I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing by C. K. Kelly Martin
Series: Night Watchmen,
Published by Cormorant Books on 2014-09-01
Genres: Bullying, Dating & Sex, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Losing weight over the summer gains Serena some popularity, but it also means discovering first-hand the pains of being a fifteen-year-old girl in a world that both sexualizes and shames young women. After narrowly avoiding exploitation in a shortlived relationship, Serena aligns with a new friend who was the victim of an explicit image that was shared at school. When Serena finds herself in a relationship with a new guy, she is surprised to find a different set of expectations. But have her previous experiences damaged her too much to make it work? As Serena struggles to find who she is as opposed to who she is expected to be, she begins sighting Devin - her older brother who disappeared months earlier.
I enjoyed the characters for the most part in The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing but there are many things that pushed me away from this read. Namely, the drama is lackluster and left me hanging through most of the book with no real idea of why, until almost the very end.
Firstly, we have Serena, she’s your average gal, maybe a bit pudgy and not overly pretty. She, like most girls in high school, want to do anything to impress the boys around her, that is until she gets burned. This portion of the plot I did like. Serena has to learn through her various mistakes why it’s bad to do things that other teenage, drunk, boys want you to do. Emphasis on the DRUNK. Emphasis on this being a contemporary with cell phones that can video every horror filled moment of you doing something you were telling yourself NOT to do in the first place!!
The characters were really real. Not every guy is an asshole, not every girl is a naive idiot that’s trying to get a guy to like her. But, this is high school and all of us can remember the horror and the drama of those days! That part felt totally real but at the same time didn’t necessarily make me want to continue reading the story. This is where the lackluster part hits. Not boredom necessarily but nothing made me want to continue the story.
Also, we have Serena’s parents. YES! Another YA with parents that are in their children’s lives. Well… sort of. These parents are messed up after Serena’s brother goes missing. He was starting to go down a dark path and they didn’t know how to help him but now they are wrought with worry. So much so that Serena has one major reason to want boys to like her, so she gets SOME kind of attention.
I really did like that Serena winds up having a small group of girls that she can confide in. I think that is so important for everyone but especially when she feels like she has nobody to turn to. Gage threw me for a little bit of a loop at first but I really like that guy. His motives are very interesting! This also progresses the story while adding in some drama that, once again, is totally real nowadays. My favorite parts of the book all had to do with Gage.
The ending felt right. I was worried that things weren’t going to be answered and just left as they were around the 80% (ish) part, but everything was summed up nicely and left me feeling satisfied that I read this.
In short: Very contemporary romance with some real issues that girls have to face every day.
|Overall:||3.4 / 5|