The Accidental Siren

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Mara Lynn is the most beautiful girl in the world. James Parker is the ordinary boy who discovers her power.

The Accidental Siren is a twisted fairytale about young love, growing up, and the frightening potential of infinite beauty. More
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About Jake Vander Ark

“What I really want to do is direct.”

Yeah, I was that kid.

I spent my high-school career as the ghost of the art room, passionately constructing a portfolio that would provide the first step toward a creative occupation. Luckily, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago didn’t consider GPA when selecting applicants, so I was immediately accepted into one of the most prestigious art programs in the country.

Unfortunately, the only thing I learned in art school was how much I hated art.

But I found myself! And that’s important, right?

I graduated with a BFA in 2006 and moved to Los Angeles to harness my dream of becoming the next Ingmar Bergman (thanks a lot, art school).

In LA, I began writing screenplays as a means to direct. I found a job reading screenplays for the same reason. I read a lot of crap. I wrote a lot of crap. But little did I know… I was learning.

In the three-year process of creating short films and pursuing funding for features, I learned that directing came naturally to me, but producing did not.

I wasn’t able to get a project off the ground. When my father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009, I moved back to my hometown of Grand Haven, Michigan with nothing to show but three screenplays.

One day, while working as a stage manager for a national dance competition, I had an epiphany that only a repressed, depressed, living-with-his-parents artist could have: what if I wrote books? Unlike screenplays, a book is finished when it’s finished. When the final draft is complete, a book becomes a marketable product. If I work my butt off, maybe I could actually make money doing what I love!

I’m not a millionaire yet… but I did write four novels in three years and I’m proud of the accomplishment. Currently, I’m engaged to my soul-mate, self-publishing all four books, and developing a sequel to The Accidental Siren.

Dreams, here I come.

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Excerpt from chapter two. Minor spoilers!

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Reviews

Review by: trisha benton on April 09, 2014 : star star star star star
The best book i've read in a while kept me up till four in the morning! Loved it!
(review of free book)

Review by: Anne Arky on Jan. 14, 2013 : star star star star
I tore through this novel until 5 in the morning. Originally, I found this book on Wattpad, and it was a joy to find such a gem in a sea of bad teen fiction.
(review of free book)

Review by: Theresa Grisanti on Oct. 16, 2012 : star star star star star
The best books are the ones you can't stop reading. You just have to know what is going to happen next. The Accidental Siren is all of that. Vander Ark has created a story that you can't stop reading with characters that you love and hate. James, the leading character, is adorable and you just want to hug him. Mara is alluring and psychotic all at the same time. I love complex characters and all of these were point on in their multi-layered personalities.

I have to admit I was reluctant to read this story. I don't enjoy pubescent love stories. They don't call to me even though I do enjoy a good adolescent sci-fi or fantasy story. I guess the throw back to romance in those awkward days are just too much for my damaged teenage psyche. This story is different in that you can relate to difficulties of the young people in a way that reminds you it wasn't just you that had troubles in your teens.

Vander Ark is a talented writer with a wonderful gift for crafting with the written word. I am excited that he has chosen to write as a means for his passion. I look forward to reading his other books and finding more great gems from this young man.
(review of free book)

Review by: Melissa Byrnes on Oct. 04, 2012 : star star star star star
I gave this book a 5 star rating, and here is why...

You know the part in Aladdin where the Genie says,

"PHEEEEEEEE - NOMEEEEEE - NALLLLLLL COOOOOOOOSMIC POWWWWWWWAHS!" ??

