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Leisha's Song

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Leisha knows something's wrong. Her beloved vocal coach at boarding school would never have resigned and disappeared like this in the midst of preparing her prize students for a major vocal competition. Leisha's determined to find her, make sure she's okay.

Cody, a sensitive cellist, insists on helping her. Sparks fly, clues multiply, and romance blossoms, despite the disapproval of their families.

Leisha's desire to be with Cody and pursue music rather than medicine puts her on a direct collision course with her African-American grandfather, the only parent she's ever had. But an even more immediate threat looms-because as Leisha draws closer to the truth about her teacher's disappearance, she puts her own life in grave danger.

272 pages, Paperback

Published June 22, 2021

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Lynn Slaughter

6 books27 followers

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Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews
Profile Image for Kobe.
195 reviews38 followers
June 22, 2021
3.5 stars.

Thank you to Books Forward for providing a digital copy of this book in exchange for a review!

This book had a really fascinating premise that did not disappoint, especially on the mystery side of things. There were several times where I thought I had guessed the plot, and the ending was a twist that I didn't see coming. I loved the characters, and Leisha as the narrator had a unique attitude that was really well conveyed with the writing style.

I found the side characters super interesting, but I wish that some of them had been explored more as the book went on. The romance felt a tad bit unrealistic, but I still loved some of the scenes with Cody and Leisha's relationship. The ending was also a little bit rushed and left me wishing for more development of the relationship between Leisha and Ms Wells.

Overall, a quick fun read that I'd definitely recommend for people looking for a good mystery plot, perhaps more so than a romance plot.
Profile Image for Pavitha Ramesh.
31 reviews
May 20, 2021
Words can’t even describe how much I love this book. It had me hooked from the start

Summary:
Leisha senses something is wrong when her vocal coach resigns from her boarding school in the midst of preparing her students for a major vocal competition. Leisha is determined to locate her and ensure that she is safe.

This sensitive cellist, Cody, is adamant about helping her in her search. Sparks fly between them, despite their families' disapproval.

Throw in her African-American grandfather, the only parent she’s ever had, who requests two things from her: that she pursue medicine and that she avoid dating white men. This causes a break between their relationship when she wants to peruse music, and wants to be with Cody.

Will she discover why her teacher disappeared? Will she be able to track her down before it's too late? As romance blooms and secrets are revealed, join Leisha as she risks her life and career to find her.

Review:
Holy Crap! This book is so good. I love that it was fast paced and had a good amount of romance and mystery. The characters are really well-written.

First and foremost, I admire Leisha's determination and commitment to not only finding her teacher, but also to her music career. Her grandfather requests two things from her: that she pursue medicine and that she avoid dating white men. She adores her grandfather and doesn't want to let him down—a sentiment shared by many teenagers—but music is her true love and something she knows she wants to pursue in the future. Throw in Cody, a wealthy white student at her school, who has a deep affection for her and she for him, but both families are opposed. Despite this, they make things work and remain together because they really care for each other.

I need a Cody in my life. He is my exact blueprint now. The way he cares so deeply for Leisha and supports her all the time makes my heart stutter. He doesn’t care about what his parents or anyone for that matter have to say about them. He still fights for them and they both make it work. He is compassionate, kind and down to earth. Lynn really made my expectations accelerate.

I loved every second of this book and it was so hard to put it down. I put off reading the ending for a while because I didn’t want it to end so soon. Don’t even get me started on the ending; I was stunned. The plot twists, shocking discoveries, the romance—all had me on the edge of my seat. I cannot recommend this book enough! I will definitely be reading this book again. Lynn, you truly outdone yourself with this book!
Profile Image for Brinley.
988 reviews67 followers
June 21, 2021
I really enjoyed this one! I'll admit I didn't read the synopsis, so when the whole disappearance plotline showed up, I was a bit confused. I ended up loving this though, even though I expected more of a romance.

