Tag Archives: Amanda Hocking

Review: Lullaby by Amanda Hocking

Lullaby by Amanda HockingLullaby byAmanda Hocking
St. Martin’s Griffin

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

After Gemma disappeared with Penn and the other Sirens, her sister Harper won’t rest until she tracks them down. She’ll rescue Gemma no matter what it takes. Even if it means spending time with Daniel, whose tanned muscles and bright smile are sure to distract her.

Hidden away in a white beach house, Gemma tries to understand her new Siren needs and abilities. She promises not to run away in a bargain to protect her family and Alex, her boyfriend. At first she’s determined to be miserable, but when that backfires she decides to make the best of it. She tries to enjoy the sea and get to know her fellow Sirens better. Thea has the potential to be an ally, but she won’t easily give up any secrets about Sirens or her own tragic past.

Harper, Alex and Daniel close in on Gemma’s whereabouts. The plan: rescue her from the Sirens and find a way to break the Siren curse so Gemma can be free.

Mermaid stories aren’t hard to find, but this is the first series about sirens I’d ever read. After reading the first book in the series, I wanted to find out what happened to Gemma, a star swimmer-turned-siren and her organized, overprotective sister Harper. Harper’s interactions with the other characters may have been my favorite parts, especially her friendship with her coworker Marcy, whose dry monotone made her offbeat ideas pretty funny at times.

The writing isn’t spectacular. Sometimes passive writing left me disconnected from the story. There were some odd decisions with regard to point-of-view. All characters are referred to by their first names, which seemed strange especially for Harper and Gemma’s parents. The situation with the girls’ parents definitely added to the story and explained some of the girls’ important thoughts and motivations. I just didn’t find it all that believable that they’d refer to their parents as “Brian” and “Nathalie” in the narrative.

I think I liked the first book better than this second one. It seems to fall into the pit that second books often do, where the story winds up feeling like a filler needed to set up for the big finale. Not enough really happened to make it feel like its own novel. Readers interested in mermaid stories might like Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly or Of Poseidon by Anna Banks.

Language Content
Extreme profanity and some crude language used infrequently throughout the story.

Sexual Content
Gemma spends time kissing a couple of boys. Penn uses her Siren abilities to control a young man named Sawyer, whom she appears to be sleeping with. She invites Gemma to join them for sex, but Gemma refuses, grossed out. Both Gemma and Harper reflect on how hot boys are several times throughout the story.

Spiritual Content
The Siren curse began when four girls failed to protect the goddess Demeter’s daughter. Demeter found them swimming and flirting with men, so she transformed them into Sirens, whose songs can convince humans to do their bidding and transform into mermaids and bird-like creatures.

Harper’s friend Marcy decides to hold a séance in an area where a boy was found dead hoping that the boy’s spirit will tell Harper where Gemma and the Sirens have gone. No spirits reveal themselves, so they give up.

Violence (and a bit of a spoiler)
To survive, Sirens must eat the hearts of young men. Gemma refuses to do this at first, but the Siren curse means she becomes more and more susceptible to the desire to feed. She ends up killing a man who is possibly about to rape her.

In one scene, a Siren shoves her hand through a man’s chest and grabs his heart. It’s icky, but brief, and she does not eat the heart.

Drug Content


Upcoming Reviews for September 2015

September is my favorite month. It’s the peak of the season for afternoon thunderstorms in Central Florida, and reading is the perfect thing to do during a thunderstorm. It’s also the month when two important things happen – my wedding anniversary and my birthday. This September also happens to be a busy month for book reviews! Here are a few you can expect to see in the coming weeks at The Story Sanctuary.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Madeline is allergic to the outside world. Then she meets Olly, a neighbor boy, and the romantic tension ensues. I’m excited but nervous about reading this book. After being blown away by Because You’ll Never Meet Me earlier this year, I’m afraid I’ll compare the two, and I don’t know how that will go. I am definitely open to love it.


The Firebug of Balrog County by David Oppegaard

A small town hits hard times, and Mack only knows one way to relieve the tension building inside him: find something to burn. How can a pyromaniac be a hero? I’m curious about this, too. So far everything I’ve read about this book has been positive. I love angsty YA, and I’m a huge fan of Flux books, so I’m definitely eager to crack the cover of this novel.

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

Grief is such an important issue, and it’s one that our culture doesn’t really handle so well. (But that’s another topic.) This novel focuses on a girl who lost her best friend, she believes, because of a rare jellyfish sting. She sets out on a journey to prove her theory.

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

This looks like a dystopian novel in which the children of world leaders are raised in seclusion, trained for the day in which they may be used in a hostage exchange to keep peace between nations. It looks dark but like it has real potential to explore some human rights issues. I’m excited to check it out.

I Crawl Through It by A. S. King

I’ve been on a bit of a streak reading YA novels that deal with some heavy mental health issues. This one follows four teens as they battle their way through dealing with trauma. The copy on Goodreads and NetGalley reference possibly some multiple personality or delusions.


Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Naturals #2)

A team of teens possess special abilities (not like X-men, more like, super-geniuses at certain things like lie-spotting or profiling) which make them indispensable to the FBI. It’ll take all their gifts to stop a serial killer before he snatches his next victim. Suspense isn’t my usual go-to, but this novel definitely appealed to me. I like that it focuses on the relationships between characters as well as this pressing mystery.

Lullaby by Amanda Hocking (Watersong #2)

I’ve actually read this before and for some reason never managed to write up a review. I’m listening to the audiobook version and will write my review from that. It’s about a girl who was tricked into becoming a Siren. Only after she’s transformed does she realize a few of the downsides: she can’t leave her Siren sisters; she must eat the heart of a boy to survive; and she must spend time in the ocean water or she’ll die. (The heart-eating sounds super gross, but it’s not described in the story.)

Battle of Beings by Nita Tarr (War Child #1)

This sounds a little bit like a cross between This Present Darkness and Eragon? The description intrigues me, so I’m giving it a go this month.