Cover Image: Sing Like No One's Listening

Sing Like No One's Listening

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Member Reviews

I did not enjoy this book. The main character is incredibly self-pitying and everyone around her acts like she is the next Messiah, despite showing no actual signs of talent and having very basic musical theatre tastes. There were so many times where I had to take a step back and quietly scream to myself, whether it was about the plot, the characters, the blatant feminization of gay characters, or the musical theatre takes (BREAKING DOWN FROM FALSETTOS IS A BASIC BITCH VIBE!!). It was exhausting to read this book and I mainly finished from a vaguely misguided hope that it would get better.
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I didn't particularly enjoy this book but it wasn't a bad book, it was up and down of a book for me. I just couldn't get into it, towards the end it felt very slow and hard to keep engaged.
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I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 
While the premise of this book was what attracted me to the book, it fell flat against the constant name dropping of popular musicals and the characters. I pushed through to finish, but I did not really enjoy this book.
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I mean this book was good, I liked it a little bit, but not that much, it's something that if I read it again, I will be bored, I suposse
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The Review
The Title/Cover Draw:
I don’t know if the cover or title had anything to do with this. But give me a story in a school setting and I tend to go for it.

What I liked:
The knowledge of musical theater- YES! And I totally loved the inside jokes and info the author had.

What I didn’t like:
Sometimes I wish they had explained the references. Not everyone is so up on theater so this would help include them. Also the conflict was so prolonged, I kept wishing they would make it a little more interesting.

What kept me reading:
The characters were strong and kind of made up for the unsteady story.

The Characters:
See above.

The Ending:
Seemed a little rushed. And while i really liked the idea of it all and gave it 4 stars overall, after it sat with me a time, I did realized that it was because I did love the characters and the setting.

Consider if you like:
High School Musical, Glee, or just musical theater in general.

You can see my video review here:
https://youtu.be/3tn8Am9wjdo
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DNF. Thank you NetGalley and Publisher for this early copy! I decided to not keep reading this one, it was not for me. Thanks!
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Nettie Delaney is grieving the loss of her mother, a superstar in the performing arts world, when she's accepted to Duke's , the prestigious London performing arts school that her mother also attended. The problem? Nettie can't get in touch with her voice since her mother's death; she hasn't been able to sing at all since her mother died. She makes it into the school, but the looming figure of director Miss Duke makes things more stressful. Add to that the fact that a ballet teacher has it in for her, and she's the target of two mean girls who want to sabotage her at every turn, and Nettie seems to have the odds stacked against her. She'll need her new friends to lean on as she works to discover her voice and get through her first year at Duke's.

A story of loss and renewal, Sing Like No One's Listening is also a romance. Nettie and second year student, Fletch, have a chemistry neither can deny, but it's a slow burn all the way through the book as the two deal with miscommunication and outside interference. There's a little mystery in here, too, as Nettie rediscovers her voice only when she's alone, and a mysterious piano player in the next room provides a low-stress outlet for her voice. 

Sing Like No One's Listening, originally published in the UK, is perfect for fans of the performing arts and musical theater. Readers will feel like they've got a chance to peek in on a group of talented college students as they dance, shmooze, and romance their way through a year at school. Give this to your romance readers, and consider some of these titles, courtesy of Simon Teen, that are perfect for music lovers, too.

Find an excerpt, author Q&A, and discussion guide at Peachtree Publisher's website.
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This story touched my heart.  Nettie Delaney has not been able to sing since she lost her mom.  She now finds herself in the same performing acts school her mother went too. She finds she can only sing when she comes across a mystery piano player in the auditorum. If she wants to stay there she will have to find her voice and overcome her grief.  

I enjoyed reading this book and if anyone experienced grief they will find that part of the story relatable. There were parts that reminded me of Glee. The teacher who gives her hell about her weight and mother,  The girl who is interest in the guy that is paying attention to Nettie and giving her a hard time.   So if you enjoyed Glee you might enjoy picking this book up,
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Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the gifted copy. All thoughts are my own 

I loved the idea of this book but I honestly couldn't get into it. I found it difficult to connect with the characters. It may be that it just felt a little "young" for me. 

2.5 stars
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Sing Like No One's Listening was probably one of the most cliche contemporary YA books in existence. The setting and premise were not that believable or fleshed out, and it was difficult to read.
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Nettie Delaney hasn’t been able to sing a note since the death of her mother. 

On the day of her audition at Dukes, London’s prestigious performing arts college, Nettie receives an old voicemail from her mom, who recently passed away from cancer (and was a star performer herself back in the day). Unable to sing, Nettie flees her audition and accepts that she will never be admitted. But one day, she receives an acceptance letter and is given a second chance at her dream.