The ending was probably my least favorite part of this. It felt super rushed, and even though all of the plotlines were concluded, I wanted more. After all Leisha had done to fine Ms Wells, I really wanted more interaction between them. We're told how much they meant to each other, but we're never able to see this. I feel like seeing it would've made the mystery way more compelling, but it wasn't a big deal.

I also wasn't the hugest fan of the romance. I liked Cody and Leisha separately, but I never connected to them as a couple. I felt like the problems facing them at the end were also hastily resolved, but I did still enjoy this.

My favorite part was the focus on music. As a violist myself, I really enjoyed reading about Leisha, Randall, and Cody's practices. I hated how Gramps held Leisha back from her dreams, but in my mind, he came around and supported her fully.

Although I had some problems with this one, I still really enjoyed it! It was a super fast read, and was the perfect mix of suspense and romance.

Thanks to Books Forward for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Stephanie.
1,287 reviews25 followers
June 21, 2021
When Leisha's vocal teacher, Ms. Wells, abruptly leaves  Stonefield Academy, Leisha instantly knows something is wrong.  Ms. Wells is her favorite teacher and Leisha knows that she wouldn't leave her students before a vocal competition.  Leisha's friends and the school administration tell her to let Ms. Wells go.  Leisha can't shake the feeling that something is wrong and decides to investigate on her own.  Cody, a cellist at the Academy, has feelings for Leisha and wants to help her.  Together, they uncover a series a clues that indicate that Ms. Wells is in danger.  However, Leisha's grandfather and Cody's parents care more about keeping Leisha and Cody apart as well as making sure their future careers are not in music.  
Leisha's Song is a young adult mystery combined with romance and family drama.  I was pulled in immediately by the prologue.  The mystery was very well crafted.  I liked the progression of the clues and had no idea of the culprit until the end.  Leisha is an interesting character.  As a black student at a prestigious Academy, Leisha is different, she is trying to uphold all of the standards placed on her by her grandfather who wants her to be a doctor and stay away from boys, especially white boys.  I could easily relate to Leisha's predicament and wanted her to follow her dreams of singing.  I did think her voice sounded a little off, not a genuine modern black high school student dealing with pressures from every side.  I did appreciate Leisha's point of view, how she was dealing with the challenges in her life and her determination to move forward despite being pushed back.  The romance between Leisha and Cody ended up being really sweet.  Cody took me some time to warm up to, he was persistent in his pursuit of Leisha even after she said 'no' several times.  I could tell that there was a spark between the two of them, but Cody needed to respect when she said no.  The writing style built the mystery and suspense of Ms. Wells' disappearance as pressure was being put on Leisha from her school and her grandfather to create an exciting and unexpected conclusion.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 
Profile Image for Pallavi Sareen.
Author 4 books72 followers
June 16, 2021
Interracial couple, a strong female protagonist, a caring partner and a mystery. Leisha’s song had all the right ingredients for a good book. The compelling writing was just cherry on top. Leisha’s African-American Grandfather wants her to pursue medicine, but she loves music. He is a protective figure in her life, but she is a girl determined to choose her own path. So, when her vocal coach resigns, and she has a gut feeling that all is not normal, the story escalates to her unravelling the mystery. Leisha’s grandfather was a pretty detestable character and I totally understood the chain of events that happened because there’s no way people like that come around.
Parent-child conflict is a theme in many contemporary novels, but it generally doesn’t escalate as much as it did in this book. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t totally necessary. And then there is Cody. Even though I adored him, I just couldn’t imagine him being real. He was like the perfect guy in a Korean Drama that is too good to be true. He is calm, supportive and just so so good. The characters are the biggest selling point for this book because they are interesting, memorable and well-written.
The mystery of the vocal coach’s disappearance is what keeps you reading. There are so many characters one can doubt that you never know who is behind it!
Profile Image for Jadyn Post.
200 reviews
May 30, 2021
Wow. I was SO fortunate to receive this book from Books Forward Friends as their BFF. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I was so hooked! The Romance, perfect. The mystery, intriguing. The whole story was absolutely captivating. I want more!! I need another book. It was perfect! #booksforwardfriends
Profile Image for Ella.
97 reviews8 followers
May 21, 2021
Thank you to Books Forward for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. “Leisha’s Song” is set to release on 22 June 2021.

