top-ten-tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish, if you want to know more about it, you can just click on the name! This week’s theme is easy and basically celebrates book enthusiasts of all kinds:

Ten Bookish People You Should Follow On Twitter/Instagram/Youtube/Snapchat/Facebook — you pick the platform of your choice to talk about all the interesting bookish people to follow!  If you don’t use social media much you can pick your favorite bookish blogs or new blogs you’ve come across to follow.

I’ve definitely been showered with love today as everyone kept posting their TTT’s and so many of you mentioned me. I simply had to participate as well, wanting to give a shout-out to some of the bloggers who constantly brighten my day! I wish I could just put you ALL on this list, but then we’d still be sitting here in a couple of days time. I appreciate all of you, so, I hope you understand that I had to narrow this down a little.

1. Cristina @My Tiny Obessions

mto

I am at a point in my life where I can say that I’ve known Cristina for years and that I don’t even remember how life was without her. And with that I don’t just mean the blogging life – I mean my life! We talk every day and I wouldn’t want to miss her for the world. When she enjoys a TV show or a book, I can be 99.9% sure that I will like it too.

2. Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much

tgwrtm

Just like Cristina, Cátia has become a fixed part of my life and I love it! We are weird together and we talk books and TV and obsession with Malec gifs. We can talk about pretty much anything there is and it never feels uncomfortable – I love our little trio!

3. Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books

dahb

She called me pure gold, I call her a shining diamond! She is just so precious! Marie is seriously one of the kindest and funniest and sweetest people out there and blogging has been even greater with her there. Whether it be our buddy reads, WIPs or something completely unrelated, she is there with a thoughtful comment and all the love to give.

4. Astra @A Stranger’s Guide to Novels

asgtn

I can’t even really remember how we found each other, but ever since then, we’ve found a lot of things that we have in common. I barely ever miss a post of hers, and neither does she miss mine and we always seem to find something to talk about. If all else fails, flailing over the events of Red Rising will always do!

5. Michelle @The Writing Hufflepuff

twh

Michelle is just awesome! For one, she coined the term Alec Baewood – credit where credit is due! But this is just part of her blogging genius. Her writing always manages to capture me and is often sprinkled with a ton of humour that is perfectioned with some really strong gif-game.

6. Josie @Josie’s Book Corner

jbc

Josie is the kind of person who never seems to run out of insightful wisdom to give. She is such a positive person and generally just makes me feel hopeful and fuzzy inside when I talk to her. And of course she has great taste in books! I feel like she’s the kind of person that you always want in your corner, at least I do.

7. Joey @Thoughts and Afterthoughts

taa

If I am ever undecided whether I want a Margollum or not, he’s the kind of guy I go to. Don’t get that? Probably not a lot of people will, don’t worry about it. (Seriously, maybe even he’ll need a minute to remember what show that from. I just felt like mentioning a Margollum) What it boils down to is that Joey and I watch almost all the same shows and I am simply in awe of his witty and succinct TV show summaries. I know that he is a book blogger and his reviews are awesome, but to me, talking TV with him is even more fun.

8. Flo @Flowless Books

fb

I love talking to Flo! She’s so sweet and funny and I am glad that we can brood over inconsistencies with WordPress together. (As much as I love the platform, it is also really weird sometimes) Also, she keeps tagging me for tags on Instagram, which I am ever so grateful for, because otherwise I am afraid I would neglect that even more than I already do.

9. Regina @The Bibliothèque

tb

Out of all of these people, I might talk to Regina the least often, but when we do talk, I am sure to walk away with a smile. First of all, her blog is absolutely beautiful and second, we have such similar taste. It is easy to gush about something!

10. Liam @Liam’s Library

ll

Liam and I haven’t known each other for very long, but that just means that there is still a lot to discover about each other and so far we definitely share a similar taste in books, but also differ in opinion on some of them – which is good! I really enjoy our little talks in the comments!

So, if you don’t follow these people already, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? I don’t even have the words to express myself properly at this point anymore. So, thank you to everyone who stopped by, to everyone who has become a part of my life! I LOVE YOU ALL ❤

Who are some people you feel this strongly about in the blogosphere?

The Siren by Kiera Cass (Book Review)

thesirenA girl with a secret. The boy of her dreams. An ocean between them.
Throughout the ages, the Ocean has occasionally rescued young women from drowning. To repay their debt, these young women must serve for 100 years as Sirens, remaining young and beautiful and using their deadly voices to lure strangers into watery graves. To keep their true nature secret, Sirens must never speak to humans, and must be careful never to stay in the same place for too long. But once her century of service is over, each Siren gets a chance to start over – a chance to live the mortal life that was almost stolen from her.
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.

Publisher: Harper Collins
Page Count:
 327

I don’t know why, but I had all the wrong ideas about this novel. First, I thought it would take place in any other time than the present tense and second I thought it was part of a series – oh, how wrong I’ve been! The Siren is a lovely modern day, mythological standalone romance and so far my favourite Kiera Cass book.

The life of a Siren is isolated with nothing but her Sisters to talk to – and I mean that. Sirens really cannot talk to anyone else or they would kill them. The Ocean is their mother, employer, friend and provider all at the same time. I loved how big of a part She was of the story and how beautiful, yet also cruel and almost godly She seemed, without me ever being able to fully understand everything that encompassed Her. She is definitely not human and it shows sometimes. The Sirens live to serve Her, but 100 years are a lot and everyone takes to the burdens differently. Yet, them having to share this duty, lead to them creating this very deep bond with each other. There are not many books with female friendships that are prominent and work, but here the individuals all had their part to play in forming their lovely little sisterhood. And they were truly all their own person, with different interests and characteristics, yet all strong in their own way.

I liked Khalen. Her style, her old-fashioned way of thinking – it just worked for me. I truly felt like she was the one who took her “job” serious, but who simultaneously was weighed down by it the most. She felt responsible for everyone and I could see how that dragged the others down but also made her necessary for the group. However, I am a little torn about the love. It wasn’t exactly insta-love, but she did fall for Akinli incredibly fast! I tried to justify it with her not being able to connect with other humans in forever, but it still was a rather otherworldly bond they had. Then again, that is exactly what made it so great, because sometimes it’s just nice to see people clicking with each other like that. My heart tore for Khalen, especially because I could see her pain so clearly in front of me.

One thing I kept wondering about was the language the Sirens spoke in. Was it English? Because how could that be possible with all of them coming from different parts of the world. There were little holes in that and also in the mythology itself, but I was willing to overlook it. The only thing that really bothered me was something I can’t say or you’ll be spoiled, but it had to do with a new Siren.

I feel like there is still a lot to say about this book, but I want you to experience it yourself. In the end, I really enjoyed the melancholy, the sadness as well as the cheesiness of it all. It is weird to think that it was Kiera Cass‘ first story and no one wanted to publish it back in the day and only the persistence of the fans made it possible. This is clearly a love story, but somehow it was also about guilt, duty, friendship, family and motherhood, sometimes even more so than romance. I am both sad and glad about the fact that this is only a standalone, because the ending was perfect. If it ever got turned into a movie, I think it would be very The Age of Adaline-ish and I’d love that, too.

Fazit: 4.2/5 stars! Despite minor flaws, this was a perfectly melancholic tale about love and the Ocean.

4stars

What’s your take on the story? Would you pick it up? If you’ve read it already, do you like it better than the Selection series as well?