Bickering frenemies Meg and Shar are doing some serious damage at a midnight sample sale when the fashionistas find themselves arguing over a pair of shoes - with fatal consequences. One innocent bystander later, the girls are suddenly at the mercy of Hades, Lord of the Underworld himself. To make them atone for what they've done, Hades forces the teens to become special-assignment Sirens, luring to the Underworld an individual whose unholy contract is up.
Finding that delicate balance between their fashion addiction and their new part-time job in the eternal hellfire biz turns out to be harder than Meg and Shar expected, especially when an entire pantheon of Greek deities decides to get involved. Then there's the matter of the fine print in their own contracts…
©2011 Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman (P)2013 Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman
Fashion, friends and gods
I loved the friendship that formed in this book and all of the mythology that was cleverly used to form that friendship. The girls are so different but somehow they find a way to work together. In the beginning (if this were enacted with dolls) it's like Barbie and and a monster high doll meet and fight over ken... Although you might be surprised who wins. The character 'eg reminds me of myself a bit and I immediately connected with that character and looked forward to her chapters.
Meg was my favorite. Char was to perky and pink for me. I related with Meg immediately and couldn't wait for her next part. She reminds me of myself a lot and I really connected with Amanda's performance of the character.
I think it would have to be Jeremy or Hades. Jeremy because I can not get Char out of my head calling him sweet jeans. And what love interest that starts as a love triangle isn't memorable? And Hades because he starts all the trouble! He is always involved and popping up unexpectedly. He is the start of how you know this is not just a normal story about friendship. Without him... There is no story!
Good book overall and a great narration!
My Initial Reaction...
I had a lot of fun with Sirenz. It was the best kind of ridiculous - where Greek Gods and Goddesses meet teenage problems, love, and fashion obsession.
When Amanda Miller first started talking I cringed a little. I had listened to the sample before requesting Sirenz for review and I didn't remember her sounding so high pitched. Turns out, that's just when she's playing a ditzy teenag drama queen who is ridiculously excited. And when you get that context, it REALLY worked. Her voice was varied well enough between the different characters that I could always tell who was talking. As usual for a female narrator, the male voices were only ok. I think Amanda was particularly well suited to Sirenz and I would be hesitant to listen to her narrate anything more adult or serious. Of course, maybe she was just SERIOUSLY in character.
Sirenz is told from the view point of Shar and Meg - each taking an alternate chapter. These girls seriously grew on me - they were funny and a bit ditzy and a lot of fun to cheer on. But they were definitely surface level characters, there wasn't anything particularly deep about either of them. That was fine for me, because that's exactly what I signed up for with Sirenz.
Shar is your stereotypical fashion obsessed, self-involved beauty queen. She's gorgeous and has had a comfortable existence. Now she's stuck with Meg - your stereotypical shy, alternative/rock music loving, black wearing nerd - as her roommate. Two two opposites haven't gotten off to the greatest start when Shar convinces Meg to go to a special sale with her. She's hoping to make peace and make her roommate look a little bit more presentable. But disaster strikes and the get stuck together in a way that neither one saw coming. It forces each of them to grow a bit personally - Shar to learn to depend on more than her looks and Meg to have a little more confidence - and to care for each other. It's the fairly obvious story line where being forced together and to understand the other breeds friendship.
So Sirenz is fairly obvious in terms of story and plot. You've got two teens who aren't getting along who get thrown together because of a disaster - in this case they cause a mutual crush to die and their only way to fix things is to make a deal with Hades. Well as we all know - deals with Hades are never as good as they appear. In Shar and Meg's case, they become Sirenz for their winter break with the duty of bringing in one of Hades contracts. He gives them special abilities, which turn out to be more of a hindrance than an advantage.
I had a blast watching Shar and Meg try to scheme their way to fulfilling their mission. They get into all kinds of trouble, do all kinds of stupid things, and made me laugh my butt off in the process. Some elements were eye-roll worthy --> as in, no way I'm believing that anyone went for that excuse. But, what they hey, it was good fun. And the mixing of the Greek Gods (we only saw Hades, Persephone and Demeter) and the siren abilities gave it that supernatural flare that I love so much.
I had a great time with Sirenz and was very happy when the conclusion made it obvious there would be more in this series. I look forward to more fun with Shar and Meg. A great fun read!
**I received this book for free from Audiobook Jukebox in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**
Sirenz is a cute tale of two girls that stated of as frenemies and over time they become true friends. Meg and Shar are completely opposite. Meg is a Goth girl and Shar is a queen of fashion. The two are dorm mates and because of some crazy circumstances the two enter into an employment contract with the lord of the underworld Hades.
This story was really funny. I enjoyed the book from the start to the end; it was a real lighthearted tale of friendship. Both Meg and Shar started off with preconceived views of each other, but they grew and learned to understand what it means to be friends.
