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Strange Sweet Song

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,081 ratings  ·  232 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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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,081 ratings  ·  232 reviews

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Cristina Monica
Mar 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
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 ther
Khanh, first of her name, mother of 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
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting and unusual. Sing is a character that intrigued me straight away- the daughter of a famous (dead) opera singer, grappling to escape or maybe embrace her mother's shadow. There's a music school, mysterious woods, a mythological cat-like creature, a mysterious boy. It all came together really well and I was impressed with Adi Rule's writing. I will be reading more books by her for sure.

Possible mild spoiler to follow...

I was confused for a little while, because I didn't pay close eno
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 read
Steysha Kravits
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 st
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
Jodi Meadows
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-blurbed
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
Shāfiya Mū
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Strange Sweet Song came to me in February’s BookCase.Club subscription box. I picked it up, skimmed the synopsis, and found myself eager to sit down and dive right into it. Classical music has been one of my most favored things in life since I was a child. I grew up watching a prodigy take my breath away and I even play an array of instruments myself. So the notion that there was a book out there with a setting that basked in it, positively had my attention upon first sight.

In this book, you ha
Elliot A
May 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites, ya
As an avid reader, I am always searching for new books to read with unique story lines and interesting characters.

For quite a few months Goodreads kept recommending Strange Sweet Song and after reading the synopsis multiple times over these few months, I finally decided to purchase the book and give it a try.

My hesitation stemmed from the fact that it involved music. I appreciate music just like any other person and my piano lessons are going splendidly; however, my last experience with voice
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars
This book was really good for what I thought it was going to be. I have never read any books by Adi Rule before so I was unsure on how her writing style was going to be before a I read this book. I was recommended this book by one of my friends and she really liked it when she read it so I thought I would give it a try. This book I have too say was really different from what I have read before or am reading right now, but I like books that are written different from others because it mak

I don't know, man. This book has a wish granting feral space cat. That's pretty awesome.
Dark Faerie Tales
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 moth
Molly Strzelecki
Sep 07, 2018 added it
Shelves: dnf
DNF on page 50

I wasn't really enjoying this book. Like I just didn't want to pick it up and read it. So I DNFed it because I didn't want to waste my time if I'm not enjoying it.
Once upon a time, a composer went walking in the woods and was inspired to write an opera about farmers, a prince, and a mystical wish-granting beast that lives in the forest. A hundred years later, Sing da Navelli, daughter of the late super-soprano Barbara da Navelli and world-famous conductor Ernesto, finds herself enrolled in a conservatory in that same woods and competing for the lead in that same opera -- her very favorite. But there is still a beast that prowls the forest, and a mystery i
Michelle Wrona
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.

Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, arc
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
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more
This is written in 3rd person present, and I hate that. HATE that.
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Oh my goodness!

This book is phenomenal!
Such a great standalone with magic and intrigue and the perfect blend of love, mystery and personal growth
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 01, 2014 rated it liked it

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
Mari Jaye
2015: reread... I didn't think it was possible to love this book more, but I do. I am not a re-reader, but I think second time around I enjoyed this book more than the first. It's the writing, the themes, the plot, the romance - it's everything. And what I gave 4 stars in 2014, I give 5 stars this year. I wrote that I experienced a lull the first time, but today I thought, what lull? I can't say enough about it...


2014: This is just pure, beautiful, fairy-tale-esque magical realism at its
This was an odd choice book for me. It was a book that hinted at supernatural happenings but doesn't actually include any of that in the story.

The story actually focuses on a main character, Sing and her selfish need to better her music career while at this musical boarding school. She annoyed me mainly because she feels as though her parental influence will allow her to get ahead in life and comes into the school expecting to be treat like she's on a higher level to anyone else.

There are some
Crystal Lisbon
May 07, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is your standard mythical teen fare in many ways. However, the author really shines when exploring the world of music and the pressure on many "prodigy" performers; and the world of classical music. I found myself more interested in that story, and less interested in some of the more mythical and romantic aspects of the plot. A really wonderful first outing though; I'll be curious to see what she writes next.
A Bear and a Bee Books
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a little bit gothic and strangely enchanting. I was enjoying the book throughout but it was the last third that captured my heart. This book deals with grief, loss, acceptance and love. When a book gets me to shed tears, I know that the story has fully come to life for me.
Jan 01, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
I hated the main character, but perhaps only because she is a teenager? A privileged whiny teen. Perhaps it’s unfair to rate when I already know I can’t be dealing with fake problems on my books right now.
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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.

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