Plot: This is a fun mystery story which will keep you interested as you try to guess what’s going on. Opera student Leisha and her sidekick-boyfriend Cody investigate the disappearance of her vocal coach, who vanished overnight without taking any of her belongings. The book keeps you guessing as to whether Ms.Wells took off of her own free will or something more sinister is at play. It was never predictable who was behind the disappearance, and there is a good number of shady characters, so it’s not too obvious. The ending did feel a bit rushed and I wish more had been explained about how the culprit orchestrated the disappearance.

Language/tone: I understand that the author has grandchildren of more than one race, but it feels like she did not share her work with any of them to understand that the language and references used were very outdated. Yet at the same time, the film “Legally Blonde” was described in the text as an “old film”. The expression “gang banger” is also used and I had to google whether this means something different in the US. I wouldn’t really use something so similar to porn terminology in a book aimed at teenagers, even if it means something different.

Characters: Probably the strongest point in the book. It is rare to see situations of conflict with a parent or other authority figure that are resolved by the young person actually seeking emancipation or following their heart. Usually, authors opt for the much simpler resolution of “the adult coming round”. I really enjoyed that this didn’t happen here, there wasn’t a magical resolution of years of conflict overnight, there were just two young people really believing in their convictions and refusing to be someone else’s puppet. The grandfather character was absolutely detestable, and it’s really sad that for the first half of the book Leisha doesn’t date a white boy, not because of her own bad experiences, but someone else’s which have been lorded over her for her entire life as _the_ ultimate bad example. I actually really enjoyed how the couple grew together and were supportive of each other.
Profile Image for Rajiv.
959 reviews64 followers
August 22, 2021

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“Leisha’s Song” is an entertaining young adult mystery with a touch of romance, and I enjoyed it a lot.

Firstly, I liked the setting of the story. This book is the first one I read where the story took place amidst a vocal competition in a boarding school. It was interesting to read about how the students prepared for the competition in the boarding school. The author also wrote the mystery nicely, where Leisha tries to figure out what happened to her.

The highlight of the story, though, was the romance between Leisha and Cody. Since they are an interracial couple, whom the family doesn’t approve of, it was interesting to see how they managed to be together. I adored Cody and thought the author wrote him very well. Even Leisha is outstanding in the lead, as she does not let anything stop her from investigating Mrs. Wells. The author also adds some suspenseful moments, like when Leisha goes through the cabinets of the Personnel files hoping to find something. Frankly, I liked the romance angle of the tale more than the mystery.

However, I would have liked more twists and turns to the story. It felt as though there were only two or three prime suspects to Ms. Wells’s disappearance, and the author toggled between them. While I enjoyed how the author resolved the story, it would have been nice if the story had more surprises.

Apart from that, I thought this was a decent Young Adult mystery romance. Overall, “Leisha’s Song” is a lovely young adult book to pick up if you love the genre and are in the mood for a captivating mystery romance.
Profile Image for Andrea Johnson.
Author 13 books22 followers
November 3, 2021
If you’re searching for the perfect gift to give your pre-teen for the holiday or you love books that are the definition of hygge (i.e. sitting by the fire all cozy-comfy in a set of your favorite fluffy flannel pajamas), then Leisha’s Song has everything you need. Set during a blustery winter session at a prestigious boarding school, the story is narrated by an aspiring teenage opera singer named Leisha Williams.

