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Strange Sweet Song

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  581 ratings  ·  161 reviews
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
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Dec 02, 2014 Lola rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Not recommended, unfortunately.
This book…

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.


It took me seven hours to read this book. Seven LOST hours. I didn’t feel like DNFing another book so I read it, yes, but…

I didn’t even get the point of the story until the very last page. Then, I was like oh okay, nice. I felt like it pretty much only went round and round and was VERY repetitive.

Sing is the daughter of a death opera singer celebrity. She’s newly sent at a music boarding school where she meets new friends, enemies and love, of course.

May I say that there
Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)
Actual rating: 3.5
She understands, now, the dangerous, intoxicating quality of a leading role. It is as though she is the worst sort of dictator—callous and terrible and omnipotent. She wears the orchestra like a silk train, perfectly attached. Her voice fills the theater.
Sing da Navelli is a singer, an opera singer. She has a horrible name. She knows she has a horrible name. Please don't hold it against her---or this book. That's what you get when your father is a world-famous conductor and y
Wendy Darling
I like cat-smiles. <3

This is such an odd, lovely little book. The usual magic and mystery at a boarding school, a most unfortunately named heroine, a romance that creeps steadily up on you, and incredibly strange, touching bird/cat POVs! None of it should work, and yet it does. The pacing was a bit uneven, and at times I wished for a bit more from certain scenes, but overall, a really wonderful debut. You might like this if you enjoyed Blythewood.

Kim's review is the one that persuaded me to r
Steysha Kravits
So Gothic, I loved it! The book is so athmospheric with it`s forests, old buildings and scary creatures lurking in the shadows.

And the music! I`m fascinated by how the author describes the musicians - their skills and passions. With music on the background, the romance of Nat and Sing becomes more interesting, more special.

For me, this book is unique, I`ve never heard such a story before: about opera music and magic Cats from the Sky called Felix. I loved it from the first page, and the story
I’m really stingy about giving out five stars these days, in fact, it’s why I started my re-read project back in 2013. The idea was to go back and see if I’d given books five stars because they actually deserved it, or because I’d been swayed by an emotional response or another reviewer’s opinion. Needless to say, I’ve been cleaning house– not because these books weren’t good, but because they no longer meet the standards I have ascribed to a five star rating. There are really only two: 1) Do I ...more
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
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
Nika (Off to Neverland)
A unique book that took me by complete surprise.

When I first read the storyline, I thought for sure this was going to be some kind of Beauty & the Beast retelling. A school near the forest, a beast that lives in the forest, and a mysterious boy. I thought to myself "I know what's going to happen." Pat to the shoulder; nothing gets by me. But by the end of the first couple chapters I'd realized that I was completely out of the ball park.

The beast is really a beast, called the Felix. It's cons
Jodi Meadows
Official comments:
Like an enchanting melody, Adi Rule’s STRANGE SWEET SONG slipped into my soul and colored my thoughts long after the final phrase. This is a tale of true stories, true selves, and true love. I will never be the same.

Nemo (the Moonlight Library)
Strange Sweet song is the beautiful story of a young soprano coming to terms with her opera star mother’s death, her famous conductor father’s plans for her, and discovering her own identity amongst the gothic conservatory of Durhammond, where her favourite opera Angelique was inspired and written.

The soprano’s name is Sing, but don’t hold that against her. She knows it’s stupid, we know it’s stupid, the author knows it’s stupid. It is at once a name and a command, a promise of her future, given
Michelle Arrow
DNF @ 75 pages.

First, I'd like to give a shoutout to Lola who also hated this book. We're two black sheep for this book!

This book was horrible. Disgusting, even. I honestly don't want to diss it too much, but I feel like I just have to. I hated this book and it was so unenjoyable that I want to throw the book out of the tallest building in the world.

I got to 75 pages, and then I realized that this book wasn't going to get anywhere because it's just not for me. It was about this girl Sing.

