Thanks to Net Galley and TBR & Beyond for the E-ARC.
About the Book
Genre: Middle-Grade Contemporary Romance
Publishing date: May 30, 2023
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Rep: Queer, Fat, Mental Health, Questioning
This stunning debut and wholly original queer middle grade novel-in-verse retelling of “Orpheus and Eurydice” adds a new chorus to the songs of great love, perfect for fans of Other Words for Home and Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World.
Love at first sight isn’t a myth. For seventh graders Olivia and Eden, it’s fate. Olivia is a capital-P Poet, and Eden thinks she wants to be a musician one day, but for now she’s just the new girl. And then Eden shows up to Poetry Club and everything changes.
Eden isn’t out, and she has rules for dating Olivia: don’t call. Don’t tell her friends. And don’t let anyone know they’re together.
But when jealousy creeps in, it’s Olivia’s words that push Eden away. While Eden sets out to find herself, Olivia begins a journey to bring Eden back—using poetry. Both Olivia and Eden will learn just how powerful their words can be to bring them together . . . or tear them apart forever.
Content Warning: Homophobia, mental illness
Brave by Sara Bareillies
Only Us from Dear Evan Hansen
For Good from Wicked
Wait for Me from Hadestown
I Just Wanna Dance With You from The Prom
Ring of Keys from Fun Home
Rating: 5 stars or 9.23/10
The characters in this book really pull on your heartstrings. Olivia and Eden were so sweet, and each had a distinct personality, making the story work. I felt like Eden and Olivia had a way of interacting; as characters, they balanced each other out really well. Lexi and the poetry club members, plus Eden’s friends, added to the story with their interactions.
This was a very mature story for Middle-Grade. For me, it rode the line between Middle-Grade and YA. I’m new to novels in verse, but they’re such an exciting way to tell a story. Eden and Olivia have a story that was so sweet, and I loved the way they interacted with each other. The reason I said this story rides the line is because of some of the mature themes, like growing up and finding yourself over the course of the book. This was also a mature middle grade because romance played a large role in the plot. I loved the other elements of the story, like the girl’s individual journeys, and how they could come together at the end of the story.
Kate Fussner does a great job of telling the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice as if they were young pre-teen girls. The writing style used in The Song of Us was a novel in verse, which worked well for this story considering the original myth would be told in a style similar. The poetry flowed well and worked well to tell the story. Kate Fussner wrote The Song of Us in a way that captivated me and kept me hooked from start to finish..
I loved this book! The story was both fun and heartwarming, talking about tough topics in a way that young readers understand. Eden and Olivia were great characters, and their story was so sweet.
About the Author
Kate Fussner writes books for young people and bakes the perfect chocolate chip cookie. She holds a B.A from Vassar College, an M.Ed. from University of Massachusetts Boston, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing for Young People from Lesley University. After over a decade of teaching English for the Boston Public Schools, Kate now spends her time writing and walking her dramatic dog, Mrs. Weasley. She is represented by Eric Smith at P.S. Literary. Her writing has appeared in the Boston Globe, WBUR’s Cognoscenti, and elsewhere. She and her wonderful wife live in MA.
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