Leisha is an orphaned mixed-race student on scholarship at Stonefield, a predominately-White institution. Since she often feels like an outsider among the affluent co-eds, she finds solace in music despite her grandfather’s desire that she pursue a career in medicine. As the book opens, we find her reveling in the joys of a vocal lesson with her mentor and mother figure, Ms. Wells, whose accolades confirm that Leisha’s love of music is only outmatched by her ability to perform. Once the bond between these two women is established, the story wastes no time introducing the disappearance of Ms. Wells and establishing Leisha’s determination to take the case. At this point, the real story begins--and although the cover evokes the feeling of YA romance, the narrative’s main focus is the cozy mystery.

Leisha is soon joined by her hunky classmate Cody as she searches for her teacher. They, of course, have a crush on each other, but Leisha is reluctant to engage due to their differences in race and class. Nevertheless, the pair flirt throughout, foreshadowing a future relationship and providing a subplot about interracial relationships that will pull your heartstrings. We are also immediately introduced to a group of quirky suspects such as the frazzled headmaster, his bitchy wife, and a twitchy fellow classmate. We're also given a taste of life outside of Stonefield thanks to Jacey, the tough-talking waitress Leisha befriends at the local café. I don't want to give too much more away since the story has quite a few twists and turns that lead to a big reveal you won’t see coming. And even though the ending is a surprise, the shocking turn of events highly complement the story’s overall themes of abandonment, familial pressure, and motherhood.
Profile Image for Tonja Drecker.
Author 3 books178 followers
June 20, 2021
The music academy setting sets the perfect stage for mystery, romance and family struggles.

Leisha is a very talented singer and can't wait to join the upcoming competition, but just when her training is rolling along, her vocal coach disappears. The woman is like a mother to Leisha, and she knows something is wrong despite the school's reassurance that the teacher simple resigned. Together with the last guy she should be crushing on, she tries to figure out the truth behind her teacher's disappearance and deal with personal problems she can no longer ignore.

This is a rich story in so many ways. Not only does it take place in a setting where music fills everyone's lives, but it sweeps into a hard to predict mystery. Then, there is the romance, a bi-racial one which causes many personal problems for Leisha. Lastly, add the family problems, which Leisha needs to struggle with, and there is a wealth of subplots and depth. Something happens on every page, and this not only includes the mystery, which is very hard to predict, but also the emotional front.

Leisha is a lovely character, who is already going against her grandparents by studying music but has taken their other views to heart. The character growth is well done as she comes head-to-head with her grandfather...a man, who is very hard to like. While some characters were pure good in this tale, the grandfather reflects the more realistic problems families can face, and these aren't always easy to solve...if there is a solution. It was a refreshing approach on this front and made Leisha that much more likeable.

This is a book carried by wonderful characters and a well-woven plot. The world building didn't quite pull me in, especially in the first chapters, but the quick pace makes up for that. Unfortunately, the ending was a bit rushed, but that was the only stumbling point on that end. Everything else grabs and creates an intrigue tale to get lost in and enjoy. I received an ARC and enjoyed the read quite a bit.
198 reviews3 followers
August 24, 2021
Not often do you get to read a story that balances so many angles into one story. This story has young love, racial bias and strife, parental disagreement, young love, finding one’s own identity, classism, and a mystery to wrap the story in. I enjoyed reading about Leisha, Cody and the mystery of what happened to her beloved vocal coach, Ms. Wells. We think young people have it easy since all they have to do is go to school, study and enjoy a young carefree life but when your grandfather has one plan for you and you want another that can be a problem, especially if you love that parent very much. Also how does love overcome the prejudice of both sets of parents who forbids them to date outside their race. I liked that major and minor characters were well developed. Choices that children must make about what they want for their life was not lightly glossed over but also not forced on the reader with a heavy hand. Leisha and Cody work as a couple, what they feel for each other works and working on solving the mystery of the missing Ms. Wells works. The ending was exciting, and you action packed and well worth the wait to find out what happened to Ms. Wells. A good read worth following to the end.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
979 reviews
June 21, 2021
Leisha's Song is a well written young adult novel which has a good balance of mystery and romance. Leisha is a scholarship student at a prestigious private school. She is a very talented singer and her dream is to pursue a career in music. Her African American grandfather, the only parent she's ever known, wants her to become a doctor. He has also forbidden her from dating white boys.
When her beloved vocal coach mysteriously disappears, she senses that something is wrong. She determinedly investigates her teacher's disappearance and is helped by her boyfriend Cody, a cellist who comes from a rich, white family. Cody's family opposes him dating an African American girl.
The story is fast-paced with well developed characters. Cody is a kind and respectful boyfriend. I admired the determination of the two teenagers to solve the mystery and be true to each other and themselves. Themes of parent-child conflict, interracial relationships and flawed adults are explored. Leisha's Song is a young adult novel with a lot of depth. Thanks for Books Forward Friends for an ARC. #BooksForwardFriends
Profile Image for Michelle Kidwell.
Author 39 books74 followers
May 26, 2021
Leisha’s Song
by Lynn Slaughter
Melange Books/Fire and Ice
Teens & YA
Pub Date 22 Jun 2021