Well that's the only explanation that I could come up with as to how this book was that friggin good. lol He either laced the watering hole with the ceremonial kool-aid, or he was blessed by the gods with a ridiculously amazing talent for writing. I'm thinking both. haha ( I don't give out a five star rating lightly so it must have been hoodoo. lol)

I won't lie though, I was beyond hesitant to pick up this book. I dislike stories about pubescent young love. They do nothing for me because I have a hard time relating to the characters and everything seems rather perverse because it's an adult story that comes from the mouths of babes. I have a total disconnect and I just move on. However, a friend of mine read and reviewed the book and was falling all over her blog about it. And while I still had reservations, I scurried over and stalked out the author and decided it would be unfair of me, not to give it a shot. Now I can say that without a doubt, it was the best move I have made so far.

Right from the very first page I was intrigued. My fingers had a mind of their own and kept thumbing through the pages to absorb more. It felt as if I honestly couldn't get enough. Not only was I reading this twisted epic re telling of adolescence, but I was IN it. I wasn't in it in the traditional sense, but my whole reality was transformed into this world and I felt like part of it. It's an amazing feat for a writer to accomplish that level of intensity and he pulled it off. I applaud Jake Vander Ark for his abilities and his passion.

As I continued on with the book, I thought to myself, "What is it about Mara that makes her so desirable? Why is this girl so significant?". The only answer I could come up with, was that it felt like he was using Mara as a symbol of obsession to convey to the masses that there is always that one person/love that is our Achilles heel. The one we sacrifice everyone and everything for and we are too blinded with tunnel vision to realize how badly it's affecting the world around us.

I'm curious to know if when he was writing Mara, if he actually had a 12 yr old girl in mind. She was adolescent in the sense that she had whimsical female traits that are indicative to a young girl, but her mind was this cavernous hole of darkness and deceit. There were no bounds to her manipulation. Talk about chilling! She may have only been 12, but the experiences she had up to that point in her life were abusive and sick and when you experience things like that, you are forced to mature mentally. Your frontal lobe is drenched in steroids and your innocence is left struggling and weak. This turns you into a potentially lethal individual, and although Mara was sweet and adorable and fun, she was indeed what Vander Ark painted her as; a siren. At least that's my humble opinion anyway.

If Mara had a mantra, I believe this would be it. lol

"Bound in darkness you will hear my cry,
and long you shall till the day you die."

Those poor people didn't stand a chance!

The rest of the cast did amazing things for me. He nailed the bullies and the crazies. The jocks were typical. Whit, the best friend, was great! James - our leading man - was adorable and I just wanted to hug him. I could gush for hours about Livy, and Age, and the twins. but then it wouldn't be fun for you to discover them for yourself, so I digress. Vander Ark painted everyone so beautifully, that it felt like more than just his imagination. Almost as if they were actual memories and not fiction. I think the reason it felt so authentic and real, is because there was no holding back. A lot of people try to be politically correct in their writing so as not to offend anyone, but not him. He pulled out all the stops and it was as believable as an autobiography.

The scenes in the book were laid out perfectly too. I could see, hear, smell, and taste everything. I felt like I was in the middle of a movie. Literally. At one point, I was on set, in the middle of the creepiest action scene ever. I actually shivered and attempted to close my eyes because I didn't want to witness what I knew was coming. It was righteous! I like to think that I partook in the greatest movie never made. lol Think Carrie meets Final Destination meets The Pied Piper, and you have Mara wrapped in a beautifully horrific bow. Creepy, right?

I fell in love with this book because it achieved every goal that we as readers have for our beloved authors. I laughed, I cried, I contemplated, I cringed, and I questioned. Most importantly, I felt. I was an emotional roller coaster till the very end. No matter what page I was on, or what scene I was in, I felt everything. The lust and betrayal alone are enough to satiate your palate, but there is just so much more to experience. You can't read this book and tell me that you didn't feel something when you read it. It's highly improbable that anyone could.
(review of free book)

Review by: Lance Bahr on Sep. 23, 2012 : star star star star star
I read the preview on Wattpad. And I feel so bad to get this book for free. This deserves money more than many published books. The writing style, voice, and characters are so amazing that you won't want to put it down. Not to mention the plot, the romance, etc.
(review of free book)

