The Siren

The Siren - Tiffany Reisz There is no way I can do this book justice in this review, but I am going to try. Let me start by saying Tiffany Reisz is one of the best writers I’ve read this year (I know I’m a year late), and this has nothing to do with genre, I think that this book is written with such complexity and fluidity, and clear examination and research, that I can’t think of something that I didn’t love. It wasn’t just the characters, it was the plot, the writing style, the imagery, the pacing, this book was in essence perfect in my opinion. This is a story, one about the lives of several people, and at the very center of those lives was Nora Sutherlin, and she is my hero.

“A love story is not the same as a romance novel. A romance novel is the story of two people falling in love against their will. This is a story of two people who leave each other against their will. It starts to end the minute they meet.

The men in Nora’s life as as different as heaven, hell and purgatory, easy to love, easy to be tempted, and easy to want. But I think that the way she learns to balance all of them is fantastic, I love that I never felt like she was cheating on anyone, instead I understand why her decisions were made, why she gave each of them different parts of herself, and in my opinion the only time she really honest was when she was writing because those words described the unbiased truth into the way she was feeling about the various people in her life.

Søren has loved me since the day we met. He’s loved me since I was fifteen years old. He’s loved me without fear, without guilt, without failing and without flinching every day of my life...He’s the only man who never hurt me.”

Soren (and to a certain extent Nora) has made me understand S&M in ways I never thought I would. I’m not sure that I get all of it, but by the end, all those moments that made me cringe in the beginning, all of a sudden I understood it. Maybe that’s another testament to Ms. Reisz but I so got it by the end, I understood that Soren really did love Nora. Soren I believe is the main character of this book. I think that Nora is essentially trying to severe the bond between them. And that is why she has decided to write “The Consolation Prize” it is their relationship’s last will and testament.

“Be as mean to me as you want, Zach. Trust me. I like mean.”
““Very well. I’m sorry I’ve disappointed you this week...You’ll have my snide, churlish, cantankerous and bitter best from now on.”

Zach is the in between for Nora. He’s not Soren who wants her but doesn’t need her. And he’s not Wes who needs her but (at least pretends) doesn’t want her. Zach has neither. With Soren Nora was introduced to S&M, and she’s been trying to get Wes into it. But Zach doesn’t know and is interested. I loved that once he met Nora he was willing to give her chance. He was willing to put aside his preconceived notions and be professional. I loved that he pushed NOra as hard as he did, and when she wanted him to push her harder he wasn’t afriad to do so. I know many people thought he and Nora were hte best couple out of the three, but I totally understand that she just wanted to help him see that there was more to her lifestyle than he previosly thought.

“Wesley… That kid blew my mind from day one. He was so damn sweet. I’m not around sweet people very often. When I had him in class I found myself doing something I hadn’t done in a long time.”
“What was that?”
“Smiling... He made me feel human again…like the kind of person who could stay up too late watching stupid movies and talking. I’d forgotten how to be normal, or maybe I never knew how.”

And finally we come to Wes, the sweet boy who is so in love with Nora that he wants her but not the way she is right now. Not only does he allow her to tempt him constantly, I think that his protective nature, has been what has kept Nora away from Soren for such a long time. I loved the relationship between Wes and Nora. It really was one between the sinner and the savior, thats how I saw it. Wes was exactly what Nora needed, and yet still she knew she wouldn’t be happy with him. And Nora was all wrong for Wes and yet he was unwilling to leave and find a better life. And together they broke my heart into a bazillion pieces. But they were so beautiful together. It’s hard to on the surface understand these two but once the book got going, every time Nora spoke about Wes, you could feel what she felt for him, and it was heartbreaking, and sweet, and so...normal.

Some of the literary devices that were used were so well executed in this book. I loved that we got to read the book as Nora wrote it, those little glimpses into the book made of an even better read. It helped to understand the relationship, that at times, broke my heart, made me so angry I wanted to slap someone, and other times, made me happy to know that there can be happiness inside all of the hurt. The book is so adeptly named, Nora Sutherlin is a siren, she the greek goddess who is calling these men to their death, but at the very end, she is the type of siren who calls them to their death and rebirth, because you won’t be the same after spending time with Nora.

The philosophical discussions in this book were so well thought out, the use of other literature, the use of Christian doctrines, just so well weaved into this story. And done in a way I can almost guarantee you won’t ever forget.

Then there were the moments where it was just the dialogue which though it can tear you up inside, but then there were the moments when a smile would creep out, or I would laugh out loud. The book is the essence of a great work of art. It touches you in ways that you never expected and it leaves an impression on your soul.

Søren had made her strong and for that she’d be forever grateful. And Zach was making her a real writer, which was the one fantasy Søren could never make come true for her. And Wesley…Wesley was just making her crazy.
“Goddammit, Zach. Why did you have to tell me it was going to work?