I picked this up at NetGalley even though I'm finding myself tired of the genre. I should have listened to myself instead of thinking this might be different. 50 pages in, and I don't care. I get the point that Sing really wants to sing Angelique and be the best of the best as an arriving Freshman at an elite academy (ego, anyone?). I really get it. That's about all I get so far. Aside from a mysterious character who showed up on the roof, there's been nothing else except for talking about audit ...more
Ella Zegarra
También en: El Extraño Gato del Cuento

DEOS MEOW. ¿No te ha tocado ese libro que dices “esto no me va a gustar” y luego “¿YA SE ACABÓ, YA, ASÍ, NO HAY MÁS?”? Me acaba de pesar con Sweet Strange Song. Inmediatamente al terminar lo único que me vino a la cabeza fue: “Pussssha ¿y ahora como reseño esto?”. Estoy segura que si fuera de las que hace video reseñas todo lo que sería de la reseña de Sweet Strange Song sería yo agitando el libro haciendo sonidos que no se considerarían humanos.

La única ref
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Strange Sweet Song was a richly imaginative world with beautifully, lyrically written words that captured my attention from page one. Sing’s voice is so strong and introspective.

Opening Sentence: If you had been there that night, the night it happened, you might not have noticed.

The Review:

Sing da Navelli has famous parents in the music world, and she hopes to follow their footsteps and use her enchanting voice to captivate audiences as her
I just finished the brilliant debut novel, STRANGE SWEET SONG, by Adi Rule. The vibrant book sits at my side now. I’ve been carrying it around with me, reluctant to shelve it. It’s still resonating.
Sing da Navelli has no idea of the dangers she will face when she enters Dunhammond Conservatory of music hidden deep in the forested mountains. She’s there to sing, and hopefully win the lead role in her favorite opera, Angelique. But her true voice only comes alive when she enters the forbidden for

This is a very unusual story. The first chapter is absolutely amazing. It then turned a little rocky for me, with alternating chapters from the POV of (1) mysterious characters whose story does not become clear for a good while into the book; (2) the Felix, a magical other-dimensional space-cat beast that haunts the northern woods; and (3) Sing, told in third person-present tense, which kept me very distant from her and irritated the heck out of me for at least the first 50 pages of the book. I
This is just pure, beautiful, fairy-tale-esque magical realism at its finest. A must read! Containing gorgeous elements such as a music academy for the gifted, tucked away in the American wilderness, within a dark pine forest that contains a mythical beast...or is it mythical? I loved the unexpected romance that blossomed between Sing and ... I shall just say a fellow musician ;) I also loved the personal growth and development Sing undergoes, choosing her soul over success. I loved the feeling ...more
For more reviews visist The Book Landers

What a stunning debut novel! Adi "Rules" the pages with Strange Sweet Song. This is one of those books that start off good and just keeps getting better and better as the plot moves on. It's kind of like getting hypnotized and getting drawn into the story the more you my case, I started this book thinking it was okay/good. Maybe 3-4 stars at that point.

And then...halfway through the book, I began to realize Hey, this is actually really quite goo

This was a beautifully written story. The romance was very sweet, the story was fantastical, and the ending was pretty amazing. The pacing lacked a just a tad for me but for the most part it was a very exciting read.

Sing is a singer. Her mother was a famous soprano and her father a famous conductor. She is off to boarding school for musical talent. A very famous music conservatory. The school was once occupied by the author of her favorite opera, the opera her mother had the lead for when she d
This was a really beautiful book and with such a different story from everything that I've read before!

This is the story of Sing da Navelli, a young talented soprano singer, daughter of the most famous and talented parents (soprano and orchestra conductor) and that starts in a new prestigious (and mysterious) school for young talents.

The book follows two intertwined plots, at first you won't be sure how the two will be mixed or the relevance of each story in the other, but they are mixed in quit
I got a copy of this book through NetGalley for review. This was a beautiful novel involving music, magic and a dark mystery surrounding the music school that our heroine attends.

Throughout the book we hear from four main POVs. The first is that of Song, a teenage girl whose mother was a famous opera singer. Song is excited to be at this prestigious music school, Dunhammond Conservatory, and desperate to prove herself. Everyone wants her to be a replacement for her mother who died during a perfo
I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this book, and let me tell you, it was incredible. I am someone who has no musical skills and definitely no interest in opera, and still I found myself COMPLETELY sucked in to the world Adi Rule has created--a remote conservatory with a touch of magical stuff going on.

