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A Song for Ella Grey
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A Song for Ella Grey

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  1,617 ratings  ·  380 reviews

Winner of the Guardian children's book prize 2015

I'm the one who's left behind. I'm the one to tell the tale. I knew them both... knew how they lived and how they died.

Claire is Ella Grey's best friend. She's there when the whirlwind arrives on the scene: catapulted into a North East landscape of gutted shipyards; of high arched bridges and ancient collapsed mines. She wi

Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Published October 2nd 2014 by Hodder Children's Books
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Jasmine I kinda wished that too, because the whole "author's note" gave away the whole story for me. If it was at the end, maybe I would've finished the book.…moreI kinda wished that too, because the whole "author's note" gave away the whole story for me. If it was at the end, maybe I would've finished the book. But I already knew the ending and everything coming, so I decided not to read it. :/(less)
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Average rating 3.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,617 ratings  ·  380 reviews

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Es Summer

A song for Ella Grey reads like a dream melting into another dream.
It is otherworldly and infused with a lot of imaginary aspects. However, it still feels realistic.
Poetic prose is woven into this original story, making it feel more like a long, dreamlike poem than a real novel.

"I wanted to be with Ella, only Ella.
But she loved being with the others, not having to try too hard with anybody or anything.
Being lovely, dreamy Ella, singing along, dreaming along.
It was like she wasn't there, not r
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, 2014
Also posted at Sporadic Reads

A Song For Ella Grey is a sort of retelling of the tragic love story of Orpheus and Eurydice. If you're not familiar with their story, well, here's the gist : Eurydice is dead, and she is in the underworld. Orpheus is in despair, and would do anything to get her back. He journeys through hell, makes a deal with death. He is to guide Eurydice back to the light, but he can not turn to look at her until they are out of hell. When they are finally at the mouth of hell, O
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-books
I received this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was…surreal. It just seemed like it was trying to hard to be meaningful. Don’t get me wrong there were some beautiful quotes in there but sometimes it just felt like too much. The plot was confusing and I just didn't understand what was happening most of the time. I know it’s based off of a Greek myth but it just felt all over the place and the ending just didn't make sense to me. I enjoyed the story at the beginning
Eleanor Toland
WOW! *starry eyes* I had a high hopes for this book, because how could a retelling of the myth of Orpehus and Eurydice set in Northumberland, written by modern-day William Blake David Almond not be amazing? And the resulting novel turned out even better than I hoped. Almond's style brings a brutal, beautiful immediacy to this re-contextualisation of a timeless myth. This is what an urban fantasy should be: "The Earthly and the Divine", as one character puts it fused together to the diminishment ...more
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe poets get to you best when you're sort of dreaming, when you're hardly there at all.

As well as being a beautiful retelling of the myth of Orpheus, A Song for Ella Grey reads like a love letter to all our eternal forms of story-telling: music, myth, poetry, art...
Colleen Houck
This book was so different from every other YA book I've ever read, I'm still thinking about it. A unique take on the Orpheus myth. I loved how the black pages were inserted into the body of the book. The format was so interesting and unique. I'm left with the thought at the end that I wished I could have heard him sing too. ...more
The premise of this one sounded really great. but once I was reading it I felt like I was force feed cheerfulness from the characters, and things like a girl falling in love with a guy who never even looks at her... nope. I have to be honest and say that this chacrater says or thinks she is telling sth that has yet to happen, as if she sees the future or sth, but anyway, I wasn't sold onto the story. ...more
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As much as I wanted to, I just could not seem to connect with this story. The odd random dialect and the attempt to update an old story just seemed to take away from the storyline I knew and loved. I typically love retellings but maybe this one just had bad timing
Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

What can I say? This book is a retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice's romance but it is viewed through the eyes of third person. The original mythology was tragic and this was too. Ella and Claire are thick as thieves. They are more than best friends --- they're soul mates. But then Ella falls in love and Claire can't help but fade into the background as Ella dives into a whirlwind love affair with Orpheus. Th
Jun 12, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
the writing wasn't for me at all, I knew after 50 pages that I would definitely not connect with the characters or the love story ...more
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A SONG FOR ELLA GREY is an achingly beautiful and haunting story. The writing is exquisite. The words are poetry. The love story is fragile and tender and heartbreaking. It is mesmerizing. It is breathtaking. It is so very, very tragic. And so very, very sad.

