Read Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli Online


When Sirena and her sisters sing their siren songs to the sailors on their way to the Trojan War, the men crash their ships upon the rocks. There is one survivor. Sirena defies the goddess Hera by tending his wounds and soon the two are deep in love. But does Philoctetes love Sirena's song, or her soul? And will the pull of honor prove stronger than the bond of love?...

Title : Sirena
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780590383899
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 210 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sirena Reviews

  • Ana
    2019-05-27 08:04

    "What is immortality?""Foreverness. It is being here, there, anywhere you like, forever and ever and ever. For eons. It is seeing all things, and experiencing all things.""Over and over and over again." "Yes, exactly." "Does it get better with each repetition? Tell me. Is the hundredth scallop that much sweeter than the tenth? Is the thousandth water lily that much more aromatic than the hundredth? Is the millionth love that much more tender than the thousandth?" I am in love with this tale. It's so beautiful and tragic. This is a love story, but it's so much more than that. The writing style is exceptional. This book has everything. Mermaids, sirens, nymphs, greek gods, greek heroes, the trojan war, wonderful scenery... My only complaint is that the ending was a little vague. I think I need more time to process. Highly recommended for all lovers of greek mythology.

  • Sariah
    2019-05-21 12:54

    The story is set in Ancient Greece during the time of the Trojan War, but it is not about the war. Sirena is a mermaid who, along with her numerous sisters, sings to attract the attention and love of mortal men. As soon as a mortal loves a mermaid the mermaid becomes immortal, and that is something all mermaids want. The mermaids’ singing does attract a ship but it runs aground on the rocks and many of the sailors drown (which was not the mermaids intention). Horrified by the unintended deaths, Sirena vows to never sing to a mortal man again, and she leaves her sisters to go live in isolation near an uninhabited island. Then one day a man is marooned on the island.What I loved about this particular mermaid story is that it is not centered around the mermaid altering her appearance in order to gain love. She does not trade in her voice, or her fins for a pair of legs. Instead the questions are do you give up immortality in order to live your life with your lover? Or do you love more deeply because you know one day it will end? One of the things that always bothered me about Hans Christian Anderson’s “Little Mermaid” was that she wasn’t good enough as she was to be loved by the prince; she had to give up two big things (her voice and tail/fin). Plus she had to leave her world and live in his, and after all this he still didn’t love her (hope this isn’t a spoiler for anyone who hasn’t read the original fairy tale). Sirena has no desire to be human; her desire is to be loved by a human. This is a young adult novel, but I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a nice love story with a little bit of mythology thrown in.

