Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ripple by Mandy Hubbard - Hear the Siren's Song

Pros: It's a siren story – how often do you see those?
Cons: Bad guy motivation seemed a little weak, but who cares?

The Bottom Line: A solid story about a girl who is part siren - and her efforts not to kill anyone when she sings. Are you in? I thought so.

I saw the cover of this book and thought, "Hm." I read the jacket and thought, "Ooh." And after I read the book I thought, "Yay."

Honestly, how often do you see a story that features a siren? You know, the women in the sea who sing men to their deaths? The sirens in the story of Odysseus, who made his men plug their ears and tied himself to the mast just to hear their song and not kill himself? Not many, right? Yeah, me either.

That's why I had to get in on this. It sounded like it would be fun, and a teen book only takes a handful of hours to polish off anyway.

Lexi is a siren. She discovered that little piece of information when she killed a boy on her sixteenth birthday. Since then, she refuses to let anyone get close again. She doesn't know who she might kill, and only swims in a lake in the mountains. Failing to swim means being in absolute pain the next day. But then, for some reason, another boy tries to break through her tough exterior. It would be so nice not to be alone again. But does Lexi dare risk it? Fall in love? Or kill again?

Ooooh feel the goosebumps! Haha. This was a good tale. Lexi is a very sympathetic character because she's stuck by herself with some weird curse she doesn't understand, and she has already killed someone by drowning them. She's pretty bummed out. It doesn't help that her friends turn on her like vipers (ah the fickleness of high school kids) afterward. And Lexi, since she knows she's the murderer, she's willing to let them do it because she believes she deserves it. Tough, tough time. It's easy to feel really bad for her when she freaks out a little when Cole, the best friend of the boy she killed, starts being nice to her.

Then there's her siren side. If she doesn't swim every night, it feels as though she's walking on shards of glass the next day (honestly, I don't see how she could stand that - she must have a high pain tolerance because geezo...). She doesn't sleep anymore either. The swimming and singing take care of that. All Lexi wants is to be normal, but she doesn't know what she's capable of. It's a tricky decision for her to make.

Then of course, there's the extra little cog in the wheels. A new kid who may not be normal. But what's his deal? Can he be trusted? I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but when it does, it drops hard and suddenly you realize that oh man, that's not a shoe at all... A very nice little surprise. Though I do think the bad guy's motivation is a little weak, I'm willing to let that go because in the end, mythical creatures do what they do because, well, it's what they do. I did like how not everything is resolved between Lexi and other people, interestingly enough I think that makes the book more realistic (siren part aside), and the interactions between Lexi and Cole are touching.

I had a good time with this book. It had good atmosphere, enjoyable characters, and some unexpected action. Take a day to read it and enjoy!


Originally published on

Notes from the playlist: "Rise Above 1" by Reeve Carney feat. Bono and The Edge

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