Looking for a great summer read – look no further! Sing is pure escapism! Full of fun, fame, friendships and romance. A perfect getaway from reality.

As famous pop star Lily Ross yet again suffers a failed romance in the full glare of the public limelight she accepts the opportunity to escape the madness of her life. To recover from her heartbreak she decides to  live three months during the summer on a small island in Maine.

The house on the island was recently bought by one of her best friends, Tess who used to visit it as a child along with Lily and their other close friend, Sammy. As Lily’s fame and career took off Tess and Sammy left their own dreams behind to be companions and assistants to Lily. Only now, on the island does Lily’s selfish and self-centred approach to life start to rock the foundations not only of her ability to write songs but threatens her life-long friendships.

However, Lily at first fails to notice her friends discontentment as she struggles to recover from the break-up with equally famous Jed. Crashing, literally, into Noel, a local fisherman on her first day on the island does bring new romance for her as she quickly falls for the down-to-earth islander and soon discovers his deeper side and more complex family and career issues. Equally Tess and Sammy are vividly brought to life and developed throughout the book.

This is an engaging novel, marketed as YA / Teen book, but as always I disagree with this genre labelling and felt it was a delightful entertaining read as an adult. The plot moves quickly along, the characters which I feared would become caricatures are fully developed and it was particularly satisfying to see the shallow Lily rediscover her caring more thoughtful side as memories and new experiences sweep over her.

As always with such books it is very much of will she / won’t she scenario. Will she get back with Jed? Will she finish her album? Will she follow her heart’s desire? Will she abandon her fans and career? Will she finally see her friends as such instead of as paid assistants? 

This book not only made me want to stand up, cheer and dance, but by the end I was ready to join Lily and Sing!

netgalleyI received a free copy of this book from the NetGalley in exchange for a honest and impartial review.

Rating:                           4 out of 5 stars.

Publisher:                      HarperCollins UK

Publication Date:        2nd  June  2016

Price:                              £ 3.85     (Paperback – Amazon)  

                                         £ 3.99      (Kindle – Amazon) 

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82 thoughts on “SING: A BOOK REVIEW

    1. I hope you do pick it up next time you see it – really great book. A friend of mine just finished it and raved on about the book as well – she was nearly in happy tears at the ending!

    1. Absolutely! I have started to read quite a few and love them – I’m beginning to wonder though that by being popular with older readers the younger reader, for whom they’re aimed, won’t think these kind of books are ‘cool’ and for them? What do you think? As young I would read anything – obviously there were children’s books but after that I just read books from the library and my mother’sbook shelves! Sing is a great fun book – pure escapism but well written.

  1. I taught middle school back in the 80’s and 90’s so used to read a few of the old style YA books. Do you remember when Judy Blume changed from her grade school books to her first intimacy book?
    I really like the fact now I have an 11 year old grandson and a 12 year old granddaughter so need to “keep up with new YA books!”

    1. I must admit I’ve never heard of Judy Blume but will have a look out of interest. Writers also develop and change their styles and genres over the years! I only came across YA when my son started reading them when he was about nine. Now at fifteen he feels he’s grown out of them which has me smiling as I read some occasionally! I have come across books that were marketed first as YA but then became so popular overall that the second issue was with a new cover for the adult fiction market. Let the populace speak!

  2. Anonymous

    This review has me hooked. I must admit I don’t really take much notice of the YA label. To me a book is a book which I either want to read or not. I have read a few “YA” books that have been far more interesting and thought provoking than adult ones.

    Keep up the good work with the reviews.


    1. Mike, I think it is true for any genre – there are a lot of great and good books and then some not so interesting ones. Glad this one has you hooked! As for the reviews, they will keep coming as I became rather over-eager with NetGalley and all the terrific new titles being released. Another one in a couple of weeks!

  3. Sing does sound like a nice summer read. I enjoy escapism, I like movies like that also, probably because I live in such a boring little place where nothing ever happens. I’m glad Lilly was able to overcome her shallow shortcoming. A few months on an island in Maine might just have such a positive effect on a person 🙂 I also understand what you are saying about the YA labeling. I’m currently reading a YA book as we speak. And enjoying it immensely! Happy summer reading.

    1. Amidst all the dark fantasy books/tense thrillers out there (many of which are brilliant) this was a great light relief without becoming too silly or soft. I so agree about good escapism films as well – I love those and have a few favourite on DVD for an evening of perfect relaxation. Glad you’re enjoying your YA book as well – maybe the genre is correct: we are adults and why not still be considered young! 😀😃

  4. This sounds like a fun book, Annika. There are quite a few novels marketed as YA that feature sophisticated writing and could easily fall into the category of adult fiction. Those are my favorites. 🙂

    1. Eve, I do feel the YA tag actually could hamper sales as it would put off many potential customers. Obviously it must be a success within the speciifed age group but many sales are being missed. Have you noticed that quite often the successful book will be re-marketed for an adult market. Just shows! Definitely a fun engaging read – perfect for relaxation, particularly after tense taut psychological thriller of Baby Doll!

  5. I agree with you on the YA designation, Annika. More than once I’ve picked up and enjoyed a book that was supposedly written for teenagers. But then again… 🙂 –Curt

    1. Ah, Curt…that explains it! 😀 I’ve never managed to leave the teenage years behind! Glad I’m not the only one!! 😀😀 Sometimes I feel that publishers when unsure about a book decide to market it as YA as a fail-safe. Quite a few books have later been re-issued with different covers aimed for the mass market.

