Title: A Song for Ella Grey
Author: David Almond
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Star Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: I liked the idea of this novel--an Orpheus and Eurydice retelling!--but the execution was very sloppy as well as confusing. A good try, but I just wasn't into it.
This book was given to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Ella and Claire are best friends--as close as two people can possibly be. Claire is a lot in love with Ella and always has been, and who wouldn't be? She's a beautiful dreamer who loves everyone she meets. It's always been just the two of them, and always will be. That is, until the mysterious Orpheus comes and sweeps Ella off her feet. Swept away by grief and jealousy, it is nothing compared to how she feels when Ella is gone from her forever, and Claire mourns her friend the only way she knows how: by telling her story..
What I enjoyed:
-I loved the premise of this novel--I love retellings, especially those of Greek mythology!
-Claire, the young woman who seemed to be in love with her best friend and who narrates the story
-Ella, the beautiful dreamer who loves Claire too, though it never seems to be stated in the novel
-Orpheus, the grave, mysterious man who seems to be full of secrets, who comes between them
What could've been better:
-I didn't finish this novel, I only got about halfway through because there was no information properly shared
-The pacing needed real work--there seemed to be a lot of buildup with no payoff
-It took me a while to get used to the British style of writing, and it made everything more confusing
-I wish Claire had actually said that she was in love with Ella--there was a lot of contact between the girls that wasn't explored
-Though I liked Orpheus, it felt like I was almost halfway through the book and there was little to no explanation about him
-I liked the way the book hinted at something supernatural, but I was really frustrated when it wasn't expanded on
Overall, I think A Song for Ella Grey was a valiant attempt, but it just really fell short for me. Next on deck: Dark Hope by Monica McGurk!