Saturday, April 3, 2010
SING ME TO SLEEP by Angela Morrison
I first discovered author Angela Morrison when I was given a copy of TAKEN BY STORM as part of my reading list for the Cybils Awards. As I read it, I remember thinking is was a perfect love story for my teenage students, and it has been just the hit I thought it would be.
When one of my students asked if we could contact Ms. Morrison for a possible interview as part of a class book project, I was glad to help out. The reply we got was a positive one - she was not only willing to be interviewed about her first novel, but also offered to send us a copy of her latest called SING ME TO SLEEP. It arrived just the other day and became the first book on my spring break reading list. Thank you, Angela.
SING ME TO SLEEP is another love story. This time the focus is on Beth. She has the misfortune of bad hair, unsightly acne, and Coke-bottle glasses that have earned her the nickname The Beast. Her one loyal friend since pre-school is Scott. He tries to convince her that her appearance doesn't matter, but she knows his lame lectures about its what's inside that counts just don't make up for the teasing taunts she faces daily.
To maintain her sanity, Beth puts all her energy into singing. She has a beautiful voice with great range and perfect pitch. She sings in the high school choir and also travels an hour and a half south through Detroit to participate in a girls' choir in Ann Arbor, Michigan. At one fateful rehearsal she surprises her fellow choir members when she is asked to step in and replace the usual soloist. She is fabulous! The next thing she knows, she is going to be performing at a world choir competition in Switzerland.
Several of the choir members decide to give Beth a makeover. After acne treatments, highlights and a new hairstyle, and laser eye surgery, Beth is a real beauty. She can't believe what she sees in the mirror. However, for her, the beauty still remains only skin deep. Underneath, she still feels like The Beast.
The chance to sing to a worldwide audience is not the only thing that's changing for Beth. Her relationship with Scott seems to be taking on new meaning. There are feelings erupting that don't seem appropriate for a long-time friendship like theirs. There isn't much time to examine it, though, with preparations for the big competition and some amazing attention from another very attractive guy in a competing choir. Things may be happening way too quickly for Beth.
SING ME TO SLEEP will grab readers by the end of the Prologue. Beth is the kind of character who deserves a makeover and someone to love. She is a great singer, but having lived in the shadows so long, she doesn't let it go to her head. She remains likeable throughout which will have readers crossing their fingers for a "dream come true" ending. There is just enough suspense built in to keep the pages turning as Beth goes through her transformation and her rise to choir stardom. Just released on March 10, be sure to get your hands on SING ME TO SLEEP, and thank you again to Angela Morrison for providing my students with a copy.