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The Tunes of Lenore

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  34 reviews
It is 2026, and whip-smart sixteen-year-old Ella is used to playing her beloved grandfather’s old fiddle, Lenore, to escape her parents’ constant disagreements about her Dad’s burgeoning pot business. Now that they are finally getting a divorce, she is forced to attend a wilderness boarding school so extreme she has to chop her own wood for hot water. Will sneaking out and ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published February 28th 2019 by JTBlossom (first published 2019)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Tunes of Lenore is a very ambitious book set in the future that delivered well. In this novel, we get to see our protagonist, Ella, adapt to a new surrounding, make new friends and take on more responsibility. We also get to see how insightful Lenore, her fiddle is and get to know her adorable and witty Golden Retriever companion, Jenny.

Ella starts out to be like any teenager these days– critical and curious. As she adjusts to her new school and living situation, she also reshapes how she se
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! This is 100% unlike anything I've ever read before. I felt peaceful inside while reading it and also afterwards. We follow the story of Ella who is 16 and being shipped of to boarding school. It's a unique school out in the boonies with gardens and farm animals and a really laid back hands on setting. She gets to bring her dog with her and her dog Jenny was a former lab dog and has special abilities like sending scents and visual pictures to Ella. And she also has a ...more
Mari LivTollefsonCarlson
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
J.T. Blossom’s, The Tunes of Lenore, sings of a hopeful future.
Ella considers the boarding school her divorcing parents send her to, a prison. Limited wifi, bugs, lots of hard classes with lots of homework, sports, work, chores and a small dating pool - Wandering Pines is a far cry from the cushy life she’s used to in suburban Northern California, 2026. Prison becomes opportunity, though, as Ella immerses herself in her junior project and befriends an eccentric boy who loves his dog and his ins
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review first published on Oh Just Books.

The Tunes of Lenore is a beautiful book encompassing music, physics, dogs, ecology, farming, ranches, mechanics, nature, boarding school, sustainable living, farming, biology, research, and literature. It is a beautifully written book and one that I really enjoyed reading, and I'm sure you would too.

It is set in the not-too-distant future, and environmental protection and ecology make up an important part of the story. Almost like it is an important c
Tony Parsons
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
2026, Harbor Vista. Dad, & Mom had gotten a divorce.
Humboldt. Mr. Wynn Bradley owns a marijuana farm.
His buddies helped with the production/marketing & sales.
Mom pulled her Beamer into the Wandering Pines Academy (boarding school).
Ella Bradley (16, daughter/sister), along with Jenny (dog) unpacked/moved in.
Brandon, with Sybil his python, & Max a Black/white Bernese mountain dog noticed her at the registration table.

Ella was hoping to be in the band & play her grandpa’s German violin Lenore.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Tunes of Lenore is a fascinating look at the near future from the perspective of a young high school student who is sent to a rustic boarding school in rural California. It explores survival and getting along as well as climate issues, animal rights and care issues, population and natural resources. Ella, our protagonist, brings her dog, Jenny, and her violin or fiddle, Lenore, to the school with her. Each is special in their own way, and are important to the development of the story. The wr ...more
Lydian Blossom
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a charming and original coming of age story set in a creative (and somehow sort of plausible?) near future in which animals and humans can communicate, and music can be quite literally transformative. The story is fun, engaging and well written, and manages to also say something important about our relationship to the natural world. Highly recommend.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book and what's not to like. Cute dogs, cute lions and even a magical violin! In the beginning a protesting Ella is being sent to a summer camp -like high school where she lives in a cabin. Students do all the staff work. (Ella picks lettuce.) Like most high school there is a project. Unlike most schools, Ella gets to bring her dog with her. And what a dog. This one has well, don't think this is a spoiler, some extra skills not picked up at your local obedience training class.

Judy Beetem
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Tunes of Lenore is a very unique story that takes place a in California few decades in the future. Things aren't too different, but America has two presidents, global warming has seriously affected the environment, and technology has made some amazing advances, including genetically engineering dogs to make them smarter and able to communicate on a whole different level.

