Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule
Published on March 11, 2014 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Gothic
“Outside Dunhammond Conservatory, there lies a dark forest. And in the forest, they say, lives a great beast called the Felix. But Sing da Navelli never put much faith in the rumors and myths surrounding the school; music flows in her blood, and she is there to sing for real. This prestigious academy will finally give her the chance to prove her worth—not as the daughter of world-renowned musicians—but as an artist and leading lady in her own right.
Yet despite her best efforts, there seems to be something missing from her voice. Her doubts about her own talent are underscored by the fact that she is cast as the understudy in the school’s production of her favorite opera, Angelique. Angelique was written at Dunhammond, and the legend says that the composer was inspired by forest surrounding the school, a place steeped in history, magic, and danger. But was it all a figment of his imagination, or are the fantastic figures in the opera more than imaginary?
Sing must work with the mysterious Apprentice Nathan Daysmoor as her vocal coach, who is both her harshest critic and staunchest advocate. But Nathan has secrets of his own, secrets that are entwined with the myths and legends surrounding Dunhammond, and the great creature they say lives there.” (Description from Amazon.com)
Holy Wow, People! What a book!
Creepy and haunting, on more than one occasion I got goose bumps from the chilling yet lyrical writing of this story. Definitely a Gothic tale with mythology sprinkled throughout, I loved the story of Sing (Yes, the female MC, who is trying to become an opera star, is named Sing. At first I was irritated by this, but then quickly got over it.) as she faces fears and insecurities to determine what she really wants, and goes after it.
The pressure Sing’s parents placed on her was infuriating. I mean, even her NAME weighs down on her with the ultimatum to succeed! Everywhere she goes, the reputation of her father and the legend that was her mother proceeds her. Never is Sing simply Sing. She must always practice, must always excel, must always perform.
When Sing enrolls at a noteworthy music conservatory, she finds more on her plate than just music lessons. Juggling new friendships, a flirtation with the cutest guy in school, competition with the resident Diva, struggles with her bewildering vocal coach, and an inexplicable pull towards the haunted woods and the mysterious creature there… Is there any wonder that Sing feels pulled in several directions?
Still, she finds solace in music. As she diligently prepares herself for a dream role, she realizes that the neat picture she had painted of those close to her may be inaccurate portraits after all. With the mounting pressure to succeed, will she have the strength to discover what she truly wants? Or will she fail at everything, and lose herself in the process?
My favorite part of this story was Daysmoor. That’s all I’m going to say. I don’t want to ruin it for those who haven’t had a chance to read it!
On the flip side, I was not a fan of how some of the secondary characters were not fully developed. The same effort that was put into Sing, the Felix, the conductor, and Nathan could have been applied to other characters for a richer story. Also, sometimes the shifting point of view was confusing. Typically, I enjoy dual POV! In this book, however, some transitions were more successful than others.
That being said, if you are a lover of excellent writing, a creative plot, and a hint of creepiness, then you will LOVE this book!
**I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews. They are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I DO, however, recieve a small commission from Amazon when you purchase a book by clicking on the link above. **