The book has Greek mythological characters besides Hades, but these characters do not out shadow Meg and Shar. Sirenz goes beyond just another YA paranormal story. This book added something special to already crowded universe. Also like that fact the story kept a good pace and was not to long. Moreover, the authors did a great job with building and explaining the Greek myths. Lastly, the narrator did a great job with the many different characters. I am looking forward to reading the next book.
We read to know, we are not alone ~ C.S. Lewis
A fun urban fantasy with elements of Greek mythology, fashion faux pas, and the unique voicing of two high-school girls who are suddenly thrust together as roommates and co-workers and you just start to scratch the surface of this story.
Shar and Meg are roommates for a unique high-school program: they are polar opposites, and fight about every single thing. Meg is the vegan, gothic chick: quietly obsessed with music and causes, and not really at all impressed with fashion or Shar. Shar is pink obsessed and fashion forward: at the center of attention and judgy as only a woman can be. The two have a volatile relationship, but underneath it all they both do understand that getting along is going to make their time in New York better. A Christmas break shopping trip ends up with the two girls coveting a pair of red shoes. When they tussle over the shoes, and a particularly hot boy, on the subway platform, the formerly hot boy falls onto the track and is cut in half.
While the girls truly didn’t push him, Hades steps in and offers these two a proposition. Already familiar with their manipulations, determination and single-minded ability to focus on an end result, he convinces the girls to work for him as Sirens – minions to do his bidding and bring those who would barter their souls for some immediate advantage.
From the first to the last – these two are really funny: their banter is clever and while they are often fighting over ridiculous things, there are hints that show the grudging respect that the two have for one another as their friendship does start to blossom during their new duties.
Loosely referential to the story of Persephone and Hades, this retelling adds several clever twists to present a fresh perspective, as the girls rush to complete the tasks set before them and stay one step ahead of the gods that seek to thwart their progress.
Layered with fashion references, descriptions and some truly laugh out loud moments, this story was an enjoyable listen that had me giggling frequently. Narration is provided by Amanda C. Miller, and while it took me a bit of time to get accustomed to her style, her voice in pitch and tone is perfectly suited to the characters of Shar and Meg. She does adopt a slight accent and adds some bass to voice the character of Hades, and while it was distracting at first, it soon felt right to fit his rather metrosexual presentation. Pacing was steady and there was a distinction when she voiced a particularly emotionally charged scene: you could feel the emotion that the writers wished to convey.
As the first in a new series, this was a fun story that is appropriate for teens to adults: there are some more slapstick moments, but the language, scenes and fun of the plotting will appeal to many.
I received an AudioBook copy of the title via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Take a look it's in a book...Reading Rainbow!
This is a really fun quick read. Superficial Shar and funky Meg are the odd couple of roommates at an exclusive high school.
I loved Shar and her whole shopaholic party girl attitude. She really was quite sweet, if a bit ditsy. Meg is full of awesome snark! I love a spunky gal and this one really delivers!
There whole dynamic is interesting. It is great to see them bond and find common ground. They will always have a love of shoes to fall back on.
The story was a touch far fetched, but that was what also made it fun. I am always intrigued by Mythology. This story takes things you think you know about the Gods and gives them a modern twist. The story moves along nicely and has many intriguing elements.
The narration trades off between the two girls. It is always clear who is speaking, each chapter is labeled with the girl’s name and a tag line that hints at events to come. They both have a very distinct attitude and style. Surprisingly these opposites match perfectly.
There is a touch of romance in the story, but it is not the driving force. The girls relationship and shared goal is always in the forefront.
I listened to the audiobook that is narrated by Amanda C. Miller. I really enjoyed her delivery and character voices. They were all distinct and consistent throughout the read. She really helped make them come to life. A word of warning she is a very quick narrator, I usually like to speed my reads up when listening, so I was fine with the quick pace. It was very much like teens today speak. But if you like things at a slower pace you might want to put it at half speed.
Both the authors and narrator are new for me, but not a last read for sure! I really hope the rest of the series is coming out on audio, otherwise I may have to track down the ebooks!!
Disclosure – I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.
As the story is told from alternating perspectives, having the narrator use distinct voices for each character made it easy to figure out who is telling the story at any given moment.
One of the funnier parts was at the end, when Meg and Char are running down a hallway while undergoing their transformation. Also the cliffhanger was unexpected (trying not to give away any spoilers here!)
I have tried audiobooks a couple of times but would always have to rewind multiple times as my mind wandered when the narration would not capture my attention. The narrator of this book really kept things lively and entertaining. The various voices and accents brought each character to life in a unique way.
I love Hades' character. He definitely sounds like he would know the best restaurants in the world and could whisk you there for an evening (minus the undesirable contract, of course). I believe the accent really makes his character!
I do not see why the authors introduced the 2 protagonists as high school-aged. The rest of the storyline is much better suited to college rather than underage interns.
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