The writing is impeccable on the sentence level--the author really uses all of the senses to make the reader experience the wintry setting and hear the beautiful music being played and
More like 4.5 stars. This is lovely, incredibly bittersweet, and absolutely begging for dramatic, sad background music.

The setting - winter in a secluded boarding school where budding young musicians go to learn and perform, with a mysterious past, a creepy forest, a mythical beast...

And a romance that I fell in love with.

A well developed romance that provides more than "You're hot, so I really like you." A romance that have characters, you know, actually interacting with one another. One that i
I really liked this book, though it's a little strange.

I don't know what it is that made me think the book is a little odd: maybe it's the fact that it's narrated in the present, or that you also get to read the Felix' point of view. But it's probably mostly how the fantasy side fits in the book: somehow I feel that the psichological drama of Sing's life would be enough to have a great book, without the supernatural part. (view spoiler)
I'm a bit torn on my rating/review for this one, because there is a lot I liked and a lot that confused me. I LOVED all the descriptions of music and the enclave of this classical music boarding school that Rule creates - as a classical musician myself, it was something that I was familiar with and that interested me and felt authentic.

I was very confused by the set up in the early chapters, by the link between the two storylines (before they meet) and the story of the Felix. It all does become
Overall, I liked the story. There were just a few things i had a problem with. Like Sing going after a guy that she knew was a bad idea. Said guy being kinda likable was kind of interesting. And what I mean is that whenever she wrote about him being around, he seemed like a decent and nice guy. It's basically just things that are said to her (and him cheating) that make him terrible. Now, I don't understand how in any world someone goes around from one girl to the next and starts
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

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
Helen (The Book Tree)
Over all I thought that the story was very interesting. I loved getting to read a story that was so centred around music. I found the writing, for the most part to be beautiful and poetic. The only problem that I personally had with the storytelling was that sometimes it was hard to follow what was happening. The chapters jump between points of view very often, and sometimes it just became a little bit confusing.

The only character I am going to talk about in great detail
I want to start off this review by saying that I am convinced that Rule’s novel was significantly influenced by Phantom of the Opera. (I actually have an interview with Rule coming up soon on the blog, and I am asking her about it!) Now, I’m unsure of which version she was mostly influenced by, but Gaston LeRoux’s novel has a lot more of the horror factors in it, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical is centered around the love story.

So I’m inclined to say that the musical interpretation had a littl
Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule tells the story of Sing as she starts at a music conservatory and gets pulled into a world where creatures from stories have come alive even though she’s just trying to get the lead role in the upcoming school opera. The fantasy elements of Strange Sweet Song are pulled from a fabled opera written by the conservatory’s founder and the setting evokes imagery of mist-covered woods and bright eyes shining in the dark. If you enjoy stories involving music and singing, ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 03, 2015 05:42PM  
  • Mistwalker
  • The Nightmare Dilemma (The Arkwell Academy, #2)
  • Promise of Shadows
  • The Mirk and Midnight Hour
  • The Glass Casket
  • Beware the Wild
  • Of Metal and Wishes (Of Metal and Wishes, #1)
  • Dark Metropolis (Dark Metropolis, #1)
  • In the Shadows
  • Such Sweet Sorrow
  • Crown Of Ice
  • A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy, #1)
  • Banished (The Blackhart Legacy, #1)
  • Otherbound
  • Sing Sweet Nightingale (The Dream War Saga, #1)
  • Plus One
  • Stray (Four Sisters, #1)
  • Trail of Shadows and Blood (A Tale So Dark & Grimm, #1)
Adi Rule earned her MFA in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.
More about Adi Rule...
Redwing The Hidden Twin

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“Sometimes I worry that belief and hope are the same thing, and that truth is something else entirely.” 6 likes
“Her parents could have named her Aria, or Harmonia, or Tessitura, or a hundred other clever names that would have alluded to her ancestry. But they weren't for her, these names that roll or sparkle or play or simply proclaim, I am normal!
No, it was Sing. A name and a command.”
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