  6. Although the book is labelled as YA it seems to deal with universal and ageless issues:Will she get back with Jed? Will she finish her album? Will she follow her heart’s desire? Will she abandon her fans and career? Will she finally see her friends as such instead of as paid assistants?
    It sounds like a fun novel to read on a shaded balcony sipping iced cold lemonade. I also love the simplicity of the cover. 🙂

    1. Oh, I like the sound of the ice cold lemonade in a shaded balcony! Just perfect for this book. It’s been interesting with the cover as I feel it’s got a very mixed reaction – and this was even shown on the NetGalley vote on covers. If I remember correctly there were a large number of do not likes, which is very rare. Personally it grew on me and suits the book! Simplicity is often underrated! 😀

  7. I think I might like the read and have ordered it. I read a YA novel in German a couple years ago which too was a lovely read. Thanks for the review, Annika. Hope all is well. It’s our July 4th holiday weekend. 🙂

    1. Mary Ann, I hope you like it as much as I did – not my usual kind of book but a very welcome happy read. What was the German book your read? By a German author? I must admit to not following what is going on publishing wise in Germany so much these days. Wishing you a lovely weekend of celebrations!

      1. It has been more than two years ago but was a book assigned to young people at a high school where I formerly taught. After searching this morning, I was unable to locate it. Basically a young fisherman (Pablo I think) longed to know what was beyond his village and at the other side of the ocean so he eventually set off by himself to discover the bigger world and met the daughter of a tailor whom he later married. He apprenticed with a wiser older man, learned from him and finally built the biggest ship of his dreams and fit for a king. A simple story of finding one’s way in life with all sorts of good messages for young people. A totally different book is Supeweib. It was given to me by a friend in Berlin. I enjoyed this author and her style. She has been busy with her writing. We hear lots of fireworks at night now for the 4th of July weekend.

        1. Thank you for the retelling of the book – sounds a delightful gentle tale. I’ll check out the other book too. Ahh…I do love fireworks and how much better to watch them in summertime. Here we only have them on Guy Fawkes Night in November when it is invariably cold and often rainy!

          1. In my university days in Heidelberg, there were fireworks in the summer when they darkened the old part of the city and then had fireworks above the castle. You could view them best, I thought, from the Philosopher’s Way/Path on the other bank of the Neckar River. Or some people viewed them from boats in the Neckar River. 🙂

  8. I am looking for a summer read, now that I’ve finished reading Hamilton’s series. This sounds perfect. I can see there’s a lot of love-hate going on in this story.

    1. Jacqui, after what I imagine was an intense ten book series I think you deserve an easy charming read set in the warmth of summer! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 😀 A plethora of emotions throughout…and at times I just wanted to shout at Lily to grow up!

    1. I know, Julie; there seems to be a flood of great books out there at the moment. I have a wish list with Amazon which is growing quickly – but luckily I’m soon on holiday for a few weeks. With no TV or computer I’ll have plenty of time to read! Hope you get a break too. Wishing you a good weekend and hope the weeds don’t make any inroads in your garden.

  9. I often avoid this premise because it’s been done a bazillion times, but you make this sound fresh and fun, Annika. Your mention that the characters are fully developed is key. Sounds like a great summer read 🙂

    1. Diana, not something I would usually pick up but in this case I’m glad I did – perfect after the tensions of Baby Doll and also needed something light and non-taxing. I have started some books on the same premise but have stopped reading as the characters are too flat and wooden, which definitely wasn’t the case here. Perfect for summer – just wish summer would decide to arrive! Chilly and grey here in the UK!! Hope you have a lovely weekend. 😀

  10. Love the end reaction! It’s great if you’re not quite sure and then when you get to the end…whoo-hoo! 🙂 🙂 Have a good weekend, Annika. The sun’s in/out/in/out this morning so no breakfast in the garden just yet 🙂

    1. I know, I just felt so happy at the end! 😀 Same grey weather here so breakfast inside but celebrating wedding anniversary today so we had a chance to sit and peruse our wedding album & cards. Great memories…going out for dinner tonight. Have a lovely weekend too, Jo. 😃😃

  11. Well, that was a wonderful review. I’m not sure if this is my kind of book but if I was going to read this type of book, it would most certainly be this one.

    1. Thank you, Jeff. I know this is one book many wouldn’t want to read but it’s fun to cover a variety of genres. It was a relaxing and calm book after Baby Doll! So glad you enjoyed the review.😀

  12. delphini510

    Another great review Annika. The characters all have complex relationships to each other
    and there is great scope for deeper development.
    I will indeed take this with me on holiday in July. Will go to Amazon now. Thank you.
    P.s. After all, even Darwin relaxed with novels much more simplistic than this.:)

    1. Mirja, thank you so much for your lovely comment. That is fascinating about Darwin and his easy reads relaxation. So glad you liked the review and I hope you really enjoy the book on your holidays. It will put you in a good happy mood! 😀

    1. Yikes, Miriam! Yes, a serious flaw in my review – hadn’t taken into account the different seasons across the equator! So, a lovely winter read for you!! Hope you enjoy. 😀

    1. Thank you, Jill and so glad you’ve added it to your list. Do let me know what you think of it when you get a chance to read it. To be honest I have never read a YA romantic book before – always convinced it was not for me. The story line grabbed me this time so I thought I would give it a go – so glad a I did. I’ve only tried ‘YA’ Fantasy before.

    1. Yes, a light read but not simplistic which is what I was concerned it might be. As for the cover…at the start I wasn’t taken with it but over the past month it’s definitely grown on me. I was wondering would this appeal to its target market of younger people more?

      1. Maybe. But it looks, uh, simplistic?

        I’ve read a couple of light/romance books recently. They seem to be distinguished by not a bad story, but the writing is sooo flat. Sheer escapism I guess.

        1. I know what you mean about some books with the writing being very flat and I have had two from NetGalley which I could not finish. This was not the case with this book for me, however if you ever read it I would love to know what you think.

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