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Book Review: Siren Queen

“No maids, no funny talking, no fainting flowers.”

I’ve seen a lot of reviews compare Siren Queen by Nghi Vo to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, but I can’t confirm that because I haven’t read the latter yet (I know, I KNOW!). I can, however, confirm that Siren Queen follows the story of a young, rising actress in Old Hollywood, who is willing to make deals with the Devil and barter with what little she has in order to achieve her dream of becoming a star.

We first meet Luli Wei when she is a child, trading locks of hair and years off her life to get into cinemas to watch silent films. She’s immediately enamored, and knows she’ll do whatever it takes to get herself up on the big screen. However, in a world full of magic and cunning executives who care more about appearances and money than actual people, she’ll have to learn how to play their games.

But she does more than that. Luli refuses to be a tame, quiet woman on set. She refuses to be type-cast, and instead embodies the roles and characters she plays in order to garner respect and harness her own power. She’s not exactly loveable, but that’s fine; she’s fierce and in control of herself, which many despise her for, but it made me love her even more.

This story is beautifully written, in Vo’s signature prose, and captures the harsh reality of Hollywood while painting it as a dreamy, magical setting that one can’t help to admire. While I was a little bothered by the lack of context surrounding the magic in this world, overall, I absolutely loved this story.

Luli’s character was stunning – I admired her strength, how she remained true to herself, and how she didn’t let people walk all over her.

Thank you Tor Dot Com Publishing for sending me a digital copy of Siren Queen by Nghi Vo to review via NetGalley. I loved it so much I bought it once it came out!

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