Life

Book Review: The Siren

Hey book fans and happy Wednesday!

I am back at work today for the first day of school for our students! Since I work in a private school, our calendar doesn’t start until after Rosh Hashanah, so here we are! I’m excited to meet the crop of new students and say hi to my old students, too. Here’s to a low-stress and productive school year!

Today I’m reviewing a YA standalone novel by Kiera Cass, who also authored one of my personal favorite YA series, The Selection series. I have ready so many YA books featuring a love story and I’ve never felt more strongly about who the protagonist should end up with than I did reading The Selection series, so I was excited to try, The Siren.

The story is about a girl who calls out to be saved while drowning during a shipwreck and is answered by the Ocean. The Ocean saves her in exchange for 100 years of service as a siren, singing people to their deaths in order to feed her. The sirens live in a group of girls (all around 17-20 years old) who move from city to city, unable to die, be injured, or speak to humans. The main character of the story, Kahlen, struggles with her duties and eventually meets someone who will change everything for her.

I really enjoyed listening to this book. First, it was super refreshing to read a standalone novel and know as I listened that I would know the conclusion of the story by the end rather than having to wait for another book in the series to be published. #instantgratification Kahlen’s loyalty to her family (the girls refer to each other as “sisters”), her love interest, and the Ocean really resonated with me. I felt immediately connected to her desire to do what is right, but also to do what is best for her – which, we all know is not always the same thing and not always an easy choice.

I listened to this book on Audible since I had extra credits from my Prime membership and, at times, the reader’s voice had distracting quirks, so I think I would have enjoyed the book more to just read it, but it was a fairly quick listen. The main character was easily the most well developed, and the other sirens were at times immature, and fell flat, but the story was cute and interesting. It made me want to read more about the history of sirens in art, music, and culture.

I know I’m not the only adult YA fiction lover out there, so I can imagine that some of you would also enjoy this book! Next up, the start of the “Red” series by Victoria Aveyard.

What have you been reading lately? Let me know in the comments!

❤ LB

Life

Book Review: Matchmaking for Beginners

Hey everyone! I hope your day is off to a great start! Mine is because last night I finished a book and it was super cute, so that made me happy, and today I get to start a new one. I usually ready on the subway during my commute, so I get about an hour and a half of reading in on a good day. I’m pumped to bring you my first book review!

Let me tell you about the book I finished last night. It was Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson. I said it before and I’ll say it again: it was super cute. I got it for my Kindle using the Kindle Unlimited feature so I paid 0$ for it, which, of course, made me even happier! It was about two women – one an older woman, Blix, and one a thirty-something, Marnie – who meet at a family party and have an instant connection because of their strange “ability” to match people with the loves of their lives. They both go through some terrible things in their lives, culminating in Marnie inheriting a Brooklyn brownstone (sigh…can’t someone leave ME a Brooklyn brownstone?) full of Blix’s friends-turned-family.

This was a quick read, the pacing of the story was fast and kept me guessing at who Marnie would meet and help next. Plus, I just wanted to keep reading to see if this girl could follow the “signs” for her own life! The characters are kooky, but relatable, and you root for them right from the beginning. Most of all this book is about embracing the life we’re meant to have, embracing the crazy, accepting love, and finding fulfillment in the small stuff. I really enjoyed this book, and if you like chick-lit, I think you’ll really like it, too. It’s a perfect, easy, beach read! I’m definitely going to add more Maddie Dawson to my list for when I need something to make me smile!

What I’m reading next:

I’m going to try out some audiobooks (something I don’t do all that often, but I had Audible credits, so they were free). On deck are: The Siren, a standalone book by Kiera Cass, who wrote one of my favorite YA series and The Red Queen, the first book in a new YA series by Victoria Aveyard.

What have you been reading? Send me suggestions in the comments below or to lifewithlaurenb@gmail.com!

Happy reading!

❤ LB