Ella and her mom and Ella's very special dog, Jenny are headed to a new type of boarding school called Wandering Pines. El
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book ~ I got right involved in the main character (Ella) as she dealt with her parents divorce as well as being shipped off to boarding school. But you get to watch her grown, learn and change ~ I love getting to be an observer to a character's internal growth.

The book is set a little bit into the future - 2026. Maybe it's because I'm a little older than the intended reader, but I was a little distracted by some of the "future technology" presented in the book, with, I thou
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-popsugar-rc
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Ella is a bright young lady who ends up going to boarding school while her parents handle their divorce. Jenny is a special dog, she was used in a science experiment to increase intelligence. When she was no longer of use to them the scientists wanted her put down, instead she was rescued by Ella's father and is now Ella's loving and faithful dog with special abil
Jeffrey Lewis
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Being an adolescent in the early 21st century is hard. Our marvelous technological gadgets intended for connection and information leave us feeling disconnected, confused and overwhelmed. The sanest and smartest among us share alarming warnings about dire consequences of our carbon-based economy – while charlatans and the willfully ignorant tell us not to worry. Families fall apart as grown-ups try to find their own ways of making sense of this new world in which there seems to be no ground bene ...more
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall it’s a sweet story with an interesting premise, but I felt like the author was trying too hard, and trying to do too much all at once. It’s futuristic with its hologram presentations and googling/texting/phone glasses, which is fine. The protagonist can understand her dog, fine. Weed quantumly engineered, ummm..... But the dog communicates by sending scents to her? And obscure pictures of art? And honestly, having a teenage boy describe another teenage boy in terms of tarot cards.... Def ...more
James Lake
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From the first pages I found myself entranced by the imaginative and whimsical plot lines of this futuristic allegory about a teenage girl coming of age responding to advice of a magical canine companion who transmits emotionally charged images describing his encounters with the human world and other dogs. In the background of a rustic boarding school Mr. Blossom effectively weaves into the plot compelling memes about global warming, social responsibility and the simple joys of adolescent friend ...more
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good summer read for teens. It was a fairly quick and easy read. Maybe a good one for a day at the beach or while on vacation.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ir-reviews
The Tunes of Lenore was disappointing. I should have enjoyed the novel — it checked my boxes of sci-fi/fantasy YA with animals — but a number of things missed the mark.

On the positive side, The Tunes of Lenore had an extremely creative concept. The “girl goes to boarding school” plot is not unusual, but the school’s unique system and the sci-fi elements elevated it. The incorporation of works of art into the text was something I haven’t seen done before. The story also had brief bursts of endear
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was set in the future, but the author does little to set the scene for how the future is different than our current time. The overall plot is interesting, but there are some gaping holes in the explanations of very significant parts of the plot. For example, why and how does the main character's dog send smells and images to her? The only explanation is that the dog was part of some "failed" experiment, but what the experiment was and why it was conducted in the first place is unclear. ...more
Wes Cipolla
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
The strongest parts of the book come from the technological advancements that author J.T. Blossom has invented. In The Tunes of Lenore, the year is 2026, and a drug called Enlightenment (codeveloped by the father of the main character Ella), along with other tech, can perfectly interpret how another person - and even a pet - is feeling. To Ella, the feelings come in sights, sounds and smells - great works of art, a symphony, wet dog. However, interestingly, these technological devices are not th ...more
Grace Summerville

For starters this novel is a little bit sci-fi, a little bit fantasy, a little bit futuristic, and a little bit young adult. All of which are not my preferred genre of reading. With that being said I thought this was a potentially very well written story that was just not thought through completely.

Ella is a young girl living in the world in 2026. She is surrounded by holograms, “phone glasses”, all electric cars (that appear t
Hannah Stevens
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
J.T. Blossom’s, The Tunes of Lenore, is ambitious in that it takes on the sci/fi, fantasy, and young adult literature genres without introducing vampires or other clichés that those genres tend to address. This was a move I very much enjoyed and respected.

