Author: Tricia Rayburn

Series: None

Genre: Young Adult/Mystery/Fantasy/Romance

Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything–the dark, heights, the ocean–but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is until Justine goes cliff diving one night near the family’s vacation house in Winter Harbor, Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day. Vanessa’s parents want to work through the tragedy by returning to their everyday lives back in Boston, but Vanessa can’t help feeling that her sister’s death was more than an accident. After discovering that Justine never applied to colleges, and that she was secretly in a relationship with longtime family friend Caleb Carmichael, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor to seek some answers. But when Vanessa learns that Caleb has been missing since Justine’s death, she and Caleb’s older brother, Simon, join forces to try to find him, and in the process, their childhood friendship blossoms into something more. Soon it’s not just Vanessa who is afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes home to a string of fatal, water-related accidents . . . in which all the victims are found grinning from ear to ear. As Vanessa and Simon probe further into the connections between Justine’s death and the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance, and that will change her life forever.

Positive Content: Vanessa really loved her older sister Justine, and Justine did everything she could to look out and protect her younger sister. Vanessa watches out for her friends, and she and her parents try to connect in spite of differences. Simon, Caleb, and Vanessa all demonstrate personal sacrifice and look out for each other. Also, it was surprisingly free of language.

Negative Content: Vanessa’s sister and Simon’s brother are in a relationship.  They kiss a lot, and there’s talk of them making out all summer, and that they just hook up in the summer time.  It turns out that their relationship is more serious than just a summer romance, even though the rumors say it’s a fling. They are in love with each other.-A girl has a mysterious pull on men, and she acts seductively toward them.  She sometimes wears provocative clothing, and entrances them with her voice.  Kissing etc.

-The main characters who have been friends since childhood, have been developing feelings for each other.  Although the main character has never even kissed a boy before, she decides to kiss him and they procede to his bedroom where they sleep together.  There’s some detail about kissing, her taking off her shirt and removing his.  Mention of him slipping his hands between her skin and the button of her pants.  Then they wake up the next morning in bed together.
-A teenage friend of Vanessa’s ends up pregnant by her boyfriend.
There are some scary/tense scenes with some of the Sirens.

Summary: This book had just the right mix of intrigue and creepy-ness that made it difficult to put down. It was well-written, fast-paced, and exciting… but by no means ‘squeaky-clean.’ It dealt with sexual content well for the most part, considering it’s about Sirens. If the author could have simply taken out the ‘bedroom’ scene, it would have been a fairly clean book. However, it simply… wasn’t.

Ages: 17+

3 out of 5 stars 


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