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A Song to Take the World Apart
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A Song to Take the World Apart

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  278 ratings  ·  72 reviews
What if you could make someone love you back, just by singing to them? Fans of Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun and Leslye Walton’s The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender will be captivated by this contemporary love story with hints of magical realism.

Hanging out with Chris was supposed to make Lorelei’s life normal. He’s cooler, he’s older, and he’s in a ba
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.53  · 
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Unfortunately this story was not a hit for me. The description pulled me in, and I thought that the idea of a teenaged Siren was very interesting and unique. However this book turned out to not be anything like I expected and not in a good way.

Overall this story is not bad, it's decent, some people might even say good. But for me I just wanted more. The plot just ended up being so much smaller than I had hoped. I thought it would be about a teenaged girl coming to grips with a newly discovered
A Song to Take the World Apart was a novel that caught my eye as soon as I saw the cover. I looked into the book a little further by reading the synopsis and that was where I was really hooked. All signs in the synopsis pointed to this one being about sirens. It also had elements of magical realism which made me wary as I hadn’t enjoyed much within that genre previously, but this novel has made me sure that the issue with those novels themselves, and not the genre at all.

It was almost scary how
This reminded me of a nice blend of Nova Ren Suma's and Sarah McCarry's prose, with the literary-story feel of Elana K Arnold's INFANDOUS. I don't get the Jandy Nelson comparison, since the prose here is actually quite understated.

This is a book about (view spoiler). I kinda saw it coming from miles away, since I'm familiar with the above-named authors, but I enjoyed the ride. Lorelei is a great character,
Eva • All Books Considered
Review originally posted at All Books Considered: 3 STARS

This started off so good! I really liked the feel of this when I first started reading it but that feeling was a bit misleading. I liked Lorelei as a Sophomore with a crush on Chris, the lead singer of a local band (and a Senior at her high school). I liked her anticipation of going to shows and of little interactions with Chris in the hallway. The real problem with this book was when the magical realism started to happen. This book is
mad mags
A book about first loves, female power, and consent (spoiler alert: there is none in love spells).

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.)

"No one remembers when it was that our ancestors first found their way out of the sea. It seems now that all human life might have begun there, and that makes sense to me: that the womb of the world is water and salt. But I am speaking more specifically about a kind of ancestor that not everyone on this earth shares. An
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-faves
I finished this book on the plane to Minnesota, and it was honestly the perfect thing to read while travelling (super compelling but not very dense). I love Zan, I'm a HUGE fan of "Grace and the Fever" and I've been wanting to read this book for a while. I just adore the way Zan talks about music and sound. It's breathtaking and something I will never forget about her writing. What I loved most about this book was how there was an underlying feeling of unease throughout the whole thing, so that ...more
Stephanie (Bookfever)
I didn't like A Song to Take the World Apart all that much, but I won't deny the uniqueness of it. And it's this uniqueness that is this story's strong suit, in my opinion. But even so, for me, it fell a little flat.

I just don't know what my thoughts are about Lorelei. Do I like her, don't I like her? I'm really not sure, even now that a couple of days have passed since I finished this book. I do have to say I liked her romance with Chris to a certain point.

Most of the story was rather vague an
Nick Fagerlund
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A story about a teenage siren who Makes Some Mistakes.

I liked this. It's overheated and bombastic in the way a story about dumbass teenage first love kind of has to be, but it has an admirable... hmm, I might need a word other than "restraint," here. "Economy," maybe — it's un-redundant, and resists the temptation to waste your time.

Here's my review: I wasn't really in the mood for this kind of book when I read it, but it was so well done that I loved it anyway.
Tanya Grech Welden
A beautifully written title, with consistently delectable language, there is a lot to like about this book. I always enjoy a Contemporary with a touch of the paranormal and this did not fail to disappoint. Romanoff manages to engage with the serious issues of love and belonging in a fresh way that will certainly captivate a YA audience. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review.
As I said on Twitter: Hot DAMN.
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an absolutely gorgeously written book, like a lyrical, modern fairytale. Highly recommended for all those with an interest in myths and music, or a love of poetic language.
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jenna (Falling Letters)
Review originally published 13 September 2016 at Falling Letters. I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley.