Upon arriving at Dukes, Nettie is thrown into the spotlight. She can’t sing a word due to “stage fright”; she’s drawn the attention of the college’s mean girls; and she’s constantly living in her mother’s shadow. One night, Nettie stumbles upon a mystery piano player and begins singing along— at last she’s found her voice. But, when it comes to class and auditions, she can’t get a word out. After she’s put on probation, Nettie decides it’s time to finally find her voice…and maybe love along the way. 

We really enjoyed this book! We didn’t know it at first, but Vanessa Jones is a former West End actress, so the book felt very authentic. Nettie was a reliable MC, and for anyone that has dealt with loss, she is extremely relatable. We felt for the girl and rooted for her from start to finish. The fact that she overcame her “stage fright” was inspiring and we’re glad she finally found her voice despite all the little things that kept getting in the way. 

Speaking of which, the mean girls were…super mean and kind of ridiculous. I know every YA contemporary story has to have at least one, but yikes. These girls were mean for no reason. But we’re glad karma caught up to them in the end!

Nettie’s friend group had us LOL’ing the entire time. We loved Leon, Alec, and Kiki. They were true friends and brought heart to the story! The teachers who were in Nettie’s corner were also great additions. We were glad she had such a genuine group of people supporting her after the BS she dealt with.  

Now on to Fletch, the love interest! We really loved Fletch. He was witty and super charming, and most of all, he could relate to Nettie’s loss. His brother had also recently passed and the two bonded over their shared experiences with grief. Their chemistry was off the charts from the beginning. We wish the ending with them hadn’t been rushed, but we appreciated that the author emphasized solving Nettie’s stage fright over fixing her miscommunication with Fletch. Their ending was well-written and adorable! Major feels. 

One thing we would’ve liked to read more about was the mystery behind Nettie’s mom and why she ended her career. There were lots of references to her mom’s career ending suddenly and under mysterious circumstances, but none of it was explained. Overall, though, every thing else felt resolved and left us satisfied. 

Definitely pick up this up if you love YA books that take place at performing arts schools! For some reason, we kept thinking of that Hilary Duff movie, Raise Your Voice, while we were reading. We loved that movie and this book had similar vibes. Oh, the nostalgia!
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Title: Sing Like No One’s Listening
Author: Vanessa Jones    
Genre: YA
Rating: 4 out of 5

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?

This was a fun book! I know nothing about professional dancing or singing or performing, so I can’t say if it was accurate there, but if felt accurate. The author did an excellent job of connecting the reader to Nettie’s struggles and investing them in her journey.

The secondary characters were larger-than-life and a lot of fun, and I enjoyed seeing Nettie conquer her fears—all of them, not just the singing—and grow into her own person. A fun, inspiring read. 

Vanessa Jones lives in Rome. Sing Like No One’s Listening is her newest novel. 

(Galley courtesy of Peachtree Publishing in exchange for an honest review.)
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4.5 stars

This book could not have been more up my alley. As a professional actor and as someone who did a semester abroad in London, I have such a soft spot for the city that made me fall back in love with performing. Getting to delve into this story, written by a West End actor, was an absolute treat (we love to see an abundance of musical theatre inside jokes).

I felt for these characters trying to find their way in the world for the first time at a school where everything seems aimed at reminding you that you are replaceable. Going to school for the performing arts takes guts and I felt that the author really did not shy away from showing the unfortunate reality of what happens in a lot of arts programs. Some of the instances made me cringe a little (pro tip: you should never slap another actor full in the face during a rehearsal), but that is just based on my personal experience and not the author's fault.

In a time where the world needs the arts more than ever, I truly think that this book will remind theatre kids everywhere that they are important and that their voice means something. 

Thank you so much to NetGalley and PeachTree Publishing Company for an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review!
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Nettie is an orphan with a nasty grandmother. She is also a singing prodigy who gets admission in one of the most prestigious fine arts school in the country.
All perfect? No! Because since her mother passed, Nettie cannot sing!

I came across this book on Netgalley and I was so attracted by the beautiful cover and the coming of age story description that I requested it immediately. I love music and musicals and this was a musical in book form! What was not to like?

The story was quick and easy to read. YA fiction with romance is a cozy genre I prefer to read when I am overwhelmed with heavy books. Sing Like No One's Listening fit the bill perfectly. The story of Nettie as she sorts her problems and gains her voice is amazing.
Nettie gains great friends at the new institute. I loved Alec with his bad-ass attitude and Fletch was very sweet. The book also addresses important issues like body-shaming, bullying and homophobia.

