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Friday, 19 October 2012

Book Review: Sing Me to Sleep - Angela Morrison

Published March 4 2010 by Razorbill

Goodreads description
Beth has always been "The Beast",that's what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. 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 that will change her life forever. 
When Beth's choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek's untethered passion,for music, and for Beth, leaves her breathless. Because in Derek's eyes? She's not The Beast, she's The Beauty. 
When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek? 
The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek's been hiding a dark secret from her that could shatter everything.

Well, I read this one about a year ago, but I loved it so much that I wanted to reread it and finally do a review on this one. Although you're not supposed to "judge a book by its cover", I picked this one up in the library and thought that it looked cute, fluffy read, so why not? But wow, it certainly wasn't what I had been expecting.

Starting off, Beth is described as a "beast". Someone who looks so hideous that she is bullied mercilessly by the other students at her school. But one of the good things in her otherwise miserable life is the fact that she finds solace in singing with her emotions. In fact, she has joined an all girls' choir and when an opportunity came, Beth took it and rose as the choir's soloist. However, one of the choir girls' mother cannot allow such an ugly human being represent her daughter's choir in a music festival, so Beth is given a huge makeover. And from there, Beth's life changes.

After a surprising online conversation with the boys' choir from across the border, the two meet up in the same festival as competitors. Despite keeping her guard up after the harm caused by the guys in her life, she finds herself to be unable to turn away from Derek, who seems to be perfection personified. Surrounded in mystery with dark hair, chocolate brown eyes and pale pale skin. One of the best singers in the boys' choir and composer. And the fact that he claims that he fell in love with her voice and that she "sings [him] to sleep".

And just like that, in a matter of a few days, Derek becomes Beth's drug. Once the competition is over, the two of them swore to remain together, vowing to meet on both sides of the border. But what about Beth's geeky best friend, Scott? The one who had loved her before her "transformation" and continues to do so?

Despite her friendship with Scott, Beth still chooses the guy that she met at the festival. But as she gets to know him, there is more to his weird behavior than she initially thinks. And some of what he's hiding may make her regret her decision.

The writing was very smooth and intriguing to read. If school had not gotten in the way, I probably could have finished it in a sitting or two. I really loved the idea of the plot revolving around music even though I'm not very familiar with that type. It was also refreshing to read about a male singer who wasn't a rock star or anything similar.

The first time I read this book, I was highly skeptical of Derek and his motives for getting close to Beth. Did he like her for just her appearance or was he genuine when he admitted that he loved the beauty that he saw when Beth sang from within. Not to mention how he was surrounded in mystery and pushed her away when Beth came close to picking at the cracks. And his odd "drug" habit that one of his friends had revealed. Was he really a good guy?

However, regardless of Derek's occasional weird behavior, Beth loved him with every inch of her being and it soon became apparent that he returned her feelings. But when it became too much, Beth realizes that something is wrong and discovers the truth.






There were occasional foreshadowing in the story that I caught in the second time through, but for the first read, Derek's actions were sometimes a little strange, but nothing out of the ordinary. And certainly, I wasn't expecting anything life threatening. So when it was revealed that Derek had been fighting his entire life to live with cystic fibrosis, it was a bit of a shock. For the most part, he had seemed fine when he really wasn't. Even though he suffered, he wanted to meet Beth after listening to her sing online. And he wanted to be someone who wasn't sick and dying because when he was with her, he almost believed it. It made him strong enough to live a little longer.

Admittedly, I bawled a lot in the end. Both the first and the second time. As soon as I realized that she was learning to truth, it got to the point where I stopped reading it on public transit because my eyes were watering when I read about him telling her that he was ready and that she needed to let him go. But the scene where Beth was singing (the song that he wrote for her) to him as he drifted away was tragically beautiful. No matter how much it hurt, Beth never regretted loving him.

Source: Borrowed
My Rating: 4 and a half coffee cups (Loved it)


  1. Wow. This is... Intense. And beautiful. And touching. If I ever manage to come across this title, I'll be sure to pick it: there's a lot of emotion between those covers, I just can tell from your review!

    Thanks for sharing,

    1. Thanks for reading! There were some parts of the book that I didn't like as much, but the beauty of the story is worth it. I really loved how the author wrote a lot of lyrics in this book and how each of them relate to their feelings for each other.