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  • Posted April 27, 2014

    My Initial Reaction... I had a lot of fun with Sirenz. It was th

    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.

    The Narration...
    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.

    The Characters...
    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.

    The Story...
    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.

    Concluding Sentiments...
    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.**

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  • Posted April 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    AudioBook Review: Stars:  Overall 4  Narration 4  Story 4 A

    AudioBook Review:
    Stars:  Overall 4  Narration 4  Story 4

    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. 

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  • Posted January 6, 2013

    i luv it !

    i luv it !

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  • Posted June 2, 2012

    Shar and Meg are two very unlikely friends. Meg is very much a

    Shar and Meg are two very unlikely friends. Meg is very much a Goth while Shar is more sweetness and life. They fight all of the time, but try to get along for the most part. They are having a particularly bad fight when they push a guy in right in front of a subway train. Understandably, this doesn't go well and the girls find themselves in front of Hades. Hades is actually rather mild, but he does have one request. He will make them sirens and they must guide a man to the Underworld, a man Hades himself is having difficulty with. The girls don't think too much of this request until they meet the unsuspecting fellow...and discover he is blind and deaf. The task suddenly became much more difficult, can the sirens pull this off or will the gods forever laugh at them?

    The girls are the main characters and will keep the reader laughing most of the time. The events are hysterical and at least one of the girls is funny most of the time. The book is funny, exciting, and interesting. There is plenty of fashion mixed with Greek mythology, female readers will enjoy this book in particular. Hades is a funny character. He is charismatic and sexy, but a huge trickster. He helps push the plot along with his antics and sexy dialogue. Overall, this was a great start to a funny series, young adult and teen readers will enjoy this book.

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  • Posted November 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Light and fun

    Shar & Meg couldn't be more different. Shar is all about designer brands while Meg is more vintage. Shar is pretty and hip while Meg is more Goth. The two of them are roommates and bicker frequently, but Shar is bound and determined to at least exist on peaceful terms with Meg. They're stuck together for the duration of their time at school, and Shar isn't about to let a little bickering get between her and her dream school.

    Over Christmas break, Shar invites Meg to attend a blowout sale at midnight. She's looking forward to finding lots of designer things at steep discounts. What better way to bond with your fashion-challenged roomie? When the two girls meet a hot guy at a pizza joint, they both begin to drool and the claws start to come out. Later, when the two of them end up bickering over a pair of Vivienne Westwood red patent leather heels, it seems the friendship is just as bad off as it was when the night began. It all comes to a head when the two bickering girls end up accidentally pushing the guy into the path of a speeding subway train. Uh oh.

    This is where the smoking hot Hades comes in. He has a job for them. All they have to do is sign his contract to become Sirens, luring an unsuspecting recluse to the Underworld by the end of winter break. Hades has had a problem getting the guy himself. What Shar & Meg don't realize when they sign the contract is that the designer Hades has asked them to bring in is deaf and blind. How is Shar supposed to use her power of enchanting men with just a look and Meg her beautiful voice to lure him away?

    Sirenz is light and fun, offering plenty of laughs along the way. It somewhat reminded me of Spoiled mixed with some Greek mythology. The writing is quick and witty and each of the character's voices is distinct, though seem somewhat familiar. The story isn't overly deep and it wasn't one that I couldn't bear to put down, but I did enjoy it and found myself chuckling throughout. I definitely enjoyed the second half of the book. This is when I felt the pace really picked up. Anyone who is a fan of fashion, mythology and spoiled school girls will get a kick out of this one.

    (Review based on a finished copy courtesy of the authors in exchange for an honest review)

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