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. (From Amazon.ca)
This was my first book featuring sirens/mermaids. It was an interesting concept and the mystery surrounding the plot wasn’t too bad. The plot itself was not too bad and the setting suited the story. There was just one problem, and that was the characters.
I couldn’t begin to like the characters, even if I tried. They were bland, they were uninteresting and if it hadn’t been for the plot being slightly interesting, I probably wouldn’t have gone further into this book. The supposed romance featured in the book wasn’t that great either – I suppose because the characters weren’t that interesting to begin with. The romance seemed forced, and artificial, and they both acted in a very robotic nature.
The plot was in between. At times it was interesting, at other times, there’s a lull and it tended to drag. I liked how Vanessa was uncovering secret after secret regarding her sister, and the ending did make up for some of the shortfalls – although I still remain not satisfied with the way the characters were done.
I will be reading the sequel to this, but am not in a big rush to go out and get it. The book was an okay read, but it could have been made much better, especially when it came to its’ characters. This is the type of book where good character creation would have made the book much better and more fun to read.
I give it a 6/10