Review by: Emma King on Sep. 16, 2012 : star star star star star
One of the most wonderful books I've ever read, I honestly couldn't stop reading.
(review of free book)

Review by: Anna Gallegos on Sep. 16, 2012 : star star star star star
First of all, The Accidental Siren is my all time favorite book. While reading it, you're so hooked on the story. My emotions towards the book was so crazy. Jake's writing is what pulls you in and makes you want to read more and more. There's twists and turns that'd you would never expect, this book really keeps you on your toes questioning things. This story is very different and original it's own way. I still read it over and over again, I'll never get bored of it. Overall, the story is amazing, I'd recommend for everyone to read it. :)
(review of free book)

Review by: Kallie Colton on Sep. 16, 2012 : star star star star star
The Accidental Siren was the book that sparked my love for all of Vander Ark's stories. From the first sentence, I was hooked. Vander Ark has a clever, twisted, and endearing plot of young love, and it surpassed all of my expectations. I can honestly say I have never read any other work that was as unique as this one--except maybe his other books. I read a lot and this story easily makes the top five which is definitely saying a lot.
(review of free book)

Review by: Katie H on Sep. 15, 2012 : star star star star star
I work full-time and go to school full-time, so I have very little time to read and it's hard to get motivated when I do. I've started and stopped a number of books over the last few years, but The Accidental Siren is the only book that kept me captivated. As soon as I started this book, I could not put it down. It's just so good... It's beautifully written, has a completely unique plot and it's fleshed out perfectly. When I finished the last page, it took my breath away. I still can't stop thinking about it and this novel definitely renewed my faith in reading. From now on, I will be reading every chance I get in hopes of finding another book that comes anywhere close to this one. I highly recommend it to everyone.
(review of free book)

Review by: cpluckygirl on Sep. 15, 2012 : star star star star star
Amazing. That one word says it all.  The way each character is portrayed, how the plot develops, how the scene is set, and every little emotion felt that's intertwinned and weaved into the story takes my breath away. No rising author I have ever read from could even come close to comparing how well Jake Vander Ark's words were able to flow across the pages. A true masterpiece and a must read whether you're and adult or teen. You're missing out on a piece of art if you don't read it.
(review of free book)

Review by: Felicity Parado on Sep. 15, 2012 : star star star star star
This is the only online book that I read through and through--and that's really something, considering my annoyance at staring at the computer screen for too long. There's just something about this book that gripped me, that made me want to read the next chapter when I've finished the previous one, that made me annoyed when I couldn't devote more time to reading it. Something about the peaceful setting combined with the intricate, addicting plot grabbed me and never let me go until I read the last page.
This is a book that I love now as a teen, and I have no doubt I'll still love it when I grow up. The Accidental Siren has that kind of charm.
(review of free book)

Review by: Allison Perkins on Sep. 14, 2012 : star star star star star
Absolutely incredible. From the very first page it's deeply engaging, exciting, fun, mystical and whimsical. It's contemplative and introspective (even long after it's done.) The book is deftly eerie and beautifully twisted; there is a perfect mesh of serenity and hysteria. Every detail of every character has a purpose, every theme and motif is so effortlessly intertwined in the rope that is this book-- every fiber of that rope is one whole piece that can be traced back; not one string is cut or frayed.

In other words, this book is brilliant and ittook my breath away. If you don't read it, you're really missing out on something great.
(review of free book)

Review by: Melinda Russett on Sep. 11, 2012 : star star star star star
This book is stunning. Once I read it I had to buy it to support this wonderful author. The way he writes pulls you in just like you are the character. I highly recommend his books and wish him a long future in writing.
(review of free book)

Review by: Ratna Bhattacharya on Sep. 02, 2012 : star star star star star
This book is amazing! One of those rare books which you can re-read and enjoy again and again!!! a must for anyone's library. Be it a teenager or an adult. loved this book.
(review of free book)

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