This modern retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice has a lovely, ethereal quality to it. While set in the present, the story and characters feel timeless. Experiencing Orpheus and Ella’s love story through Ella’s friend Claire Wilkins
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-genre
Ok... How to start this review... Well, I've known the tale of Orpheus & Euridice since I've been a child. I've always been fascinated with greek mythology and its stories. And I am always strongly inclined to buy and read any experimental re-writing of these famous tales. So when I came across A SONG FOR ELLA GREY in my local Waterstones, I had to buy it.

Unfortunately, this re-telling only broke my heart. It's a bit messy. Boring. Unfinished. Not clear as where this story is heading. I had to
Aksel Dadswell
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s probably going to crass and generic and lazy of me to say this, but A Song for Ella Grey really is a song. A beautiful lilting bittersweet one that forced me to read it all, gulp the whole thing down in practically one sitting. It just moves along so easily. It’s glossy but it doesn’t gloss over anything. It gets to the hearts of the characters with its brief, lingering, airy prose. This is my first David Almond, and after experiencing his deft touch with language and setting and character ...more
Review in Bulgarian:

''A Song for Ella Grey'' by David Almond's poetic and colorful book that fills the reader inside. Written in a very powerful way, it's just like a song with its own captivating melody - sometimes turbulent, sometimes gentle. A melody that drives away the darkness and it's like a gateway to a vast world, a world beyond our reach.
A powerful way of writing which fills the reader inside. Fate, love as ancient as the universe and sinfully b
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my word - this book is beautiful! It is sure to be on the Carnegie short list. It has a mythical quality reminiscent of Sedgwick's Midwinterblood, but far more dreamlike in quality. It is a modern re telling of the story of Orpheous and Eurydice. As with Almond's earlier story Skellig you are never sure which parts of this are dream and which reality. This all adds to the dreamlike quality of the book. You will finish this reluctantly with the dream still clinging to you. A must have, must re ...more
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
The retelling of the myth of Eurydice and Orpheus in modern England weaves in subtle magic as the author has done so well in earlier books. It is realistic and quite sexy, but an atmosphere of the supernatural pervades the story of the doomed lovers.
Well. Wow. I didn't enjoy that. At all. More coherent thoughts about the book on Cuddlebuggery sometime soon. ...more
Children's Book Chat
It’s hard to know where to begin with A Song For Ella Grey. As a reading experience, it really is quite unique.

The premise for the book catches your attention from the beginning; it is a modern reinterpretation of the myth Orpheus and Eurydice, from the perspective, not of one of the ill-fated lovers, but of a third party.
When I’m looking for a new read, the elements I look for invariably include beautiful but relatable escapism, and, depending on my mood, a heavy dose of realistic tragedy. All
Joana Felício
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites

I got this ebook from Netgalley in return of an honest review.
I went into this book not knowing what to expect, at all. I had never heard of the author or one of his books, so I really went into it blind. For that reason, I was so pleasantly surprised with what I encountered. As soon as I started reading it, I couldn't put it down...
While I was reading it, I didn't know where I was, who I was and what people around me were sayin
Daisy May Johnson
I think sometimes that if I were asked to direct somebody to one author in all of British children's literature, right here, right now, then that author would be David Almond. Sometimes, yes, the shifts of the question and of the person asking and of their purpose in asking would change my response, but unerringly I come back to David Almond. Often, always. His books are anchors and I cleave to them, hand-fast for life.