I felt the biggest strength of the novel was the use of dialogue. The dialogue is realistic, though used heavily throughout. Ella meets many characters and her and the reader get to know them through the words they share with each other. Also,
Ariel G
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
A teenage girl heads off to a unique boarding school in the country, where the emphasis is placed more on hard work and self-reliance than test scores. This could be an interesting enough story on its own, but Ella, the protagonist of THE TUNES OF LENORE, is no ordinary high schooler. Fifteen minutes into the future, Ella lives in a world of holographic phone screens and scientific advancements that allow her pet dog to communicate telepathic messages made of sights and smells. Ella's story find ...more
Jennifer Shanahan
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-giveaways
I thought this book was kind of odd. Ella is a California high school junior sent to a boarding school by her parents because they need time to work out their problems. The school is very rustic where the few students that there are have to do all sorts of chores like gardening, chopping/getting wood to heat water for the showers and their rooms (which are not heated--neither is the water). It is a school where they have classes but much of the curriculum is outdoors--the kids live in cabins wit ...more
Quentin Russell
Aug 24, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
To be perfectly honest, I had a difficult time reading this book. There were a decent amount of technical writing and editing issues, such as punctuation mistakes and over-wrought descriptive phrases, which made for a clunky reading experience (although dialogue was pretty well written). There were also some very problematic handlings of teenage sex, drug use, animal "rescue" and even pedophilia, which gave all me pause. But at the end of reading this book, I just feel overwhelmed by how much wa ...more
Samantha Sumampong
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
The Tunes of Lenore is an ambitious novel that explores environmentalism with the help of a magical violin, a whip-smart girl, and hyper-intelligent dogs.

Ella is the main character in "The Tunes of Lenore," and her parents send her to boarding school after their divorce. At first, she does not like boarding school, but by making new friends and focusing on a project that uses urine to water butter lettuce, she comes around.

The main problem that I had with the story was Ella's lack of character
Rachel (Life of a Female Bibliophile)
The Tunes of Lenore is a coming of age story about a teenage girl Ella and her adventures at a boarding school. With her ukulele Lenore, and furry friend Jenny, Ella learns how to navigate her new surroundings all the while meeting new friends and finding herself.

The is set in the future, but it felt quite normal compared to other futuristic novels I’ve read besides certain technology features mentioned in the story. I felt this aspect was over shadowed by the magical realism which heavily infl
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Tunes of Lenore is an enjoyable novel, aimed at teenagers, with a storyline set in the not-to-distant future that weaves in elements of nature, psychic abilities, music, sustainable living, animal rights, true love, technology, and teenagers coming into their power. The book centres around Ella, who has a strong telepathic connection to her dog Jenny, as she attends a boarding school in the wilderness of California.

Author J.T. Blossom does a good job in taking readers on a journey to connec
Amanda Waters
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it
The Tunes of Lenore has a lot of interesting elements: interesting characters, telepathic and genetically enhanced dogs, a wilderness-style boarding school, a supernaturally empathetic fiddle, science, ethical dilemmas, love triangles, tense parent-child relationships, and a predatory teacher. Unfortunately, the novel tries to cram all of these elements into one story and the result is shallow and muddled. The story started out so promising, but I found myself wanting more or less -- more develo ...more
Caitlynn Akin
An entertaining young adult novel, The Tunes of Lenore follows the story of 16-year-old Ella as she embarks on her first day at a rustic boarding school. We quickly learn there is more to meets the eye when it comes to both her pet golden retriever and her grandpa’s fiddle named Lenore. She meets many people along the way that will guide her on the journey of self-discovery. Despite being set a bit in the future, it still felt very present day thanks to the farm-like school setting, realistic ch ...more
Erin Gossman
Nov 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Just... wow. This book has such a unique perspective and story. It was beautiful, I’ve never seen a book with pictures used the way this author did, it was odd at first but incredibly neat at the same time. I can’t wait to see what is to come in the prequel and sequel. There were a few topics that were addressed as well that I think a lot of people would think are above the heads of teens, the economic and government policies. And of course there were a few sensitive subjects regarding rela ...more
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Tunes of Lenore is a magic-realism-meets-science-fiction coming of age story with lovely imagery. At times it felt like some of the elements the author introduced were randomly inserted and didn’t further the plot. Though it felt like there were several storylines, they all came together in the end. The characters were enjoyable and the scenes were beautifully described.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through Voracious Readers Only.
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