Title: Strange Sweet Song
Author: Adi Rule
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pub. Date: March 11, 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Rec. Age Level: 14+
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When Sing da Navelli is offered a place at the prestigious Dunhammond Conservatory, an elite boarding school for talented musicians, she resolves to live up to her name. Sing, both blessed and cursed with an expectant command of a name, grew up surrounded by music and the pressure to be as musically gift as her great, musically renowned parents. Dunhammond offers Sing a chance at greatness, but she knows that there's something missing - from her voice and from her heart - as she sings, a shortcoming her vocal coach, the dark, brooding Nathan Daysmoor never fails to highlight. The void in her voice coupled with her insecurity lose her the lead role in the conservatory's reproduction of Angelique, a darkly fantastic opera inspired by Dunhammond and the gothic landscape. Sing has always been drawn to the opera, but she never imagined that the darkly dangerous story it tells could hold any truth... until now. Myth and reality blur and legend becomes truth in this compelling novel from Adi Rule. Soaring magical realism, STRANGE SWEET SONG will captivate readers until the final, lingering lines.
I almost overlooked STRANGE SWEET SONG. The cover is beautiful and I am drawn to it, but it features another girl in a flowing dress... so, despite the fact that it's beautiful, I wrote it off and nearly moved on. Then, I read the synopsis and my love for boarding school mysteries got the best of me - thank goodness!
One of the most notable aspects of STRANGE SWEET SONG is how gorgeous the writing is and the overall story. The premise described in the description is interrupted throughout the novel by short chapters from the point of view of the deadly creature that stalks Dunhammond, a creature that has always been considered a fanciful legend. I loved these chapters; the creature is complex and dark yet, somehow, I found myself drawn to it as I tried to figure out its intentions and motivations.
Though it isn't clearly mentioned in the synopsis, STRANGE SWEET SONG also features a romance. I went into the novel unaware of this storyline, but it ended up being one of my favorite elements of the novel. It has a starcrossed lovers vibe happening that was really engaging.
Don't let the cliched cover of STRANGE SWEET SONG deter you - this one is not to be missed!