I have written about David Almond before; rapturously so. A Song For Ella Gr
Debbie Gascoyne
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, favorites, 2016, fave
Magnificent. This is an extraordinary piece of writing: haunting, beautiful, achingly sad but completely unsentimental. Watch out, because I'm going to be pushing this novel to everyone I know now. It's hard in a way, having read what I suspect will be the best book I read in 2016 in the first week of January.

I read it in one almost completely uninterrupted sublime gulp. You can read it quickly, because you get swept away by the power and rhythmic force of the language, but you will also want to
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the book Ella Grey.
It was full of twists and turns and was such a page turner.
Once I started the book, I literally couldn't put it down.
This book is by an amazing author called David Almond and is about a girl called Claire who is in high school.
It talks about her best friend Ella Grey, and every difficulty that comes in play was never expected. It is such a cliff hanger and is very well written.
Ella Grey first hears her one and only love on Claire's phone, and is in love with him ever
Erik Fazekas
amazing, Amazing, AMAZING BOOK!!!
This was my Firts David Almond book, and IT WAS MINDBLOWINGLY BEAUTIFUL.
I am sure this book is not for everyone, and it is not supposed to be read when you want to read just another book... No you have to get into right mindset for this book. (That's the reason for such low ratings).
I could tell you what this book is about, but I would be telling you a lot more than you need to know to read this book. Just get into it. It is really beautiful, both the words an
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was given to me by the publisher for review.

David Almond has both a Printz winner and a Printz Honor book under his belt, but I have admittedly never heard of him. Printz-winning or honored novels have a good chance of being used in school–I had to read Printz winners Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and Monster and Printz Honor novel/hotbed of stupid controversies Speak is also used in classes–but aren’t necessarily memorable. Look at this l
A Song for Ella Grey is a modern retelling of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice.

Claire and Ella are best friends who grew up together in Northumberland. On the cusp of their senior year of high school, the two girls make plans to live free and camp on the beach with their group of friends. Their group is known as the "hippies"in their small town. Claire and her friends shops in vintage clothing stores and play instruments. They smoke weed and drink wine; celebrating love and freedom. Everyone,
Galadriel Thoman
*based on an ARC edition

Not being British it took me a little bit to get used to the different way of punctuation and how the author wrote the dialog essentially phonetically (so the characters read in a Northern England accent) but once I got through that I fell in love. This is a book about love. It is a retelling of the Greek tale of Orpheus and Eurydice (Eurydice in this case being our titular Ella Grey) and it is of course about the love between Orpheus and Ella, an insane, magical, cosmic
May 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy, mythology
I wasn't expecting anything... but I wasn't expecting that!

I'll start with what I liked in this book:
- it's a fast read!
-(view spoiler)
- Claire's relationship with Ella (view spoiler)
Jun 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book, like all of Almond's writing, BEAUTIFUL! On the back of my copy it says The Times wrote 'His poetic prose seeps into your blood like word-venom' and I AGREE. I personally didn't find it confusing and I loved all the metaphoric language!! ...more
Feb 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
This is such a difficult book for me to review because I finished it feeling so confused. What did I just read? What point was this book trying to make? I just didn't understand the aim of the storyline at all. A Song for Ella Grey is a retelling of the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice (a fact I didn't realise until after I'd already started reading, and one that explained a little of the weirdness of the story but that didn't help me make sense of it still). Orpheus and Eurydice meet and fall in lo ...more
Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Greek myths lovers
The story of Orpheus going into the Underworld to get back his dead wife is probably a Greek myth that isn't very popular. Or at least, it isn't as popular as the myth of Persephone and Hades, and the book, which gives a light on Orpheus' story, is like a breath of fresh air in this constant stream of Persephone and Hades and Odysseus and the Trojan War and demigods.

Readers may find themselves a little alienate thanks to the dialect. Set in England, the book tells a retelling of Orpheus and the
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David Almond is a British children's writer who has penned several novels, each one to critical acclaim. He was born and raised in Felling and Newcastle in post-industrial North East England and educated at the University of East Anglia. When he was young, he found his love of writing when some short stories of his were published in a local magazine. He started out as an author of adult fiction be ...more

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