Author: Ari Rule
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: St. Martin's (March 11, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 3 Stars
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.
This is one of those wonderfully strange but frustrating reads.
The ones that actually keep you up at night wondering what you just read and leave you scratching your head going. “Huh?”
This has a very definite almost goth feel to it. The atmosphere is dark and strange and very mysterious, almost too much so at times.
I admit, it took me awhile, a long while (about half way through) to truly warm up to this book and that might have something to do with the fact that the jump between Sing, the Felix, and George was somewhat confusing. It took me awhile to place them and really catch on. I still am not sure if this was initial or if I am just really slow but it made the first half of the book feel slightly disjointed and me feeling disconnected.
Once I got “it” then the story got a little more interesting and I settled into it much better. I still don't think this will be a book for everyone however, I think it might be one of those, you either love it, hate it, or are completely indifferent to it.
As for which one I am? I still am not sure. I was however, intrigued by it after I got past the rough patch. Did I love it? In a way yes I did. The writing was beautiful and the storyline unique and even lived up to its title as being strange but at the same time, I wish I would have connected with it more. I think if I would have from the very beginning this would have been such a wonderful beautiful story and truly stand out.
Sing was a hard character to love. I wanted to feel for her and all that she was going through but instead I found myself not really caring. The main love interest was...nothing special and certainly not swoon worthy and that didn't help either. I wanted so much more from this story.
It had potential though and in the end I did end up liking it and feeling something for the story other than indifference. In fact I think I felt more for the Felix and Nathan than anyone else and I am not sure if that is what the author intended or not. Again, I am sort of left wondering if I read this right. If I truly got all this story had to offer.
Would I try something else from this author in the future? I think I would because like I said, I see the potential there and I really did want to love this, flaws, confusion in the beginning, and all.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review*