E-Galley Review: Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule

Strange Sweet Song
Adi Rule
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Genre: YA Paranormal
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 there to sing for real. This prestigious academy will finally give her the chance to prove her worth—not as the daughter of world-renowned musicians—but as an artist and leading lady in her own right.

Yet despite her best efforts, there seems to be something missing from her voice. Her doubts about her own talent are underscored by the fact that she is cast as the understudy in the school's production of her favorite opera, Angelique. Angelique was written at Dunhammond, and the legend says that the composer was inspired by forest surrounding the school, a place steeped in history, magic, and danger. But was it all a figment of his imagination, or are the fantastic figures in the opera more than imaginary? 

Sing must work with the mysterious Apprentice Nathan Daysmoor as her vocal coach, who is both her harshest critic and staunchest advocate. But Nathan has secrets of his own, secrets that are entwined with the myths and legends surrounding Dunhammond, and the great creature they say lives there.

Lyrical, gothic, and magical, Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule will captivate and enchant readers.
ARC from NetGalley
For some unfathomable reason, I kept singing Kaze no Uta whenever I took a break from reading Strange Sweet Song.

It was a slow start again as I read the opening chapter of this book. What's significant about a crow? A portent of doom? A way to introduce that this was not an ordinary, non-paranormal tale? Or was it just a way to put a crow somewhere. I guess it never occurred to me at the beginning that there was more to the feathers and a bird's appreciation for music.

Then, I was introduced to the heroine of the story, Sing da Navelli. Sing. Yes, her parents and her author-parent named her a verb. Too much music in the blood perhaps. But despite the name, I liked her. She felt real and it made me believe and invest in her transformation and self-realization. Just like what her father had always called her. Farfallina.

It was different, this book, a little weird. And until now, I still can't decide whether it was a good king of weird or not. Reading this was like being in a bubble in the middle of the Nevernever. The world created here seemed removed, detached from the real world even though it is set here. Only, a little indeterminate. Perhaps, it was because of the chapters that alternate Sing da Navelli's present. The chapters that made the book otherworldly and the song strangely sweet. And the vagueness, the strangeness the uncertainty of what to make of it, of what to feel, made me love this book.
Ayanami Faerudo
P.S.
I know that sounded a little weird but I am still in that bubble as I am writing this. 

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