|Siren Suicides #1|
August 5th, 2013
On a rainy September morning that just so happens to be her sixteenth birthday, Ailen Bright, a chicken-legged, straw-haired teenager, decides to commit suicide via drowning in the family bathtub. The ornate marble tub, adhering to her abusive father's love for anything expensive and Italian, is decorated by five sirens--who seemingly help her escape the house when her father breaks down the bathroom door. After an almost-successful suicide attempt number two, which lands her at the bottom of a lake, she learns that sirens are, in fact, real, and they want to turn her into one of them. An amazing, yet dark look into the mind and heart of a suicidal teenager, this urban fantasy follows Ailen's struggle to to figure out the meaning of life, the unraveling of her confusing feelings for her theatrically goofy best friend Hunter, and her desperate battle for her father's love.REVIEW
Overall, I give I Chose to Die a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars. I normally don't do half stars, but this one was hard to put in a category. There were a few issues with it that sometimes distracted me from the story (I kept thinking, "Why is there chlorine in the bath water?"), but overall it was an amazing read. So a 3.5 it was. But it is a novel that I would absolutely recommend to others. It is an amazing example of self publishing work.
There were a lot of things that I absolutely loved about this novel. It is amazingly descriptive, especially when it comes to Ailen's emotions. It felt as if I was right there with her in her despair. I felt everything she felt, and it was breathtaking. Ailen is a wonderful character who is very relate-able, as a human and as a siren. Her emotions--especially her fear and her confusion--are palpable. The novel is also fast paced and can keep your attention. It moves from one event to another with lots of action without losing the thread of the story. Maybe more than anything, I loved that it had two characters who were amazing "villains." You'll love to hate them. And I absolutely adore how Ailen eventually embraces her own darkness.
For the most part, there were only two things that really bothered me about the novel. The father character was slightly two-dimensional, even though he is an interesting character. However, he does develop more as the story goes on. And the basic premise of the story is slightly overdone as far as selling your soul for power or revenge--but the way that Anske twists it works well with the story.
In the end, I Chose to Die is an amazing story about finding your strength and learning that your real strength can sometimes be found in embracing your weakness.