Siren Sisters by Dana Langer
Summary from GoodReads:
A soon-to-be siren finds herself responsible for the lives of her sisters—and the fisherman they curse—in this haunting debut novel that Kirkus calls “an exciting fantasy with a heart-stopping ending by an author to watch.”
Lolly Salt has three beautiful sisters. When they’re not in school or running their small town’s diner, they’re secretly luring ships to their doom from the cliffs of Starbridge Cove, Maine. With alluring voices that twelve-year-old Lolly has yet to grow into (not that she wants to anyway) the Salt sisters do the work mandated by the Sea Witch, a glamorously frightening figure determined to keep the girls under her control. With their mother dead after a terrible car crash, and their father drowning in grief, the sisters carry on with their lives and duties…until a local sea captain gets suspicious about the shipwrecks.
On the day before her birthday, Lolly watches in helpless horror as her sisters are lured themselves by curse-reversing fishermen—and suddenly it’s up to her and her best friend Jason to rescue the sirens of Starbridge Cove.
This story just seems to be missing something. I liked the plot and the characters. It was nicely paced and well written. But something was missing, I just felt like I wasn’t drawn into the story or cared enough about the characters to make me really enjoy the book.
Lolly is a girl on the edge of becoming a Siren. In many ways this seemed like a metaphor for becoming a teenager. She doesn’t really want to become a Siren and doesn’t understand why her sisters made the pact with the Sea Witch. She has a close friend, Jason, that she is beginning to have other feelings for, and the friendship becomes a bit of a struggle for both of them for awhile. By the end things are working better between them. Lolly is also supposedly close to her 3 sisters, although there was not a whole lot of interaction between them. What little there was, made me feel like the sisters had no time for Lolly or her issues. Some of this may come because as Sirens, they have become aloof and disdainful of the rest of the community. Lolly’s father is absent a lot and also seems to have little time for Lolly when around, although I could see a tenderness and closeness between them when they did interact.
The story was interesting. Lolly’s struggle with coming to terms with being a Siren, was similar to the feelings most tween girls have about growing up. The plot twist of why her sisters went to the Sea Witch and became Sirens was very interesting. The story line of the Captain who captures the sirens, who is also Jason’s stepdad, seemed a little rushed and not as important to the overall story arc. It also wasn’t that exciting when they confront him and deal with him. The ending was also very ambiguous, which I didn’t like. I either want a more definitive ending or to know that there is a sequel.
In the end although I liked the story I’m not sure it is one I would recommend. I originally picked it up because it was the May read on the Mock Newbery group on Goodreads. I certainly don’t think it is Newbery worthy.