The Siren’s Song (Reviews)

Reviews by Jacinta Hogan

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

YA THRILLER

SEASHELL RATING 5/5

This book is the first YA novel I’ve read in 2-3 years which has left me thinking “man, I really, really LOVED this book.”

Beautifully written and so perfectly paced that it’s impossible to put down, I enjoyed this book immensely. The characterisation is brilliant in this book. McManus really knows how to get to the core of each of characters and make us feel like they’re right in front of us. The suspense and the whodunnit element to the story had me constantly second guessing and doubting myself, which is great when reading a murder mystery.

Oftentimes, when reading books, I figure out who the killer is before it’s revealed, but with this book though, I honestly had no idea. When I did find out who the killer really was, I was stunned. In a good way though. The twist was brilliant and I definitely did not see it coming. This is the mark of a five star murder mystery.

We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver

ADULT THRILLER

SEASHELL RATING 5/5

The first thing I’m going to say is, this book is brilliant. It’s harrowing but at the same time compelling. An honest and realistic depiction of family, parenthood and what constitutes being a good parent, through the eyes of a mother transfixed with guilt for her teenage son’s monstrous actions.

For a bit of background on the narrative, this book focuses on Eva Khatchadourian, a woman whose son, Kevin, has been imprisoned for murdering a number of his classmates and two staff members at his school. The book is narrated from Eva’s perspective through a number of letters addressed to Kevin’s father, Franklin.

Throughout the course of the novel, Eva delves into occurrences in Kevin’s childhood which imply his lack of empathy and care for others, and give substance to his troubled character. The narrative gives a lot of fuel to both sides of the controversial “Nature vs Nurture” debate. We see her reflecting on whether or not her and Franklin’s respective ideals on parenting were the trigger of Kevin’s violent attack on his peers. We are also given insight into Kevin’s misbehaviour from birth and are still left wondering by the end, if Kevin was born wicked or if his upbringing by a cold parent influenced him to perform such an evil act.

The Exclusives by Rebecca Thornton

YA THRILLER

SEASHELL RATING 5/5

This is a tense and seriously addictive mystery drama.

Centred around two friends who have been torn apart as a result of the aftermath of something that happened one night when they were school pupils, it had me positively hooked from beginning to end to find out the truth of what the main character has been avoiding talking about for eighteen years.

A really, really superb book that I flew through. My eyes were glued to the pages and I couldn’t stop, which is rare for me. A book has to really, REALLY grab me for me to read it in one sitting, which was the case for this book.