I have to admit, I was completely baited in to read this book by the comparisons to I'll Give You the Sun and The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender . Those novels are two of my favourites in young adult, a category I'm very picky about. I didn't expect A Song to Take the World Apart to stand up to those two books, but if it was even just a bit like the two, th
Emily Perkovich
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
The idea behind this story was beautiful. I was only disappointed in the lack of connection built between the reader and the characters/relationships. I was actually far more invested in the relationship between Lorelei and her best friend than in most of the other characters or details of the book, which was made doubly strange by the fact that there is little building of the character of Zoe, anyway. I felt in love with their friendship, but didn’t care much at all about either of them as peop ...more
Devera Chandler
4.5 Stars
One sitting read. Could not put it down.
I LOVE mythical lore creatures. Even better? A family of Sirens! Sometimes their ability is put to poor use, but is that because they are young or they don't understand how to use their ability for good? YES. This book is intriguing and interesting and I love and hate the characters (as you're supposed to)!
Faye Ridpath
I received this book for free from Goodreads First Reads.

This book says it is meant for readers twelve and up. However, there is a lot of content that I don't feel is appropriate for a twelve year old.

Having said that, I have to say I loved the premise of this book.

I would definitely read more by this author.
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magical-realism, 2
All love spells are curses. To make someone feel what they don’t, and do things they wouldn’t. To take a person’s body, his mind. What else could you call it? Of course it was a curse.

— Very intriguing premise but terribly executed. I couldn't care less about the characters and the plot's very mehhhh.
Damn. Really fucking good. (If you need me, I'll be over here doing needlepoint or baking or anything other than writing because I clearly have no idea what I'm doing.) ...more
Instalove, so extraordinarily badly. Good story, otherwise.
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
BRAVA. I can't wait until may for Grace and the Fever! ...more
Alyssa Palombo
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful, lyrical novel tinged with magic and saturated with music and its power.
Alexis Stankewitz
Dec 19, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I started skimming 30 percent of the way in... just no.
May 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Part magic, part realistic fiction YA, this was a book that made me think about the power of choices we make, what we do with the things we can control—even in extraordinary circumstances.
Yasmin Yassin
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book's great.
I usually don't read these types of books, but recently, I've been in the teen's section a lot.
This one's pretty much for teenagers, about facing hardships you'll just have to face head-on to get rid of.
Lorelei spends most of her life just accepting everything that was told to her, never questioning it. When she got the freedom to think for herself, all the desires she'd never let herself think about become attainable. She goes kind of crazy with the power, then recoils and tri
Sophomore Lorelei has lived a very quiet life in her suburban California home. From the time she can remember, there has never been music or singing in her house and her German grandmother has warned her never to sing. When she and her best friend Zoe deceive their parents and head to a concert given by The Trouble, a local band, headlined by Chris Paulson, a senior on whom she's crushing, Lorelei can't resist singing a line back to him as she departs. Anyone familiar with mythology will recogni ...more
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
*Actual rating is a 3.5*

Earlier this summer I read and loved Romanoff's other novel, Grace and the Fever, so I had to get my hands on this one. The magical realism of A Song to Take the World Apart was very well done. Lorelei's struggles with her powers felt as believable and real as her friend troubles. The portrayal of sirens was fresh and it was neat to read a book that used a myth that's often overlooked.

Romanoff's writing made this story for me. Her descriptions of music gave me a great se
Alyssa Gil
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I didn't know what to expect going into this, but it absolutely blew me away. I'm really surprised to see that this doesn't have a very high average rating on here, because it's amazing.

The writing was so beautiful and I was so absorbed in the story that I had a hard time putting this down, and even though I wanted to find out what happened, I didn't want it to end.

This book has so much going for it on top of the writing as well. It's about first love, family, friendship, and music, among other
There was so much I liked about this book and so much that I also found so cliche. I loved the family relationships and the friendship between Zoe and Lorelei. I wasn't a huge fan of Lorelei and Chris's instant love even if it was because of the plot. I wasn't a huge fan either of how Jackson treated Lorelei or how the LGBTQ romance that takes place in a side plot was handled so flimsy. I know the book wasn't about those two characters as main but still.

I did also love all the music stuff and pe
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017-read
Another modern update to an old story, only it didnt work well. Loreeli is a teenager who has been forbidden to sing. Noone will tell her why. She is raised by her grandmother even though her parents are in the house too. After grandma dies, she begins to question her heritage and why singing is forbidden. This story makes references to the greek myth about sirens. This reference was not done well and weiged the plot down. So defying her family she does sing and it affects Chris her boyfriend. T ...more
Louise Tripp
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know why it took me so long to finish this book other than the fact that I was reading other (faster paced) books at the same time. But I loved the writing and this was a really killer novel to be a debut (at least, I think it was the author’s first). It’s so gorgeous, full of dreamy magical realism and insights on the near-mystical quality of first love. I stumbled on it in a stack of ARCs and I am so glad I picked it up. Definitely worth the read.
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b. Los Angeles, 1987

I write about food, feminism, television, and books. Oh, right, and teenagers.

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