All said, there were things I didn't like as well. Nettie and Fletch have zero communication and that causes a lot of unnecessary problems. One of the main things, though, was I didn't like being in Nettie's head. Even at the end of the book, we don't know anything about her. All we know is that she is an orphan and a singer who has lost her voice. That's it. 
I'd also have liked some stories about why people behaved as they did. Why was Nettie's grandmother so sour? What was the relationship between Nettie's mother and Miss Duke? Why was the dance teacher so angry with Nettie? What did Nettie's mother do to alienate everyone?
So many questions and no answers.

Going with 2.5 stars for a quick read and good side characters.
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Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with this arc in exchange for my honest review. I was honestly so excited to read this being a musical theatre lover myself. Unfortunately, my expectations were off and I ended up not enjoying this book as much as I had wanted.

This is for a few reasons but first I'd just like to say as a positive that most of the first half were pretty good to read and the book as a whole was quick to read.

Now, one of the biggest issues I had with this book was the character Alec, the gay best friend and just how unrealistic and annoying he was as a character. In the books, he's been driven to be seen as perfect and even he believes he's perfect and even when it's seen that he's trying to help Nettie it just doesn't feel real. I would have much preferred the book without Alec in it, or if his character was changed slightly. As a member of the LGBT+ community myself, with friends from all different backgrounds I couldn't even pretend that this was an accurate representation of a person and more an egotistically typical stereotype. 

Actually, this is something I noticed with a few of Nettie's friend group, they're more being portrayed as stereotypes of characters rather than representing as an individual more realistic. I understand in musical theatre that there is competition and challenges that everyone face but this just didn't seem like a realistic school at all. With the abuse Nettie received in some scenes I was genuinely just disgusted.

The book is about Nettie finding her voice again, and while doing so it just leads to so much abuse and unnecessary hatred that was not needed. 

The second half of the book honestly felt like there were multiple different parts happening at the same time, I was confused and completely overwhelmed having to try to stop myself from being overwhelmed by all the drama being caused at exponential rates in the last 30%.

My last and lesser important annoyances of the book was an arc problem. Any times there was texting scenes involved the font would be out of order and repeating and scrambling lines two to three times making it so confusing to understand what's going on and to feel any sympathy or emotion at all during these scenes.

I am grateful for receiving this arc however I didn't want to lie about my personal experience on reading it. Perhaps some of these issues were resolved (At least the texting one would be anyway) and I could have just read it completely wrong but I genuinely was desperate to try love this book and just couldn't.
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I really enjoyed this book. I loved that it was set at a performing arts school, that's something I haven't read a lot of. As someone who goes to a performing arts school, (nowhere near as cutthroat though) some of the aspects in this book felt familiar. I felt like the very strong focus on music and performing really made this book, because most of the characters weren't very special.

Alec was by far my favorite character. I loved how loud and outgoing he was, and I loved how he pushed Nettie out of her shell. To me, he was really the only one out of Nettie's friends who had real substance, which was a shame, because they all had a lot of potential. Along with Alec, I really liked the way that Nettie was written. Her grief over her mom's death felt real, and so did her journey to regaining her voice. I was so happy that this book didn't just have her voice poof back into existence, it actually took time and work.

I did really struggle with the characterization of one of our characters in this: Ms. Moore. I understand that their school was cutthroat, and super competitive. I might've been able to deal with it if she was only verbally abusive. (not that that isn't a problem, it just would've made more sense that what happened.) The author of this really tried to tell us that despite the teacher literally burning Nettie with a cigarette, she is still allowed to teach?? That is abuse, and it shouldn't be normalized or accepted.

The romance in this was another super weak point for me. I liked Nettie and Fletch together at the beginning of the book, but I got very tired of their constant non-communicativeness.They were constantly avoiding each other because of something, and it got very old, very fast. I hate to admit it, but I was honestly shipping Nettie and Luca, I felt like they worked together better than Nettie and Fletch. Thankfully, this book was about a lot more than the romance, so I was still able to enjoy it.