  • Katherine
    2019-05-22 06:55

    ”We must make them love us.”Such is the goal of a siren. With their seductive voices and ethereal appearance, these harmless looking mermaids cause more peril on the sea than joy. Their whole purpose in life lies in the sailors, warriors, and tradesmen who journey in the Mediterranean waters.”The smell of the ship is piney. The sweat of the men is sour. I smell their shoes and their dirty hair.”Sirena and her forty-eight sisters spend days on the lookout for these giant ships, for they know with ships come men. In it lies the hope that once these battle and wanderlust weary men hear their voices and behold their striking beauty, they will fall in love with them, thus making the sirens immortal.Until the day these beautiful voices cause the demise of an entire ship. The day that men turn against the sirens and curse their death-bringing songs.”We should have listened to the other men. They warned us of the dangers at sea. But no one told us of you. They must not have seen you. Of course not. Anyone who sees you dies. You. Wretches misshapen monsters of the deep. Seductresses of evil.”After the death of her sister, Sirena ventures alone, vowing never to sing again and live out her days a mortal on a deserted cove. What she doesn’t expect is the arrival of a man, a mortal man. So tempting, yet so forbidden. She wants to love him, but can’t. And yet despite all odds, they do.The queen of retellings strikes again! Usually, Donna Jo Napoli writes retellings based on European fairy tales, which have all been brilliant (my personal favorites are Zel, Beast, and The Magic Circle.) In this instance, Napoli takes us back to ancient Greece during the Trojan War in this dual retelling of the sirens myth and the myth of Philoctetes, the famous Greek warrior left stranded on a deserted island to die. And once again, she does a brilliant job. She alternately weaves in her own ‘What if?’ plot points to fill the gaping plot holes the myth has left out while still leaving enough of the original framework there so readers can recognize the tale their reading. Sirena is the youngest of her sisters, and is very naïve in the beginning. Like all sirens, she wishes to be immortal and live forever. But when she sees the consequences of her wish, and the actions the sirens cause to the men they seduce, she is repulsed by it altogether.”If I knowingly killed a man, how could I want to go on living? I trade immortality for the right to want to live.”She matures rather quickly, but as the novel progresses you get glimpses of the old Sirena through her new, more wizened state. She’s playful, vivacious, curious, intelligent, and has a clear sense of right and wrong in a sea of morally gray characters.Philocetetes is both the epitomeme and antithesis of a typical Greek hero. Left to die by his crew of men after a serpent bites him, Sirena saves his life by both tending to his wound and providing him food. He can be an arrogant, pompous know-it all, but his personality is never that of a full-fledged jerk like some of the heroes are portrayed to be. He willingly admits the flaws in the tales of the warriors that came before him that we all know and revere today, yet he can’t bring himself to fully hate them. And he’s Sirena’s perfect match in the sense he’s lively, jovial, and ready for adventure at a moment’s provocation.”What a strange thing human is, that he can be abandoned by his companions with a wound that resists healing, yet he’s ready to play at the first provocation.”He’s basically a hot Henry Cavill from Immortals, if you had to picture the dude in your head (which you will often, I assure you). Their relationship is based on mutual understanding and a willingness to be open-minded about one another and their beliefs, and is very much a relationship of equals. Who would’ve thought that a relationship between a man and a mermaid in ancient Greece would be so progressive? Much appreciative, much wow!One of the things I like so much about Napoli’s retellings is the fact that she never shies away from both the serious topics hinted upon in the original tale and the much darker aspects that would probably never make it into a family made film of the tale. They aren’t your mother or kid sister’s myths and fairy-tales, which make them so entirely appealing to me. The question of immortality, and how much does it really mean if everyone you love dies, is a key question that’s asked of both Sirena and the reader. Is it really worth sacrificing both your life over and the lives of others? The bodies of drowned men at the bottom of the sea? All so you could live forever? Readers will both be satisfied and melancholy at the results.The ending isn’t one that I predict readers of the book will like. Especially since Sirena and Philoctetes are a couple to root for. However, there really is no alternative to their situation, and the author clearly explains that through the character’s actions. It doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking, however. Much like the original myth, this bittersweet yet hopeful retelling questions the price of immortality and gives us a couple that, although doomed from the start, are worth rooting for.

  • Sookie
    2019-05-30 08:58

    I feel the stars. Each sparkle sets aflame the pain in my heart.-Donna Jo Napoli Sirena Once again, Donna Jo Napoli has captivated me with her style of writing and descriptions and characters.Reading a book by her is always a treat (and I also recommend her other books-Zel, Spinners, etc...).The story is lovely, but the ending is very very sad.I recommend it to anyone of any age (well, okay, probably three year olds wouldn't be very interested, but still)Okay so here's the story:Sirena is a mermaid who lives with her sisters on an island. They lie in wait for any passing ships, to lure the men onto their island. But Sirena refuses to do the same again when her sisters relocate. Instead, she helps a man that has been newly stranded on the island.Finally, they fall in love and live together for years and years. Sadly, the man is growing older while Sirena is still beautiful and young.And even more sadly-they must break apart when a ship comes to pick the man (Philoctetes) up and get the bow Hercules gave to him.It's so sad!!!!but so good.

  • Samantha
    2019-05-27 11:44

    Showing both the good and dark sides of mermaid folklore, this twist on Greek mythology is perfect for any folklore/mermaid/fantasy-romance fan. It inspired me to try and write my own mermaid story!!!!

  • Melissa
    2019-06-13 11:00

    What can I say about Sirena by Donna Napoli. Well, it's not what I expected. Her writing style was nothing I've ever encountered before, and the book was mainly a narrative from the first person of a mermaid, Sirena. I gave it three stars, because the writing was very fluid, and invoked the imagination which is worth mentioning. It's a fast read, and full of love, regret, and longing. While some parts of it are a little too *ahem* for the young adult section, it's not all that bad. I would tell anyone who likes mermaids, and wants a fast read to pick this up at the library. It teaches you a very important life lesson... love can happen at unexpected moments, and a true love, will live on, even if your love is no longer with you.

  • Asghar Abbas
    2019-06-18 08:05

    Salted, saltish, very salty like a particular salt of memory. Reminiscent of fishy hopes and hearths lost between thighs.