I am reviewing a copy of Leisha’s Song through Melange Books/Fire and Ice and Netgalley:


Leisha knows something is not right. Her beloved vocal coach at boarding school would never have resigned and disappeared like this in the midst of preparing her prize students for a major vocal competition. Leaving Leisha determined to find her and make sure she’s okay.


Cody who is a sensitive cellist, insists on helping her. It isn’t long before Sparks fly, clues multiply, and romance blossoms, despite the disapproval of their families.


When Leisha desires to be with Cody and pursue music rather than medicine puts her on a direct collision course with her grandfather, the only parent she’s ever had. But an even more immediate threat looms, because as Leisha draws closer to the truth about her teacher’s disappearance, she ends up putting her own life in danger.


I give Leisha’s Song four out of five stars!


Happy Reading!
Profile Image for Samantha.
35 reviews
June 15, 2021
A mystery, musical prodigies, and family drama - what’s not to love? In a story reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, Leisha, a young Black soloist, and Cody, a white cellist, work to overcome the racial prejudices of their families. The overarching mystery is the sudden disappearance of Leisha’s beloved vocal teacher - singing is so important to Leisha, and she loved Mrs. Wells so much that she became a little obsessed with investigating her disappearance. The story was definitely fun to read, though the ultimate culprit was easy to guess; I also wanted a little more interaction at the end between Mrs. Wells and Leisha, since Leisha spent the entire story looking for her. I felt it was not completely wrapped up as it could have been, which was disappointing. It was a good read, and I would recommend it for fans of mystery, classical music, and young romance.
Profile Image for brittany.
44 reviews2 followers
May 24, 2021
I recieved this book as an advanced readers copy, and I enjoyed reading this very much. This book is a mix of a mystery type book with a little bit of romance. I was so into this book I almost missed my stop on the subway! 😂 This book is good for anyone who doesn't like too much violence or craziness in a story. You can actually picture this maybe happening to someone and it touches on real issues like biracial relationships, and the stigmas and problems people faced when they fell in love with someone of a different race. Leisha is a strong female character who puts everything on the line to find someone she cared about. No matter how much people keep telling her to stop looking she persists. And her love interest Cody who stood by her no matter what.
Profile Image for Daisy.
Author 2 books5 followers
June 25, 2021
3/5 stars

Pros:
-The mystery aspect of this novel was beyond my expectations
-I found myself enjoying several encounters with Leisha and Cody as well as with some other characters
-I didn't see the end coming
-DIVERSITY!

