A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Siren is a romantic fantasy from Kiera Cass (the Selection series), in which the narrator, Kahlen, becomes one of the sirens of myth who lure ships at sea to their doom. There's little of concern, with only one kiss; rare, mild profanity ("ass" and "damn"); a few shipwrecks and drownings described briefly without gore; and an emphasis on eerie atmosphere.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
When Kahlen's cruise ship goes down, Kahlen's will to live brings her before the beautiful sirens who caused the ship to sink. They offer her a new chance at life in exchange for 100 years serving the Ocean as a siren. Kahlen accepts the bargain. Now 80 years have passed, and Kahlen finds the Ocean's demands more and more difficult each time she helps bring a ship down. Although forbidden to speak to humans, she meets college student Akinli and the two fall in love. Kahlen hides her forbidden love for a while, but eventually the truth comes out. How can she fulfill her duty to the Ocean when her heart belongs to a human?
Is it any good?
Romance fans will enjoy this light fantasy from Kiera Cass, a veteran of the genre. It’s an imaginative, insider’s look at a siren’s life. Tweens and teens will enjoy rooting for Kahlen to find a way to be with her beloved Akinli, and they'll easily relate to her as she rebels against the Ocean's strict demands.
Cass's prose has a nice, rhythmic quality, although her ear for dialogue is not as finely tuned and many exchanges are stilted and contrived. For romance fans only.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about combining romance with fantasy. Why are books that combine the two so popular?
If you were offered a chance to start life over but had to pay for it with 100 years of service, would you? Why do you think Kahlen accepted the bargain?
All Kahlen wants from life is to fall in love and get married. If she does, what do you think the rest of her life will be like?
- Author: Kiera Cass
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperTeen
- Publication date: January 26, 2016
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 13 - 18
- Number of pages: 336
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
Our editors recommend
For kids who love fantasy and romance
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.