Lure, by Stephanie Jenkins

Rating: 5 out of 5

(summary taken in part from GoodReads) Charlotte Brewer is sure she’s crazy when she hears singing drifting from the ocean-normal people don’t have arias playing on repeat in their head. When she gets wasted at a party and investigates the ethereal tune, she almost drowns. Charlotte comes to with an overwhelming thirst for salt water, an inability to get injured, and a heartbeat of only seven beats a minute. She also keeps waking up by the sea with no memory of getting there and dead men wash up hours later.

As Charlotte attempts to adjust to the changes, while also trying to cope with the loss of her mother and her growing infatuation with a boy she knows is all wrong for her, she meets Lorelei, a siren. Lorelei reveals she saved her from drowning with the “Siren’s Kiss” which turned Charlotte into a siren. Her role as a siren is simple: guide the souls of the dead at sea. Of course, nothing is ever as simple as it sounds, and Charlotte soon learns that there are is a Godess that is not too happy with the existence of sirens and is willing to stop at nothing to wipe out their kind. Can Charlotte break the siren’s curse in time to save her soul?

First, I want to thank Annie Elfresh, blogger of Reading, Writing, and Waiting, for introducing me to this book and providing me with a free copy. If you haven’t visited her blog, you should. She provides some great book reviews/reading suggestions. Plus her blog has a really fun design.

It took a few pages for me to get into this book because I’m not usually into main characters like Charlotte – snarky and into wild parties – but as I got to know Charlotte, I realized there was depth to her. Plus, as a New England resident, I saw that her salty demenour (no pun intended) matched that of several New England girls I know.

When I started reading this book, I didn’t know much about it – just that it was an urban fantasy. And I’ve got to say, knowing little made it an exciting, unexpected read. There were some nice twists and there was a refreshing originality to the plot. Despite my initial reservations regarding Charlotte, I could not put the book down. Jenkins weaves an engaging tale and I wanted to see how it would end.

There are two potential love interests in the book – one the dark-haired Matt, the other blond, Golden Boy Wyatt. While we see this juxtaposition in many YA books, the love interests in Lure do not feel stale. Each brings something new to the table (and something swoon worthy). There were times when I wanted each of them to come out on top, which I think is a key ingredient for a successful literary love triangle.

Even though we are all familiar with stories that mixed ancient Gods with modern day life thanks to the Percy Jackson books, this book is so different from that series that there is really no comparison. It comes closer to Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series thought the love story part reminded me a bit of Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss. If you loved the Mortal Instrument series and are looking for something along those lines, if you enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss but are looking for a gateway book into urban fantasy, or if you are tired of books about vampires and werewolves but love paranormal, this just might be the next book for you. And the best thing about this book – you will be supporting a self-published author.