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catherinehaines

catherinehaines

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The Song is You - Megan Abbott This review has been a long time coming, and for that I apologise. The Song Is You first appeared on this blog way back in May, and found its way into the TBR pile as it should have. According to GoodReads I started reading The Song Is You twenty-four days ago and after a few days of stops and starts, put it down nineteen days ago and did not pick it up until last night – I was determined to finish this story and review it, so I read it on the ferry back from a weekend away.

So why did it take me so long to finish such a short book? Well, it was just that The Song Is You did not really click. I enjoyed it while I was actually reading it, but the moment something happened to make me put it down it was very easy to find a book that I’d much rather read. After careful consideration I have determined that the reason for this is not so much the book but me. The first half of the book was very slow to me (but this may not be the case of the book, but of this genre) but the second half picked up much quicker and ended with a bang – I definitely did not see it coming.

One of Abbott’s strengths is the tone of her narrative voice – it very quickly brings you into the time period, and all the sleaze and drama that is so entwined with the time and the world. She paints very clear pictures of characters and places, and they hold interest during their appearances. However, there are a many characters introduced and even more referenced that it sometimes becomes a whirlwind of names and faces that is difficult to keep track of at times. I know there were some points in the story where I had to stop and try to remember who X and Y were and flick back a few pages – and then think whether or not this was deliberate on the part of the author or was I just simply that lost.

While the set-up to this story does have a very strong feel to it, it does take a long time to get anywhere beyond set-up and what feels like filler. The main character, Hop, (who is written very well – despite having unsympathetic traits, I was still there supporting and following him. And I really wanted him to find out the truth behind Spangler’s disappearance, for his sake as much as hers) sort of travels from woman to woman, who at times blend into each other, and chasing ghosts in his chase for, well, a ghost. But once he finds a clue about half-way in everything seemed to pick up much faster and the whole story became much more gripping, before culminating in a shocker of an ending.

Overall, The Song Is You was a good book which didn’t quite connect with me as a reader – mostly due to it just simply not being my thing. In the future I won’t turn down any more books by Abbott, but I’ll go into them more aware of what they contain. Someone who is a fan of the genre would definitely enjoy The Song Is You. And I probably will too, on future re-readings.