Enough time has passed to almost forgive author Jessica S Olson for RIPPING OUT MY HEART in her novel Sing Me Forgotten, a hauntingly beautiful gender-bent retelling of Phantom of the Opera.
Read on for my review. And send caramels.
Many thanks go to Inkyard Press and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions are my own. This post contains some affiliate links that may earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
Published by Inkyard Press on March 9, 2021
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Adaptations, Fantasy, Historical
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Isda does not exist. At least not beyond the opulent walls of the opera house.
Cast into a well at birth for being one of the magical few who can manipulate memories when people sing, she was saved by Cyril, the opera house's owner. Since that day, he has given her sanctuary from the murderous world outside. All he asks in return is that she use her power to keep ticket sales high--and that she stay out of sight. For if anyone discovers she survived, Isda and Cyril would pay with their lives.
But Isda breaks Cyril's cardinal rule when she meets Emeric Rodin, a charming boy who throws her quiet, solitary life out of balance. His voice is unlike any she's ever heard, but the real shock comes when she finds in his memories hints of a way to finally break free of her gilded prison.
Haunted by this possibility, Isda spends more and more time with Emeric, searching for answers in his music and his past. But the price of freedom is steeper than Isda could ever know. For even as she struggles with her growing feelings for Emeric, she learns that in order to take charge of her own destiny, she must become the monster the world tried to drown in the first place.
My Thoughts On Sing Me Forgotten
This was a beautiful, haunting and, I’ll say it, heartwrenching book (GLARES AT THE AUTHOR).
Sing Me Forgotten is a gender-bent retelling of Phantom of the Opera. The author, Jessica S Olson, does some incredible world-building, along with some truly lovely character development. Isda is a flawed character, young and hopeful and a bit sad, too. The phrase “morally ambiguous” comes to mind too. (When your gift of magic is abused by a person who you love and claims to love you, well, that might mess a girl up.) But when she starts to realize what her power can do, that’s where things get really dicey. Her use of her magic veers into addiction territory, with some horrible consequences.
The magic system of Isda’s world is tragic and dark, and I was fully invested in Isda’s character. It’s not often I am rooting for a character other than the main character. However, Emeric was a treasure and I loved him. (The story also created an overwhelming urge to eat buttery caramels. Thanks again, Jessica. I’m heartbroken and sugared up.) Emeric’s character grounded me into the story. He also let me see the good side, the beauty, AND the tragedy of the magic that has marred Isda’s life.
This book was spilling over with music, magic, love, deception, and heart-pounding adventure.
Confession time: the synopsis of the next ARC I pull from my Kindle is not always fresh in my mind. This was the case for Sing Me Forgotten, and so the story surprised and delighted (and maddened) me, keeping me up into the wee hours of the night before breaking my heart.
Sing Me Forgotten gets a solid four stars for me. Given how she ripped my heart out with this one, I hope I can survive Olson’s next book, which I will be waiting for.
Because I guess I’m a bit of a masochist, and because this was just a gorgeous book that ticked all the boxes.