  • Bookworm Jo
    2019-06-02 10:44

    This book is a great quick read that I really enjoyed. I went into thsi book not knowing anything about it except that is is about a mermaid named Sirena. The synopsis gives no information about the time period or when it takes place. I was happy to find out that the book takes place in Ancient Greece at the time of the Trojan War. It is a re-telling of the myth of Philoctetes, who was abandoned on the island of Lemnos when he was bitten by a serpent on the way to Troy. The myth was changed to add a mermaid into it. The story takes place in the years that Philoctetes was stranded on the island. I really liked Sirena. She was very innocent in the beginning. In this book, mermaids can gain immortality by mating with a male human. They use their singing to lure ships to their island where the ships will wreck and the survivors will have to stay on the island. Sirena is a very determined character who realizes that her singing can cause death which is why she promises that she will never sing again. She is very determined to keep that promise. Sirena has a sense of right and wrong, which her sisters don't have. Sirena wan't immortality but she doesn't want it at the price of a person's life. Sirena is also very loyal, loving, caring, fun-loving and playful. She is also very nuturing which can be seen when she helps to heal Philotcetes. She is very amazed at small things such as mosaics and fire and rejoices when she is able to do some human skills (like make a fire). She becomes wiser throughout the book. She is also fiery and passionate especially in her beliefs. I also liked Philoctetes. I admire him for staying on the island for so long without going crazy or trying to get off of it multiple times. He is a good man with unfortunate circumstances. He is a renowned archer and a Greek hero (after he gets off the island and goes to Troy). He is very brave and willing to try new things like learning to swim. He is very protective, loving, passionate and a wonderful story teller. He also had impressive friends~ Theseus, Heracles (Hercules) and Achilles were his friends. He gets used to life on Lemnos and with Sirena~ he begins to love it. He is very sweet and caring, surprising Sirena with surprises he thinks she will like and giving a lot of thought and hard work on his surprises. Of course being a human, Philoctetes, even though content with his life on Lemnos, dreams of going to war to be a hero and have people tell stories about him like he tells Sirena of Theseus, Achilles and Heracles. Honor is everything to him and he wants to go to war to win honor. I love the romance in the story. The love between Sirena and Philoctetes is sweet. They both love each other completely and they fell in love on their own without her singing or anything interfering. They truly enjoy each other's company and have lively debates on some of the stories Philoctetes tells. While I loved this book I have to say I wasn't too happy with the ending. For me it was too sad and that sucks. I hate sad ending.This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews

  • Drianne
    2019-06-06 06:45

    Sirena is a Siren, who, in Napoli's work, are mermaids; the offspring of the rape of a parrot-fish by Eros (no, really), they cannot be immortal unless they have a man fall in love with them. Yeah. So Sirena, unlike the rest of her sisters, doesn't want to trick a man into loving her by her singing (shades of the Little Mermaid, oh my), and runs off to Lemnos, where she meets Philoctetes. You could probably fill in the rest, too. Not a *bad* book, but it mostly was a supposed-to-be-titillating, I think, meditation on a young "girl" discovering sexuality, and really, YA books *can* be about something else! The constant discussions of sex, though not graphic, offended me a whole lot more than the graphic scenes in either An Arrow's Flight or Cook's Achilles. I think it's this sort of nonsense that ought to be kept out of the hands of teenagers, not to mention its ridiculous romanticism of Love. Bah!

  • Rachel Poon
    2019-06-12 05:46

    I HIGHLY recommend this book to ALL of my friends! This is a GREAT book!!!! I just read over this book again today, so his name is Philloctetes he was the son of Poes, he was royalty. But because he was bitten by a serpant and cursed by Hera, the goddess. The other sailor abandoned him. Philloctetes doesn't care about how hybrid or half fish she is, he just wants to live with her, but something is bothering, Sirena has got immortality, but Philloctetes doesn't. what happens next? READ IT!!! lol xD btw "Glorious" Kirkus Reviews :) It was really romantic how Sirena wants Philoctetes to leave her for his own reputation and protection as she has a immortal body and he cannot live with her forever, but their love will last for eternity.