I did receive this book as an arc, but I feel like I have to mention the bad editing. At several times, text conversations were written, but lines would be jumbled, or repeated twice. I finally just stopped reading the texts because they were impossible to understand. Once again, I did get this prerelease, so the problems will most likely be fixed before publication. If you're looking for a fun romance centering around music, and finding yourself, you'll definitely enjoy this book!
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Let me start with this disclaimer: I really, really wanted to love this book. The description and the plot themes are right up my alley and I was beyond excited that this was my first Netgalley book.
From the get-go, I was cheering for Nettie – I mean, a gifted singer who loses her voice that just so happens to share the same nickname as one of my favorite aunts? What’s there not to cheer for?? Add in the mystery of Nettie’s mother’s past, some hilarious characters, and I am a happy camper. 
I adore side characters who steal the spotlight. The best of friends, Alec, Leon, and Kiki, made the entire world come more to life. While some of their development relies on stereotypes (Alec is the typical gay ballet dancer, Kiki is a dancer with body image issues) they provide enough color with their personalities to bring a smile to my face. They pulled me through with their wit and honest friendships.
There are some interesting antagonists, from a jealous classmate to an abusive teacher subplot (which reminded me a lot of Dance Academy's Saskia), and these characters are so well written that I was genuinely disturbed on Nettie’s behalf.
Lettie herself was a bit of a typical high school heroine, and I wanted her to have a bright, shining star moment where all the pieces fall into place. Alas, this was not the case. 
My biggest issue is that the story feels completely unfinished. There are so many questions left unanswered, both for Nettie and the reader, that it completely threw me off when the book just...ended. I was left wondering why bother mentioning the mother’s past storyline because there was no resolution, and I wanted to know what happened!
I am also not the biggest fan of Fletch, the love interest. I am not sure if it is because he seems to fall into the "good looking  boy with a guitar" trap and is too stereotyped for me, but I was much more interested in Luca, his best friend, as a character. It’s similar to the P.S. I Still Love You storyline, but once again, the boy I root for comes in second place. 
I sincerely hope that this is the beginning of a series, and that we have answers to look forward to. I adore Vanessa Jones's writing style and voice, but I was left feeling like I missed something.
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"A moving story of grief and healing - sure to be a pure joy for any musical theater aficionado."
~
I enjoyed this story of a young woman who's dream was to follow in her mother's footsteps. Her mother had passed away the year before she auditioned to attend a prestigious performing arts school. She didn't didn't do well on the audition but still made it in. 

She goes in with a target on her back being attractive and the daughter of a famous performer who had also attended the school!  

I read some other reviews which I shouldn't have done and not having gone to a performing arts school or being in the industry, I did enjoy this book. But I think anyone would. And I read it in a British accent which is how I think it was written. Not every story has all the answers all tied up in a bow and I personally don't need everything answered. Every reader will pull from their personal experience and love or hate anything. 

I was relating to Nettie and her voice block. I lost my Dad 3 years ago and feel like I'm still not quite back so a year later she may need time and she's lucky that she had teachers support her when she wasn't performing. There was another teacher that held a long grudge against her mom and took it out on her and seriously there are nasty people like that. 

I REALLY liked Fletch. I like a guy that doesn't give up easily. Biggest pet peeve is ghosting.  It's hard to ignore chemistry when it's two sided and you don't know what went wrong. I'm a sucker for a romance. 

I loved the relationships amongst the friends she made and how they helped and supported eachother. The mean girls were the worst but there's always those girls. Either jealous or want to be the best so they will bring others down. 

I couldn't put this book down I wanted to find out how things would go for Nettie! Well done! 

This book does talk about eating disorders, abuse, and, homophobia.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Peachtree Publishing for the gifted eARC in exchange for my honest review.

As a former dancer, I Iiked this book. I especially enjoyed the pop culture and musical theatre references throughout the novel. I also liked how the story took place in London and discussed many iconic locations across the city. I rounded up my rating to 4 stars even if I personally think it’s a little closer to 3 since I did get some emotional investment. For me, there were some things that were left unresolved and forgotten. I also found myself wanting the novel to progress faster end get to the end quickly. I felt that there were a lot of up and down moments that was dragging out longer than it needed to be. Overall, it was a fine book that I would recommend to Londoners and dancers even if a lot of what went down in the story seems highly unlikely and there for the drama. I gave it four stars because in the end I wanted to know how the story ended and I found myself rooting for the characters.
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As she attends the same performing arts school that her professional ballerina mother attended, Nettie works through her grief as she learns more about the mother she lost and most importantly, herself. Nettie lives and breathes musical theater, but ever time she tries to sing, her voice completely disappears, except when she finds herself in an empty rehearsal room with a mysterious accompanist.  

Performing arts boarding school? A swoony romance? Grief and drama? Sign me up! Yes, this book was kind of made for me, but that doesn't mean I can't see it’s flaws. I definitely wished it was paced more efficiently The first few weeks progressed pretty slow and then months were going by without any mention. At almost 400 pages, things should have been spread out a little more evenly. Plot lines dropped off a little bit towards end, and I think Nettie's progress with overcoming her issues with trauma in regards to her singing felt very rushed towards the end.  The main antagonist flipped halfway through the book which was kind of strange and as the story went on, actions and conversations started to feel redundant. 

While this should have been a total success on summary alone, fell a little flat for me.

ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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