I’m giving up at 24%. The story is going into a predictable, somewhat stereotypical even, direction that is making it harder for me to get through. And it’s a shame, because “Sing for Me” has such a promising summary, and a beautiful cover, and the first chapter is lively and engaging. But everything after that first chapter fell short.
The story is dominated by the impossible romance of Madeleine and Damascus, a detail that I didn’t expect and didn’t enjoy when I discovered this. I was really hoping for something a little new, some kind of twist on the concept of angels and their protectors and demons. But the story was predictable. What sealed the deal for me was when Madeleine finds out she is doomed, predictably, and Damascus makes the promise to protect her no matter what. Madeleine is an angel that makes it hard to believe she has anything divine about her, besides being called an angel, specifically a Choir. The episode in the shower and her lusty thoughts about Damascus can be added to a long, pre-existing list of female protagonists who pin for an impossible love that falls into the category of insta-love. Maybe the reader finds out later on about why Damascus and Madeleine love each other, I don’t know. I didn’t have the patience or desire to get to that point in the book, and everything in the beginning felt thrown together and given to the reader in a somewhat jumbled state.
It read like a checklist and felt like yet another stereotypical YA novel. The few “plot twists” that did occur in those first 24% of the book were predictable as well as flat. The writing didn’t engage. There was no dimension to the setting, and the dialogue was short and choppy and filled with either obvious statements, descriptions of angels and their past that weren’t fleshed out, or Madeleine making eye-rolling statements about her impending doom, Damascus, or both in one sentence.
There was nothing for me in this book and feeling so off-put by it already only a quarter of the way in, pushing through with the rest of it would feel like beating a dead horse. This will appeal to people who enjoy reading similar ideas with stereotypical characters and plot, staying in the comfort of a solidified paradigm. For me, who prefers to read something with a twist or something familiar that’s at least engaging, this book missed the mark by a longshot.