  • Polly
    2019-06-17 10:46

    I did review this a little high, but I will be "thinking about this a lot" as I am writing my own mermaid novel. This mermaid novel is the first I've read with some research behind it. However, I'm not sure how I feel about it, because it takes place during the battle of Troy: its removed from time, place, culture, and she's a mermaid-- that's a lot of doors to get through. I'm looking for information as to how to write an underwater world. So far, most books only have mermaids above the sea level. However, I did enjoy the mythic version here--of how mermaids were born, and how the mermen were lost at sea to an iceburg. Their life seems to be owed to a mystical goddess turtle. After re-reading Hans Christian Andersen's original tale, I'm surprised to discover that his mermaids were not immortal and his heroine wanted to "share the joys of a heavenly world." The original "Little Mermaid" wanted to become married to later die and enjoy an eternal life-- as a human would. Her opinions about living for 300 years as a mermaid and then turning into foam were not very high. In essence her risk was to aim for eternity over a mere 300 years. It's funny that all the renditions of the mermaid's story I've seen are about how she is willing to bet her immortal fishy life for a few years of glorious human life, and who cares about the afterlife when there is a honeymoon, right? And although I bitterly scorned Andersen's ending when I was a child, I can see now in the rereading that she does get an immortal life, exactly what she asked for. Somehow she finds a loophole through good works and gets her wish. The princely husband was just one avenue to her destination, and she reaches it another way. Hmmmm. Only a truly innocent can love this ending, but I can see it's beauty in a "Water Babies" type of way. Anyone read "Water Bablies?" Marvelous. As for Sirena, I think it's more YA, but it has its place in literature that educates the Greek myths.

  • Lindsay
    2019-05-26 06:07

    So I was searching through the library last week, as I often do, and I found an interesting book titled, Sirena, with a picture of a mermaid on the front. The only mermaid story I’d ever read (okay, watched) was Disney’s The Little Mermaid, so why not open my horizons to a new kind of mermaid story? I had read Donna Jo Napoli’s Spinners and was convinced that this would be another magical deep fairytale to touch me deep within.And I was right! Sirena is a quick read, took me about one morning to finish, but it’s a story you’ll remember long after you’re done. It is a little dark, as most of Napoli’s books are, but at the same time it is a beautiful tale that is completely unexpected. Sirena (which my dad told me means “mermaid” in spanish ) is about a mermaid (duh) who falls in love with a human. Unlike The Little Mermaid, the whole point of Sirena is to find a human guy and make him fall in love with you. If the mermaid succeds at making him fall in love, she will be granted eternal life. The mermaids lure the humans to the shore with their sweet songs and then the humans would fall in love with them because of the sound of their voices. When an accident happens, Sirena runs away to a hidden island to stay away from the humans forever. If you like mythology, you will absolutely love this book!

  • Ellen
    2019-05-30 07:54

    I read this twice on a plane and wow this is just wow ugh I don't know what to say this makes me cry every time i read it

  • Netanella
    2019-05-29 12:06

    First lines: I am waiting, impatient and excited.A glimpse of orange in the damp sand above the waters edge catches my eye. It is a dried starfish. That makes the fourth one I have found this week. I lace my hair around it. My sister Cecilia will be jealous. She has covered herself with starfish. And Pontina has taken over the mussel shells, stringing them around her neck in layers. Leila collects pearls. Her hands are red and pink with scrapes from fighting oysters. We make ourselves beautiful.Beautiful storytelling wraps around the mythological tale of Philotectes, the young friend of Hercules who is stranded on the island of Lemnos for ten years prior to the Trojan War. In this tale, Philotectes is saved by the mermaid Sirena, who both pines for humans and also avoids them, after she and her sisters caused the destruction of two sea-faring ships. The story is really Sirena's, a mortal mermaid who must cause a mortal to fall in love with her in order to achieve her own immortality. Sirena, however, does not want to enchant mortals as her sisters do, she wants true love and refuses to sing her songs of enchantment. She tends to Philotectes' snake-bite wound daily and lives with him on Lemnos as a couple. She pines for children, knowing she cannot have any. And when a Greek ship finally pulls up to take Philotectes away to war, she must finally reconcile their love and differing natures. I loved this story.

  • Jasmine Luna
    2019-05-29 10:06

    This book was beautifully written, as Napoli is a brilliant writer. I cried many times during my adventure reading it. The characters are surprisingly relatable, and the story is compelling. When we summarize it--"An immortal mermaid who falls in love with a human wishes she could return to mortality to live a full life with him"--it sounds very cliched. But in all reality, starting this book was like climbing up a hill, but when you reached the top, the view was meant for a great mountain. Climbing down the hill was a painful journey as the book was coming to its end, but it was satisfying--as if you stopped to cry at the sunset and feel proud that you'd gone through such an adventure. This book truly makes you think about life, and it's a spectacular read that I don't recommend finishing in a single sitting but in multiple sittings.

