Blog Tour & Review: Sirenz Back in Fashion by Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman

I love Greek mythology and I love cute, funny books which is why I agreed to be part of the Sirenz Back in Fashion blog tour.  Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman released their debut, Sirenz, last spring and just this month released the sequel, Sirenz Back in Fashion.  Both books are great, so I’m excited to help promote their recent release!

Title: Sirenz Back in Fashion

Authors: Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman

Publisher: Flux

Release Date: June 8th, 2012

Interest: Sequel / Blog Tour

Source: Finished copy received from the authors for review

Summary (From the authors):

In Sirenz, boarding school roomies Meg and Shar learned the hazards of making a deal with Hades, Lord of the Underworld. The wearing of a Tiffany’s diamond ring in Sirenz Back In Fashion reactivates their contract, they find themselves back in his employ as sirens. And things are a little different this time; Shar is whisked off to the Underworld to play hostess as the dark god attempts to win her affections, while Meg is stuck topside, obligated to send spoiled rich girl Paulina Swanson to the Underworld. Hot gods, mere mortals and the Underworld have their secrets. Will Meg and Shar ever ditch Hades, and keep their wardrobes and souls intact?

First of all, if you haven’t read Sirenz yet, I think you could read Sirenz Back in Fashion with little confusion.  The authors did a nice job referencing enough from the first book, without bogging the beginning with summary, that a reader could continue with the sequel and not be confused the entire time reading.  That being said, I still think you should read Sirenz first simply because it’s such a fun book!

Sequels are always tricky to review because it’s tough avoiding spoilers, so I’m going to try my best.  First, I love that we get both Shar and Meg’s points of view in Sirenz Back in Fashion.  Their voices are so distinct that it’s never confusing when the chapter changes and the character switches.  Even when I was reading Sirenz I kept trying to determine which character was my favorite, and I still don’t know.  Shar is hilarious the way she pines over great shoes and clothes, but she’s also smart enough to get herself through tough situations.  Meg isn’t as thrilled by fashion as Shar, but she’s coming around and trying to make herself stand out a little more.  I like Meg’s character because she’s loyal and witty, much like Shar as well, and quick on her feet.  Even though these two characters are drastically different in their appearance and style, they make a good team.  The way both characters work off each other really makes their dialogue and scenes together pop.

Another plus to Sirenz Back in Fashion is the way Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman tied in Greek mythology once again.  We really get to know Hades and Persephone in Sirenz, but in the sequel we get to interact with demi-gods and other gods like Eurydice.  The gods read like modern day people as opposed to how they’re often presented now in YA mythology novels.  I don’t mind when other novels keep the gods “in character” so to speak, but I like that the authors took what they know about the different gods and used that information to form their characters.  For instance, Hermes shows up looking like a runner and Hades, like in Sirenz, is dark and handsome and alluring.  He’d need to be if he’s going to lure people to the underworld and trick them into doing things they normally wouldn’t.  It’s just a fun twist on the mythology which I enjoyed immensely.

Sirenz Back in Fashion is a sequel to Sirenz, but it’s still it’s own book and story.  The girls are tricked yet again by Hades, but this time the story has a new twist.  If you’re looking for something light-hearted and fun to read this summer, I highly suggest reading both Sirenz and Sirenz Back in Fashion because they’re quick, enjoyable reads; perfect for summer!  Greek mythology is always a hit in my classroom, so I expect this sequel to be just as popular as the first book was.

Links and About the Authors!
Nat: When not playing with pointed objects, Natalie Zaman is usually writing. She lives in central New Jersey with her family and several fine looking chickens.

Char: Lover of sparkly things, Char doesn’t have as many shoes as she’d like, but wouldn’t have time to wear them anyway with her three boys, husband, cat with issues, demented squirrels and insistent characters all demanding her time. She is represented by Natalie Lakosil of the Bradford Literary Agency and is hoping to get all her characters into print just so they’ll be quiet.

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