Cons:
-Some of the dialogue caught me as odd because it was said in a way you don't normally hear it. It made me pause, which lead to me feeling ripped out of the story for a moment, and out of the world. That's more to do with my own personal attention to the details, though.
-I would have liked to see more connection and depth with the side characters
-Some parts felt repetitive where Leisha went investigating, someone told her to stop but she continued, and so on in that pattern
-I wanted more time in the ending to say goodbye to the characters
Profile Image for Zoey.
68 reviews
May 29, 2021
I got this book as an ARC. It’s a mystery with some teen romance thrown in along the way. I was hooked from the beginning. I wanted to know what happened and it was fun putting the clues together myself to see if I could figure it out on my own.

The only thing that bugged me about this book was the grandfather character who was so set in his ways, he was hurting his granddaughter in the process. This made me dislike him very much. People should have a choice in what they want to do with their life.

Overall a great book and thank you Books Forward Friends for the ARC. Can’t wait for the next one!
Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,076 reviews182 followers
June 26, 2021
I liked this book. I found the mystery aspect to be mild like a cozy mystery. In fact, I kind of got Nancy Drew vibes while reading this book with Leisha as Nancy Drew and Cody as Nancy Drew's boyfriend, Ned.

This book is a nice one. While, I did like it I felt like it can be better appreciated by the younger reader audience. Just because I think the younger readers will relate to Leisha and Cody better. At times I felt like the pacing of the story did move slowly and I did skim ahead some to rush the story along. The latter third of the story is where the pacing picked up and the mystery was solved. Overall, this was a good read.
Profile Image for Annie.
9 reviews1 follower
May 29, 2021
I really loved this book. Thank you Books forward for the ARC.
I was hooked with a firs page. I love it how this book's characters aren't stereotypical, for example Leisha, main character. The plot is amazing and even though I don't usually read books like this.
Leisha's song was beautiful reading experience.
Profile Image for Connie Dow.
Author 5 books6 followers
July 15, 2021
Lynn Slaughter's newest book LEISHA'S SONG is an absorbing and action-packed YA mystery novel. The characters are well-developed and relatable. Lynn gives us a glimpse into the world of music and talented, developing musicians; their teachers and friends; their family conflicts; and life at a boarding school, all tied together with a very exciting plot. I highly recommend this delightful book!
Profile Image for Frances Schoonmaker.
Author 14 books54 followers
August 1, 2022
A lovely coming-of-age story that is full of surprises that left me eager for Lynn Slaughter's next book. I was particularly taken with her characters' devotion to the arts, adding an interesting dimension to the story.

Frances Schoonmaker
Multiple Award-Winning Author
of The Last Crystal Trilogy
Profile Image for Cate Carlyle.
Author 4 books4 followers
July 19, 2021
Romance, mystery, wonderful characterization-this novel has it all. Young readers will relate to Leisha and Cody, their determination, authenticity and love and respect for each other. You don't have to be a music over to be drawn into this well crafted story. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Diana.
491 reviews4 followers
January 4, 2022
This book is kind of like Nancy Drew but has adult themes. It keeps you engaged and you will have a hard time putting it down. This was my first experience with this author but I will be checking her out to see what else she has to offer.
Profile Image for M.E. Roche.
Author 6 books2 followers
April 6, 2022
This is a lovely young adult novel--a mystery that goes beyond race and the generational difficulties everyone faces on the path towards adulthood. It held my attention all the way until the surprising ending.
November 24, 2022
4.5 Stars

This book had me hooked from the beginning. It was so captivating and had so many fun twists along the way. I love the fast moving plot which makes for a really fun read. The mix of romance and mystery was such a fun incorporation to advancing the plot!

We follow our main character Leisha who’s vocal teacher suddenly resigns leaving Leisha wondering if she’s ok. While trying to figure out what happened to her vocal teacher her relationship with Cody grows.

The characters in this books really make the story so great. Leisha comes to terms that by taking the risk to confess her love for Cody she opens up her life to new possibilities. Leisha and Cody make for such an amazing couple. They come from very different backgrounds but come together through love and music.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and loved the ending! It is such a fun read and I would definitely recommend!
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews

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