Title: A Song for Ella Grey
Author: David Almond
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Acquired Via: Publisher
Written in lyrical prose, this novel for fans of epic romances and mythology retellings explores themes of love, loss, fate, and destiny set against the dramatic and diverse backdrop of Northern England.
David Almond, recipient of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award, a Printz Honor for Skellig, and the Printz Award for Kit’s Wilderness, has crafted an enchanting modern take on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
Claire and Ella and their friends are bound by ties so strong they seem unbreakable. Then the strange and handsome Orpheus strolls onto the beach, and he sings them all into an astonishing new understanding of themselves. Ella is caught the hardest, fastest, deepest—and Claire is left with the pain of looking on.
Raw, emotional, lyrical, funny, and true, A Song for Ella Grey is a tale of the joys, troubles, and desires of modern teens. It takes place in the ordinary streets of Tyneside and on the beautiful beaches of Northumberland. It’s a story of first love, a love song that draws on ancient mythical forces. A love that leads Ella, Orpheus, and Claire to the gates of Death and beyond.
I'm a fan of literary fiction, so I am happy to give my reading time to any of that genre in the YA classification that catches my eye. A Song for Ella Grey definitely did that because I used to be obsessed with Greek mythology. However, the book has me a bit at a loss.
A Song for Ella Grey is young adult literature, but I think it is written for young people that are smarter than me. While I got the symbolism and all, I didn't quite "get" the book. It was hard for me to connect to the characters as a worrisome mom. I also had a hard time following what was going on. I have officially entered the dumb grown-up phase because it went completely over my head.
The book is narrated by Claire, who is Ella's best friend, but she's also in love with her. I didn't really care for Ella because I felt like she was leading Claire on most of the time. Even at the book, it was obvious that Ella was using Claire's attentions as a crutch, and I don't like users. The mom in me didn't care for Orpheus because I knew he was trouble when he first came into the story.
Since I'm still scratching my head about A Song for Ella Grey, I'm not going to rate it with stars. I think I'd have to read it again before I felt comfortable doing that. The book has some really strong, positive reviews out there, and I recommend that you check out Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus, or Goodreads.
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About the Author
David Almond grew up in a large family in northeastern England and says, “The place and the people have given me many of my stories.” His first novel for children, Skellig, was a Michael L. Printz Honor Book and an ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book and appeared on many Best Book of the Year lists. He wrote My Name Is Mina, the prequel to Skellig. His novel Kit’s Wilderness won the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. David Almond is a recipient of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award. He lives in England.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the novel from the publisher through in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.