Published by St. Martin's Griffin on March 11, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Romantic, Young Adult
Sexual Content: Kissing, implied sexual situations
Reviewed by: Kate
A young soprano enrolls in a remote music academy where nothing, not even her mysterious young vocal coach, is as it seems
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.
Lyrical, gothic, and magical, Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule will captivate and enchant readers.
Almost like a fairy tale, STRANGE SWEET SONG has a rather ethereal quality to it. Reading it felt like looking at an old photograph, where not everything is in focus, but the composition is intriguing and makes you want to keep looking at it more. While not perfect, STRANGE SWEET SONG was an enjoyable, different read.
In STRANGE SWEET SONG, Rule created a back-story so realistic that I found myself looking it up later, to see if it was actually true (to save you the trouble: it’s not). It was easy to get caught up in the story, watching as it slowly unfolded. Told from multiple viewpoints, spanning large periods of time, I almost found some of the plots that were parallel to Sing’s more interesting. The unfortunate part about this is that I felt like sometimes there was a little too much, and some of the plot lines could have added more than they did. Since sometimes I felt like things were brought up then forgotten, those probably could have been left out. And like I mentioned, the story unfolds slowly, due to the multiple viewpoints and it takes a while to get into it.
Once past the beginning though, STRANGE SWEET SONG is quite the unique story, with very realistic characters, a tense romance and a nice paranormal mystery aspect. With all of that going on, it is hard to not be dragged into the book, and once there, you’ll find it’s hard to put down. Sing is a fascinatingly imperfect heroine, and watching her try to find herself throughout the course of the story, other than the child of famous parents, is a gratifying journey. At times awkward and even mean, Sing isn’t your typical heroine, and I really appreciated that.
STRANGE SWEET SONG is a stand alone book, from what I can tell, and while not exactly a “happily ever after” it was definitely a happy for now, something that I very much enjoyed about it. STRANGE SWEET SONG was exactly that - strange and sweet - and was certainly different than many YA novels I’ve read recently. If you like stories with boarding schools, love/hate romance storylines, or music, I would definitely check this out.Series Titles: