Title: Sing Like No One's Listening
Author: Vanessa Jones
Publication Date: 01 Sept 2020
Publication: Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC


A moving story of grief and healing - sure to be a pure joy for any musical theater aficionado.

Nettie Delaney has just been accepted into a prestigious performing arts school--the very same school her superstar mother attended. With her mother's shadow hanging over her, Nettie has her work cut out for her--and everyone is watching. To make matters worse, Nettie hasn't been able to sing a single note since her mother died. Whenever she tries, she just clams up. But if Nettie's going to survive a demanding first year and keep her place in a highly coveted program, she'll have to work through her grief and deliver a showstopper or face expulsion.

All may not be lost, however, when Nettie stumbles upon a mysterious piano player in an empty studio after class. Masked behind a curtain, can Nettie summon the courage to find her voice? Or will the pressure and anxiety of performing come crashing down?

All about finding and raising your voice, and not throwing away your shot, Vanessa Jones's well-crafted journey of grief and healing will pull readers along with its strong narrative voice and satisfying sense of mystery.


“It’s every ‘fine’ I replied when someone asked me how I was doing; every woman I chased down the street thinking it was mum; every scream I ever uttered in my bedroom at night, begging her to come back. It’s the memory of her singing me to sleep. It’s every morning waking up and forgetting for a split second that she’s gone, until the realization hit me with a dull thud. It’s waking every morning to that dull thud.”

Nettie’s got the entire universe turned against her. Her mum dies of cancer, she has a dysfunctional relationship with her grandmother and therefore has no family left. For some inexplicable reason, Nettie can’t sing. After a horrific audition, she gets accepted into Duke but life doesn’t seem to give her a break. Although Nettie makes good friends and begins to find a connection with Fletch, a talented second-year artist, she gets bullied by her peers and her teachers. Can Nettie overcome her obstacles and triumph in Duke?

Whew, this was such an emotional read. This novel is written in Nettie’s perspective and that helped convey her mental distress, which is the primary focus of the story. Some of her moments with Fletch were profound. 

“I’ve got all day. He has all day. Yay, yah, yah. I inwardly skip all the way to the station. I’d be doing actual skipping if it weren’t for this heavy suitcase I’m dragging.”

Alec was my favorite character in the entire novel. His pragmatic, vibrant, no bullshit attitude made me admire him. He stole my attention like everybody else’s in Duke. I found the book disengaging in the beginning but everything got better as the story got nearer to the end. Nettie rids herself of her doormat behavior and turns into a more independent, career-oriented woman. Her loose ends from her past get tied up as well. 

‘Sing Like No One’s Listening’ is one of the most cliche YA novels I’ve read. It is also highly unrealistic in various aspects. Musicians are serious about what they drink or eat because it might affect their voice but the students in Duke drink quite a lot, it seemed a bit illogical. The competition in any prestigious art institute is cut-throat and for the first 50% of the book, Nettie doesn’t make a significant effort in her academic activities. The constant fat-shaming, slut-shaming, girl rivalry themes were tiresome. Jade; there was so much potential to add substance to her character but she’s completely cast off as a typical mean-girl villain. Nettie and Fletch were sweet but they had bad communication and Fletch’s indecisive nature was quite irksome. All the message texts were poorly edited, serving as a distraction from the story. A high school setting would’ve worked better. 

This book has profound original ideas, entertaining characters but a passive narrative.  ‘Sing Like No One’s Listening’ is recommended to all readers in the mood for a completely cliche YA romance. ARC provided by NetGalley and publisher. Thank you. #SingLikeNoOne'sListening#NetGalley. 



During my read: 

A) Eleanor & Park
(Let me know yours in the comments!)
SHARE 2 comments

Add your comment