Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Review: Sing Me To Sleep - Angela Morrison

Beth has always been "The Beast" - that's what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses.  Who could love a beast?  Beth's only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott.  That is, until she's selected to be her choir's soprano soloist, and receives the makeover of a lifetime.  Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of Beth.

Things only get better when her choir travels to Switzerland and Beth meets the mysterious Derek.  They have an incredible whirlwind affair that makes Beth realise, for the first time, she too can find love.  She's no longer The Beast.  In Derek's eyes, she's a beauty.  But then Scott makes a heartbreaking confession to Beth that leaves her completely torn.  Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, passionate feelings she has for Derek?

And there's an even bigger problem:  Derek's got a secret ... one that could shatter everything.

Visit Angela Morrison's website for more information

Review:
Beth has been bullied at school for as long as she can remember, with her poor skin, thick glasses and unusual height she is known as The Beast and teased mercilessly by the bullies.  Her only friend is the geeky Scott who has stood by her through it all.  Everything starts to change when she lands herself the role of soloist in her choir by amazing everyone with her beautiful voice.  Choir members who wouldn't give her the time of day before suddenly decide to give her a makeover in preparation for their trip to Switzerland to take part in the Choral Olympics. 

Suddenly Beth finds that people are taking notice of her and the only person who doesn't seem keen on the changes is Scott.  When Derek contacts her via the choir's website she can't believe he'd actually be interested in her when he sees her but when they finally meet in Switzerland she's shocked to find that he is.  Their whirlwind romance continues when they get home but it soon becomes clear that Derek has a secret.  Disappearing for long periods of time with no contact and acting strangely when she suggests she meet his parents their relationship isn't the easiest romance ever.  With Scott confessing his love for her Beth is torn between the two boys in her life - her best friend or the secretive Derek.

Sing Me To Sleep is a beautiful and well told story and my heart went out to Beth.  I'm sure most of us have experienced some kind of bullying in our lives and if you have I'm sure you'll find it very easy to relate to Beth's feelings.  She truly has suffered and her confidence and self-belief are at an all time low, the only thing she loves is singing and that really shows in her character.  I loved Scott straight away - he was the only person who saw through the surface to the real Beth and loved her just as she was.  He tried so hard to make her believe in herself but it wasn't surprising that she couldn't believe him.  I really found myself wishing Beth would see what was right in front of her but I could see the appeal Derek had too.

Derek came across as really sweet at first and he obviously had strong feelings for Beth.  When they returned home and he started behaving strangely I started to get quite frustrated with him.  I'd already guessed at his secret (I wasn't completely correct but close enough) and was desperate for him to just tell her rather than messing her around.  I found it frustrating that he was being so secretive but that Beth was still prepared to do anything just to be with him.  It felt at times like she put up with far too much from him when she should have moved on with her life but I think considering her low self esteem her reactions were probably quite realistic.  I also found her jealousy irritating but understandable in the circumstances.  By the time you get to the end of the book you get to know Derek a lot better and although I still don't agree with the way he handled things I can certainly understand why he did what he did.  My heart completely broke for him when I found out for sure what he had been hiding.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Sing Me To Sleep it was a beautiful story of young love and the transition from teenager to adult.  It's about learning to have confidence in yourself no matter what other people think or say and it's about finding your place in the world.  I'd recommend this book to anyone who has ever been bullied or felt down about themselves.  I have to warn you though - you'll need tissues when you read it.  I can't remember the last time I cried as much as I did while reading this book!  It is both heartbreaking and uplifting and is a book I'd say shouldn't be missed.

Source: Received as part of a book tour arranged by International Book Tours, this book has already been sent on to it's next destination.

Other reviews of this book:
Inside of a Dog
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

6 comments:

  1. This sounds like a raelly lovely story. I was bullied horrendously as a child, in primary and high school (although mainnly high school) and many years later my self esteem is still greatly affected by the experience.

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  2. This was a great book. I didn't know what to expect when I picked it up. I was thoroughly enchanted with the story. I give my thoughts and review here/

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  3. I absolutely loved this book! Such an amazing and touching story! Just beautiful! Did you read at the back that Derek was inspired by someone? So, so sad! Just a brilliant book for SI&SP Month. I loved it so much, I've gone and bought Taken By Storm, and it arrived today! :D I will be linking to your review once it's up. You may be interested in the interview with Angela Morrison too the day after.

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  4. @ Becky - I suffered a lot of bullying at secondary school so I can understand where you're coming from. That kind of thing has a massive effect on your self esteem in the long term not just while the bullying is occuring. I really enjoyed this story & found it so easy to relate to Beth. Such a sweet story but it is a real tear jerker so make sure you've got tissues to hand if you do decide to read it!

    @ Kathy - I'm so glad I signed up for the tour of this one as it's probably one I wouldn't have picked up otherwise. I really enjoyed it, such a beautiful, heart wrenching book! I've added your link for you :o)

    @ Jo - I can't wait to read your review of this one (I was very tempted to check it out on Goodreads but I decided to be patient LOL). I think this will tie in perfectly with SI&SP month - I'm really looking forward to seeing what else you've got planned that month :o) I'm very curious about Taken By Storm so will watch out for your review of that one too. I'll add your link when you post your review :o)

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  5. I learn about so many books that are new to me on your blog. When I'm in the right mood I love a good tearjerker.

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  6. @ Alyce - I'm glad I've been able to introduce you to some new books :o) I have to say my wish list has growm massively since I started reading review blogs - I don't think I'll ever manage to read all the books I want to LOL. Nothing beats a good tear jerker (book or film) when you're in the right kind of mood for one!

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