Vacationing in Winter Harbor, Maine, is a tradition for Vanessa and Justine Sands, and that means spending time with the Carmichael boys. This summer, Vanessa is determined to channel some of her older sister’s boldness, get over her fear of the ocean, and maybe turn her friendship with Simon Carmichael into something much more.This book did not suck nearly as badly as I thought it was going to. That is my basic feeling about it. I really had low expectations of it based on the fact that 1) I’d never heard anything about it, 2) it’s YA paranormal, and I am not a big fan of the genre, and 3) it was recommended to me by my sister (and we tend to have WAY different tastes in books). But it ended up being fairly alright--and maybe even enjoyable. Actually, I think “engrossing” is the best word to describe it; like, I had issues with some stuff in the book, but I still couldn’t put it down.
But when Justine goes cliff-diving after a big family argument, and her body washes ashore the next day, Vanessa is sure that it was more than an accident. She is more certain of this, when she discovers that her sister was keeping some big secrets and Caleb Carmichael’s gone missing. Suddenly, the entire oceanfront town is abuzz when a series of grim, water-related accidents occur, with the male victims washed ashore grinning from ear to ear.
Vanessa and Simon team up to figure out if these creepy deaths have anything to do with Justine and Caleb. But will what Vanessa discovers mean the end of her summer romance, or even life as she knows it?
I really enjoyed the writing style of the book--it was unobtrusive and not as over the top as some YA paranormals can be. And the author just straight up knows how to tell a good story: it starts out so normal, then slowly you get pulled into the world of Winter Harbor and its crazy weather . . . and, oh yeah, the SIRENS! This is the only book I’ve read that deals with sirens, so this is terra incognita for me, but I totally got sucked into the whole beautiful-women-luring-men-to-their-deaths mystery. I do wish, though, that we were given more insight into the sirens--like why they’re doing what they’re doing and how. Because as they are now in the book, they’re cool, but also sadly flat.
Vanessa was a pretty likeable main character. Easy to relate to. Normal. She did start getting on my nerves after a while with her constant “I’m afraid of EVERYTHING,” but by the time it really started getting annoying, the plot had shifted (and gotten WAY more exciting), so it stopped bugging me. Simon was a kinda boring love interest, but he didn’t frustrate or bug me either, so that’s good, I guess.
And the book’s got a beach house. What is up with all these books recently taking place at beach houses? I swear, every other book I’ve read lately takes place at the beach. It makes me start thinking a beach house would be awesome, even though I know I HATE the beach. This is how reading messes with my mind.
So overall, this wasn’t a book I’m gonna run out and buy for myself or anything, but I did end up having fun with it. There were a few character and plot issues, but nothing to really turn me off. So if you’re looking for a good end-of-summer paranormal, give this one a shot.