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A Song to Take the World Apart Hardcover – September 13, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—From birth, Lorelei has been told to avoid singing. Her German grandmother warns her that her voice is dangerous, that it has uncontrollable powers that will destroy her and those around her. As a child, Lorelei obeyed her grandmother without question. But now she is in high school; she has met an enchanting new boy, Chris; and the urge to sing thrums through her body like never before. As a sophomore, Lorelei encounters all of the regular high school issues—identity struggles, unrequited crushes, and changing friendships—but now she's uncovered a darker part of her past that is taking over her life. Her mother and grandmother call it a curse. Her great-aunt claims it's a gift, if used correctly. As she navigates friendships, starts a new relationship, and continues to unravel the mystery of music in her family's lives, Lorelei must find out for herself if her singing has the power to harm or to heal. Romanoff uses lush, lyrical language to tell Lorelei's story. The prose pulls readers along and makes the protagonist and her friends and family all the more relatable, despite the magical undercurrents of the mysterious secret. VERDICT Fans of fairy tales will enjoy this book for its hints of a mythical tale set in a modern time period.—Tabitha Nordby, Red River College, Manitoba, Canada
"Zan Romanoff has created a hypnotic, lush coming of age story about what it means to have a voice.”—Emily Gould, author of Friendship
"Family secrets, first love, and the elemental, raw power of music are all on display in Zan Romanoff's gorgeous novel. A Song To Take the World Apart gives us a heroine who's as fierce as she is vulnerable, and a story that's as page-turning as it is profound. An enchanting and beautiful debut." —Edan Lepucki, New York Times bestselling author of California
"Zan Romanoff’s music-saturated debut will snare readers with its melodic, pop-punk hooks and elegant riffs on growing up, falling in love, and letting go." —Sarah McCarry, author of All Our Pretty Songs
"With its dark sexiness, moody LA atmosphere, and fresh take on age-old legends, A Song to Take the World Apart will lure readers into its grip and keep them there.”—Bennett Madison, author of September Girls
"A beautiful coming-of-age novel with absolutely stunning prose. I loved it." —Brandy Colbert, author of Pointe
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Romanoff's style is very poetic and it kept me intrigued enough to finish the book in less than 48 hours ;) I enjoyed how Real this story felt, even with its mystical undertones. Growing up in Los Angeles, it was fun to notice all the local and geographical references too.
I don't think I've ever read an author who described music more beautifully--I really felt like I was feeling the music through her words.
Lorelei's family was fascinating. She is a second generation German immigrant and Oma and her parents don't speak much about the time before they came to the US. Her mom works all the time and her dad is distant. She often feels invisible to them, though she has a great relationship with her older twin brothers. (The brother subplot was one of the strongest aspects of this novel.) At times, Lorelei drove me nuts but I think she was only responding (or not) as a teen girl would. Her decisions had huge ramifications for the people around her and it was interesting to see her make sense of it all. What awakens in Lorelei ultimately ends up transforming her family and I wish the author had developed this a little further. An enjoyable read, 3.5 stars.
Disclosure: I was provided an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I felt that the first half of this novel was a bit drawn out for me. Too much story building for me and not enough of Lorelei’s mystery for me. The excitement and the dramatics of the novel don’t occur till the second half of the novel and then I really enjoyed what the author provided. Lorelei had a craving, a desire but she didn’t understand why or where it was coming from. No one was talking so she had to take matters into her own hands. She was a risk taker, she was responsible and she was brave. As the story gains momentum, I learned about her past, and how her future would be shaped unless she learned to control herself. I liked how she waived between doing what is right and being deceptive, how can you blame her, when you are walking around with such power? I was angry with the other characters in the novel when they pestering her to sing, “Sing Lorelei, sing!” I just wanted to reach inside the novel and smack them, every single one of them! It’s funny how emotional I got during this time in the novel, my head all frustrated as they riled her. 3.5 stars
I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Random House Children’s in exchange for an honest review.