Josephine Winter is sent to New York City to stay with her aunt and uncle, but she’d rather be home with her family, finishing high school and preparing for college. New York City is a playground for young women in 1925 – a land of flappers and speakeasies, of gangsters’ molls and bootleg gin – and Josephine finds herself swept up in the excitement. Her cousin, Melody, is a carefree flapper, and Melody’s friend Louise is the girlfriend of Danny Connor, one of the city’s most dangerous gangsters. Jo has her own tie to Danny Connor – her father and brother are in trouble with Danny for reasons that Jo is trying to figure out. As Jo starts to unravel her family’s secrets, she finds herself in danger, too.
Sirens has plenty of appeal for teen readers, both in the setting and in the characters. There’s plenty of glamour and intrigue inherent in a 1920s setting, and Jo’s search for her place in the world, as well as her quest to figure out what happened to her brother and save her family, will captivate readers’ interest. Fox keeps the tension high and the pacing steady, alternating between Josephine’s linear narrative and Louise’s description of future events, and the ending is satisfying. Readers age 12 and older will enjoy Josephine’s journey of self-discovery.