I am a wildly rabid fan of Schwab books.
We actually get to be called Schwablins and isn’t that the best? I tell you, it’s worth signing up to have your soul smashed by VE Schwab immediately just for the sake of being called a SCHWABLIN.
But despite how much I loooove my slightly goblin title…I ALSO NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS SAVAGE SONG TODAY. This is a strange review because (A) I actually bought this book myself and do you know how often I blog about books I’ve bought?!?? NEVER. It’s always ARCs around here. And also (B) I’ve never reviewed a Schwab book on the blog before?!? I swear, my brain is just on holidays 87% of the time.
- IT’S ALL ABOUT MONSTERS — AKA MY FAVOURITE TOPIC.
I loooove monsters. I LOVE ‘EM. It’s set in a “Gotham inspired world”, where humans are waring against each other, and monsters are eating everyone in between. #GoodTimes It’s mostly human vs human and human vs monster. And, naturally, I love the comparison of humans being more monsterish than the actual monsters. Gah, I just love that kind of story, okay?!
- IT FEATURES A VERY SPECIAL QUOTE IN THE FRONT. Which IS SO META and makes my Schwablin heart fairly die of appreciation.
Plenty of humans are monstrous, and plenty of monsters know how to play at being human.
— V.A. VALE
For those of you don’t know, “V.A. Vale” is a character out of Vicious. THE AUTHOR LITERALLY QUOTED HER OWN CHARACTER IN HER OWN BOOK AND I JUST…I CANNOT. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.
Also it’s a fantastic quote. Obviously.
- THE PLOT HAS A LOT OF RUNNING AND BLEEDING.
Which is also my favourite. Although I confess the plot isn’t going to blow your mind with complex and intricate twists. But I’ve heard it being referred to as “Romeo and Juliet retelling without the romance” and that is very very accurate.
- NOW WE CAN TALK ABOUT THE PRECIOUS DAMAGED CINNAMON ROLLS? Yes. Yes we can. Forever and ever and ever preferably. You know those kind of characters that just are so incredibly you must sit there thinking “They are scary and precious and I LOVE THEM AND THERE’S PROBABLY SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME BUT NO REGRETS”? These are those. The characters were perfect little beasts. We have two narrators: Kate (a beastly nasty girl who is daughter of a crime-lord and a human) and August (who is a soul-eating monster and adopted-son of the human rebels). August ends up “spying” on Kate at her school and then they get thrown into a run-for-your-life adventure.
- KATE: She was so snarky and bitter and CRUEL but it was like she was forcing herself to be that way. Cue feels breaking in the distance. She was awful in order to impress her awful dad. I did love her.
- AUGUST: I admit…I loved him more. August is a monster who wishes he wasn’t. AND I LOVE THAT KIND OF TROPE. He is entirely adorable and sweet and plays violin (although that also sucks out your soul, so #awkward) and the levels of adorable cinnamon roll dark side tragedy just SPOKE TO ME GREATLY. I am raving. But not even sorry.
- ALSO: VIOLINIST!! VIOLINIST ALERT!!
How often do I read books about classical instruments?! Like never. And plus I used to
murderplay the violin myself so this was infinitely pleasing to realise I, too, could’ve been sucking souls. I’m sure my family agreed that I was anyway.
- THE WRITING IS SO DELICIOUS I WILL DEVOUR IT AT DAWN.
No, no, I’ll devour it all the time because I can’t get enough. It has this intensely flawless way of sucking me into the story. I LOSE TIME READING HERE. I never lose time. I’m usually hyper-focused on time, okay!? The characters are so complex, the writing sensory, and the details perfection. Oh and while I’m here gushing like an appreciative loony mongoose: I want to mention something I was really fond of. I feel like it portrayed Sensory Overload really really well. Although NOTE: the book doesn’t use that phrase so this might be me “seeing into things”…but August seemed to have monster-sensory-meltdowns and as someone who frequently experiences sensory overload (spoiler: that is me) I related so much I WANTED TO CRY.
August cringed; the overhead lights were too bright, the scraping of chairs too sharp. Everything was heightened, like the volume on his life was turned up but not in an exciting way. Noises were too loud and smells too strong and pain — which he did feel — too sharp. But worse than the senses were the emotions. Agitation and anger burned under his skin and in his head. Every comment and every thought felt like a spark on dry wood.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to go through a sensory overload experience: that is it. It’s described so accurately I JUST THANK THE BOOKISH UNIVERSE THAT IS THIS BOOK EXISTS.
- DID I MENTION THERE IS ACTUALLY NO ROMANCE?
This is, as you might’ve noticed, a very rare occurrence in YA. (Although I have a list of YA books without romance if you’re so inclined to peruse.) And I’m so happy?!? Like ridiculously happy! FINALLY we have two characters who (A) are focused on survival not make-out sessions #PRIORITIES, (B) are really family orientated (although like Kate’s dad is a psychopath and August’s family eat souls but…whatever), and (C) proves friendship is downright freaking awesome.
- HELP ME. I THINK THIS BOOK STOLE MY HEART.
I’m kidding. Don’t help me. Leave me in my feels. I’m so so happy with this book okay?!? There is violence and danger, and ti’s gritty and blood-streaked. PLUS THERE IS A VIOLIN AND I PLAY VIOLIN SO MY CONNECTION TO AUGUST IS IMMENSE. That moment when you connect to a character so so much is just…ajfdskaljd it’s marvellously special.
Monsters, monsters, big and small,
they’re gonna come and eat you all…
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