  • Stephanie Lancaster
    2019-05-24 11:46

    I read this book a LONG time ago, before I even graduated High School, and didn't quite understand it. I happened to see it at A Half-Price Bookstore a few weeks ago, and picked it up. Re-reading it, I am amazed at how truly well-written and deep it is. My one regret is the ending, as it seemed fairly rushed. That doesn't change at all how much I enjoyed it. The mosaic scene was one of the most prominent in my mind, and Mrs. Napoli did such a fantastic job with descriptions that you really could FEEL like you were there. Really wish this could have been a movie, or even re-released now, as I know it would be a hit once more.

  • Dale Pearl
    2019-05-23 08:01

    My good friend and fellow goodreads author Asghar Abbas recommended this book.We had a discussion on a lack of credible literature involving the vision of mermaids. He produced this book and suggested I give it a go.I thouroughly enjoyed this tale. It is an easy read and can appeal to all ages. The story doesn't read like a typical mythological tale, however, there is no mistake that is what it is.Sirena is another story of coming of age.Hunger, desire, struggles with maturing it is all there.

  • America Sanders
    2019-06-15 05:09

    This is one of my favorite books. It is about a siren who realizes that her song brings only death and she cannot bare the idea of taking lives for her benefit. But luck comes to her in the form of a shipwrecked soldier she grows closer to. The book is an awesome combination of greek mythology with an interesting twist, it was told from the point of view of a notorious monster and surprisingly she is not that evil. I can learn much from this book about creating unique ideas just by taking known concepts and changing them so that they become original and intriguing idea

  • Summer
    2019-06-18 11:48

    I thought this book was fantastic! I absolutely love Greek mythology and everything about Greek life, but this book wasn't necessarily about that stuff. It was a fun book about mermaids and caught my attention right from the first page. It was an easy read that is easy to relate to (at least I thought so), so the perfect thing to sneak in a day. It is the perfect book to read if you're in a book slump!

  • Madeline
    2019-06-15 09:44

    I was going through some strange mental/emotional things when i read this and when i finished it, i had to throw the book across the floor. not that i hated it, just that i understood all of it too well.

  • Kelly
    2019-06-05 11:02

    Fantasy, fiction, romance, greek mythology. everything i could ask for in a book.

  • Judith
    2019-05-26 06:40

    I read this a long time ago, but I know I loved it! Must re-read...

  • Pamela Cruz
    2019-06-16 05:03

    Such a pretty story. It leaves you happy

  • Laura
    2019-05-26 11:42

    Probably a 4.5. Super enjoyable, quick read.

  • Nicole Saga-flores
    2019-06-01 12:06

    It was a good read... But sad ending..

