My Thoughts On… Sing (Like No One’s Listening) by Vanessa Jones
21 April, 2019
My Thoughts On… Sing (Like No One’s Listening) by Vanessa Jones
Today is my stop on the blog tour for Sing (Like No One’s Listening) and I am here today with a review of this brilliant book, an interview with the author AND a giveaway!
**A copy of this book was provided to me for free in exchange for an honest review**
Title: Sing (Like No One’s Listening) Author: Vanessa Jones Publisher: Macmillan Kids Published: 18th April 2019 Pages: 352 Format: Paperback Source:: Review Copy from Publisher Add It:Amazon UKGoodreads. Summary:Since her mother died, Nettie Delaney hasn’t been able to sing a note and has lost her confidence in finding her voice. This wouldn’t be a problem if she wasn’t now attending Dukes, the most prestigious performing arts college in the country, with her superstar mother’s shadow hanging over her. Going shoulder to shoulder with fame-hungry teenagers and bullied by the ballet teacher who holds a fierce resentment towards her, Nettie has her work cut out for her and everyone is watching for her to slip up.
But one night, in an empty studio after college, Nettie finds herself suddenly singing, as someone behind the curtain accompanies her on the piano. Maybe all is not lost for Nettie. Maybe she can find her voice again and survive her first year at Dukes. But can she do it before she gets thrown out?
An inspiring story about believing in yourself, finding your voice, and not throwing away your shot. Musical theatre enthusiasts and fans of shows like Glee, Fame, and Carrie Hope Fletcher’s book When The Curtain Falls will really enjoy this preppy debut novel.
I have to be honest and let you know that I am a massive fan of musicals, theatre and those TV shows where the characters are all learning to be dancers or singers or actors. Honestly, anything that has something to do with performance in and I am usually a massive sucker for them. (And has anyone else soaked up ALL of the Australian films on gymnasium things?) So when this book fell into my inbox, I knew that it was one that I simply had to read. And I am incredibly glad I did! I truly loved this book from the start to the finish and would highly recommend it. It has been written by someone who works on broadway and one of the things I noticed straight away is that it flows as though it is a musical. It would work so well on stage – in my opinion!
To get a better idea of how much I loved this book, here are the bits about this book that I loved and the bits that I didn’t get along so well with!
Best Things About the Book
I absolutely loved our main protagonist. I loved how she felt like a really rounded person. She’s had a lot to deal with and yet is still so mentally strong and powerful. It was such a delight to read.
I adored the LGBT rep in this book. Especially in Kiki. It was just such a delight and didn’t feel like it was too in your face – even if Alec is a bit OTT but it just works with him!
The musical theatre! As a bit of a theatre geek myself, I truly loved this aspect of the book. Not just the talk of the performances but how it all comes together. I would have loved to have been at a university like this – I just don’t have a drop of talent myself!
The friendships in this book are so incredibly inspiring. I was in love with this friendship gang from the minute they met and decided that they would be a group. They all got on so well and all had each others backs and I just loved reading about that!
The sensitivity of dealing with death and the emotional impact it can have. I thought the book dealt with this topic so well. I felt so much for Nettie. And she was a much more stable person at the end which I absolutely loved.
Not so Good Things
There was a bit of a “mean girl” trope going on in this book which I found to be a little irritating and OTT at the start. It worked out well towards the end but it felt a little off at the start.
I also disliked one of the teachers quite a lot, and again, it felt that this relationship was only there to further the plot along. I would be seriously worried if any teacher actually treats her students this way. So in a way, these scenes pulled me out of the book a little bit.
Nettie has lost her voice – something that once made her feel grounded and wholesome – she is struggling to know who she is without it. What is your equivalent to this and how hard would you fight to get it back?
What is your favourite thing about writing books?
I love being able to live in a made-up world for several hours a day. It’s like daydreaming, only better!
Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
I really love Kiki (especially since I’ve been exploring her voice further for book 2). I love her drive and her dedication, and how kind she is. But I think my favourite character to write is Alec. There’s something appealing about his naughtiness.
What is your favourite drink to consume while writing?
This is so bad, but I drink loads of black coffee. (Although I do switch to decaf after the first two!)
Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing?
Getting distracted by Twitter! Or falling down a YouTube rabbit hole whilst researching musical theatre numbers. That’s a thing that happened quite a lot with SING.
How do you research your books?
I read, I watch, I obsess over street maps and plans of buildings, I buy random books about the history of tap dance . . . I talk to friends, I retrace journeys. I’m quite obsessive.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Definitely a plotter, although sometimes the ending surprises me. I usually write the opening pages until I’ve got a sense of the mood, then plot the story chapter-by-chapter before I write any more. It always changes, but I like to have somewhere solid to start from.
If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
Can I have Harry Potter, but specifically in The Cursed Child when Hermione is Minister For Magic? Or is that too much of a spoiler?!
If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
I think if I was still a teenager I’d want to be friends with Starr from The Hate U Give. I love how she finds her courage and fights back.
About the Author
Vanessa Jones was born and raised in Kent. After training at Laine Theatre Arts, she went on to be a Musical Theatre actor in West End shows, including Wicked, Sister Act, Grease, Guys and Dolls, Annie Get Your Gun and Mary Poppins, where she met (and married!) a fellow actor. She now lives in East Sussex with her sweep and their two children and runs her own musical theatre schools.