Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Strange Sweet Song

I read this book on my sister's recommendation (she's usually pretty spot-on about what books I will like)--and loved it. The author happens to be an agent-sister of my friend and critique partner, Elaine.

Strange Sweet SongThis YA fantasy was unlike most other books I've read. Not simply because it had an unusually haunting, lyrical writing style, but the story itself felt fresh and new.

Sing da Navelli is the daughter of famous musicians, and no one is surprised by her enrollment at the famous Dunhammond conservatory. Except, perhaps Sing herself, who knows that her music is lacking some quality. As she struggles to find her voice and come out of the shadow of her famous, doomed mother, she also becomes increasingly drawn to the woods surrounding Dunhammond conservatory, where the famous Felix beast of legend (and the inspiration for Dunhammond's famous opera) is rumored to live. At the same time, Sing is also intrigued by the brusque and unlikeable apprentice, Nathan Daysmoor, whose gruff exterior seems to conceal more than it reveals.

I loved the way music was woven into the novel, and the way Sing's struggles with music informed both her internal and external journey. I loved the gothic feel of the novel and Sing's sweet relationship with Nathan. I didn't love the parts of the story that were told from the point of view of the Felix, but those were usually small excerpts and I thought Rule did a masterful job of weaving the Felix into the overall storyline.

Definitely a book I would recommend.

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