Sunday, July 27, 2014

Book Review: A Song For Ella Grey by David Almond

First off, I would like to say that I received a copy of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Book Synosis: Taken from goodreads.

"I'm the one who's left behind. I'm the one to tell the tale. I knew them both...knew how they lived and how they died."

Claire is Ella Grey's best friend. She's there when the whirlwind arrives on the scene: catapulted into a North East landscape of gutted shipyards; of high arched bridges and ancient collapsed mines. She witnesses a love so dramatic it is as if her best friend has been captured and taken from her. But the loss of her friend to the arms of Orpheus is nothing compared to the loss she feels when Ella is taken from the world. This is her story - as she bears witness to a love so complete; so sure, that not even death can prove final.

After reading the synopsis for this story, I was instantly intrigued. A Greek retelling about Orpheus? Check. A tragic love story? Check. A beautiful cover? Check. These are all elements that I love in a story and for a book I would love to see on my shelf one day. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to my expectations for it, nor did it turn out how I expected.

This book takes place from the point of view of Claire, Ella Grey's best friend. We learn early on that she is in love with Ella romantically, however from what I could gather, Ella knows this but does not reciprocate those feelings.
The Bad:

The formatting of the kindle book was just cringe worthy. I’m usually able to ignore a lot of errors, but in this case it was just not happening. There were many grammatical errors such as “maybe" being spelled “mebbe”. Now, I know that this book takes place in England but I’m pretty sure that it is misspelled regardless of environment. Something else was that they kept saying "Biddy" a lot. After much confusion I looked it up, and apparently it is another term for “Bloody". I don't understand why they didn't just use “bloody" or if maybe they just misspelled this as well. I hope that most of these errors will be fixed in the finished copy.
The Good:

Despite everything, I did love the writing style and I found it to be very lyrical. Usually when there’s a Greek retelling it's about Posiden, Zeus, Hades,Hercules, Etc.Etc.Etc, so it was nice to see something about Orphesus.

Final Thoughts:

I liked Claire but didn’t fall in love with her character. There wasn’t anything really special that we learned about her nor significant character development. The most a reader could learn about her was that her parents lether do anything, she has a habit of leaving her homework untill the last minute and that she loves Ella.

Now, what we know about Ella is that she was adopted after being left on some steps as a baby, and that she's a dreamer, Claire's her best frined and she loves Orphesus.
Orphesus is a wander, and can sing so beautifully that nature itself wants to listen and he loves Ella Grey.
Some of these facts from these characters are interesting, but never really grow into anything. There were also a lot of secondary chracters that a reader might not care much for, and who did incredbly stupid things.

In the end I gave this book 2/5 stars because I generally liked it, although it could have been better. There were pictures included in the novel from time to time, that I am sure would have been better appreciated in a physical copy. I may pick up the physical copy somewhere down the line to see how I feel about it then.

*This book is not yet relased it comes out October 2nd 2014.

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