  • Lauren
    2019-06-16 06:41

    Sirena is set in the times of the ancient Greeks, while the Trojan war is at its peak. Sirena and her sisters are young mermaids who only have one thing on their mind, men. Like usual, the mermaids will sing to get the men to come ashore, but like it has done in the past, the reef around the mermaid's island will destroy the men's ship and kill the men. Every mermaid looks forward to the men coming, because if they get a man to fall in love with them, that mermaid will become immortal. Unlike the Gods and nymphs and other ancient Greek personas, mermaids are not immortal, do to an evil nymph who cursed the mermaids because she hates them.Sirena soon gets tired of the games: singing to the men, having them get to close, some dying while the others hate the mermaids for stranding them on the island while they slowly die themselves. She has had enough. She decides to leave her sisters, when they will not listen to what she has to say. So she swims. And she swims and she swims and she does not stop until she sees another island up ahead. A new island, considering she hardly ever left her home island. The new island she will call home is named Lemnos. Sirena stays on the island for a while, swimming around the exterior, getting to know it. She was starting to feel at home. Until she sees a ship coming towards the island. She sees men. She holds back her song, she sees what it has done to men in the past, she does not want them to end up dead. But they touch down on the land, leave a man there, and get back onto their ship. Sirena is interested now. Why would the humans leave one of their own stranded here to die? She swims closer, but far enough for her to watch from a distance. She sees he has a deadly sea serpent bite wound on his leg, which is why his crew left him for dead. He is struggling to get up because of the pain, and he looks very hungry and very thirsty. Sirena does not know what to do. Soon enough the man goes up into the forest that is on Lemnos and Sirena quickly looks for food for the man. She brings him back food and lays in wait in the water, hiding. He returns and sees the food, thankful. Their relationship went on like this for several days, and in his sleep, Sirena would tend to his leg wound, yet it would return to its deadly stage the next day so this became an everyday thing for her. Soon he begs into the ocean to have her reveal herself to him. She is timid at first, but gives in. She has taken a liking to the man. They meet, and he sees that she is a mermaid. At first he is a bit shocked but he is still thankful for the help on the island. They soon become great friends, Sirena and the man, who he later tells her his name is Philoctetes. Sirena did not sing to Philoctetes; she wanted him to fall in love with her, not her magical voice. But her voice seems to save her life one day on the island years later. Sirena travels onto land and a bear finds her and almost attacks her, but Sirena sings to the bear to calm it down. Unknowing to Sirena, Philoctetes is nearby and hears her singing and is ecstatic. This is Sirena's worst nightmare, she thinks he fell in love with her because of her voice. Sirena soon finds herself to be immortal, and she is very happy, but she is also slightly sad because she still believe her lover only loves her because of her voice. A few years later, while they are still on the island and the Trojan war is still upon the rest of the world, a ship visits the island, and Philoctetes visits and talks with them. Sirena does not know what he is doing, she just wants the ship to leave them and their happy life. Once the men from the ship return to their ship, it does not leave. She talks with Philoctetes about the men: he tells her that they are going to fight the war, and they want to take him with them. She does not know what to do, so Sirena swims to the only person she can talk to at the moment, Mother Dora, a very powerful sea nymph. She tells Mother Dora about her problem, and Mother Dora tells Sirena that Philoctetes will do very well in the war, and he will survive. She does not want him to leave, but she does not know what to do. They soon spend their last night together on the island, and he leaves the next day on to boat to fight in the war, and Sirena sees the ship holding her true love on it slowly sail away, as she begins her immortal life anew without him.

  • Alan
    2019-06-15 12:56

    ATOS Book Level: 3.9Interest Level: Upper Grades (UG 9-12)AR Points: 5.0Lexile: 540L Word Count: 39264This story is set during the time of the Trojan War. It's a story about mermaids, and one mermaid in particular, Sirena. Mermaids of course have the lower body of a fish and the upper body of a woman. The basis of the story is that in order to become immortal, the mermaid must entice a human man to love them (this being hard of course because of the fact that THEY'RE HALF FISH. While trying to accomplish this task a tragedy occurs when two ship loads of men, enticed by the mermaids song, crash on the shore of the island, and the men either drown or die of starvation. Sirena is distraught, and leaves her island and her sister mermaids behind in an attempt to live life on her own, hoping to never see another human. The fates apparently have other plans in mind.When Sirena arrives at an island that she believes no man will be on, she arrives in time to see a man (for now, we'll call him Phil) left upon the island by his companions to die. This is a tale of ancient Greece, with Greek gods, and Greek mythology. It's also a story of two different people (beings really) who, given enough time, come to love and care for each other.

  • Lia
    2019-05-24 08:58

    I think Napoli has painted herself into a corner in this book. Her ending falls very flat as she tries to make Greek mythology and half developed characters make sense in one blow. This is a tale of "true love"--which love consists of keeping secrets from the other, telling stories, and making love lots and lots (though how the mermaid and her man manage this is never addressed, but a lot is made of how the bottom half of her is a fish). I felt like the story drifted aimlessly and tried to keep itself from becoming boring. Tried to keep "love" from becoming boring. And it partly succeeded. I finished the book. But partly failed, too. I won't bother with it again, nor recommend it to others who enjoy a retold tale (tail).

  • Flora Smith
    2019-05-19 11:41

    This was a cute book, more for someone about 14. The writing wasn't some of Donna Jo Napoli best work however as the sentences were very choppy and didn't really flow well. It was an interesting concept about a mermaid who wanted to be loved and in doing so receive immortality. With immortality comes other consequences as you stay young while you watch loved ones age. Several Greek myths enter this story especially those from the Trojan war. And the ending was very bittersweet. Overall it was ok, but I think there is definite room for improvement.

  • Jane
    2019-05-27 06:59

    Beautiful, imaginative writing. This fantasy told of the love between a Greek soldier at the time of the Trojan War and a Siren. [In the Odyssey, Sirens were those mermaids who lured men to their deaths by their singing]. I was partly reminded of the fairy tale, "The little mermaid." The ending was heart-breaking. I liked how the author worked in some of the Greek myths using the story-telling of Philoctetes, the soldier as a plot device. This was a very quick read--an hour or two.