Cover Image: Sing Like No One's Listening

Sing Like No One's Listening

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Member Reviews

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. After reading the first few chapters, I thought it would be only 2 or 3 stars because there are some sudden reveals that don’t make much sense at first. But as I got further into the book, I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought (possibly because it’s about theatre kids, and I have a huge obsession with Broadway musicals). The protagonist was really likable, and I liked the romance, too. There were a few things left unexplained at the end, but overall this was a book that I enjoyed.
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I just finished reading this and I loved the concept. Nettie loses her ability to sing after losing her mother and wants her back. She does not accept her mother's death which hinders her recovery. When she attends Duke she finally finds the courage to sing. I loved her interactions with Alec, Kiki and Natasha. But the ending with Flech was just so heart warming. And I love how she gained confidence during the play and sang her heart out
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I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I really wanted to like this, I had an interesting premise but lacked in execution.
There’s nothing I hate more than misunderstandings, and that’s all we had here, besides how predictable this books is, and normally I don’t mind that, if the execution is good and the characters are interesting, but as the book progressed the less I liked Nettie. Besides the whole Mean Girls plot and the clueless leading man, so, so tiring!
I did like Leon, Alec and Kiki.
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Adorable feel good book. Love the main character and found myself rooting for her. I absolutely love musical theatre so this was just the book for me!
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Sing Like No One's Listening by Vanessa Jones talks about the hardships of grief and the pressure to rise up and regain your voice.

Antoinette “Nettie” Delaney has been accepted into a prestigious performing arts school, one that her famous mother attended as well. But months before, her mother passed away due to cancer, leaving Nettie to live with her grandmother who wants nothing to do with Nettie.

When Nettie officially moves into the dorms of Duke’s she is forced to come to terms with her deceased mother’s famous reputation throughout the school. But, throughout her stay, she makes amazing friends that help her and finds a romance that she didn’t realize she thought she would gain.

I loved the aspect of friendship and the way Nettie formed close bonds with Alec, Kiki, and Leon who helped her throughout her stay in Duke. They helped her slowly overcome her discomfort and fear of singing after the death of her mother. Though sometimes there were moments where they were quite irritating to read about, they supported Nettie and stood by her side through her rough times during her first year at Duke.

Alongside her friendships that she made, Nettie meets Fletch who is a year above her, a guitarist and pianist to be, handsome and has girls swooning at him. Nettie and Fletch have an instant connection with each other, talking about music, lyrics, and forming a deeper bond together when they better get to know each other. When they both agree to write music together, they slowly spend more time with each other, going on “dates” and meeting at restaurants and quiet places where they can work side by side together.

One day, Nettie comes upon someone playing the piano behind a curtain in an empty studio, Nettie is instantly entranced by the player who is sitting behind the piano. Torn between the mystery pianist, Fletch, and conquering her music to maintain her place in Duke, Nettie must figure out how to fight her fears.

My reasoning for giving this three stars and not higher is because of the amounts of verbal and physical abuse that Nettie had to go through that I completely disliked while reading this book. Nettie was basically treated like trash when she entered save for Alec, Kiki, Leon, and Fletch. Even some teachers treated her severely poorly.

Students and specific teachers used verbal abuse to fat shame and make Nettie feel uncomfortable and when reading these parts, I felt uncomfortable as well. This was a problem because Nettie was a normal girl and normal-sized. There was unnecessary fat-shaming throughout this book that made me cringe and feel excruciating to read.

Nettie was practically beat around my those students and teachers that physically and verbally abused her and it wasn’t just toward Nettie but others. And that was a problem because Duke’s is a prestigious performing arts school that is full of rich and well of students and families, so, these students could get away with anything, including all sorts of abuse.

This book also reminded me somewhat of Camp Rock. The way Nettie is trying to figure out this mysterious pianist is absolutely familiar and the way both settings had mean girls in them as a form of bullying. While Camp Rock was much tamer, The way Nettie was bullied was completely unbelievable to read and it felt understandable why Nettie had so many negative emotions and had trouble finding her voice throughout the book.

Those were the few specific things that I felt rather uncomfortable with while reading and was one of the reasons why I didn’t rate this any higher than a three-star. I enjoyed the character growth of Nettie and the way she grew stronger throughout the book was very nice to read and I did enjoy some parts of this book.

Sing Like No One’s Listening had some great moments that I did enjoy and while I may not have enjoyed it as much, you might so I do think that it is worth trying out!

Thank you again to NetGalley for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Sing Like No One's Listening is the perfect book for theater enthusiasts; it took me right back to my high school musical days! Nettie Delaney is a talented singer/songwriter and desperate to follow in her mother's footsteps as a performer. Duke's Academy, a prestigious performing arts school, is exactly where Nettie needs to be to achieve her dreams. On the morning of her audition, as she is warming up, she receives a voice message from her mother...the only problem is that her mother is deceased! What follows is an emotional journey for Nettie to find her voice.
I found the supporting cast of characters to be completely engaging. Alec, Leon, and Kiki are three of the best friends a girl could ask for, not to mention absolutely hysterical. Fletch is the hot lead that all girls dream of being cast with. Nettie's resilience and fortitude kept me cheering for her the whole time! I can't wait to read Vanessa Jone's sequel, Dance Like No One's Watching!
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This book was a rollercoaster for me. I loved the premise of the book and was excited to meet these characters. Unfortunately, the writing style ruined any chances this book had, as it was so confusing, and ultimately inadequate to support the storyline. Overall the general idea is there, and if it was developed better would have made for an excellent novel.
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I think that the premise of this book is interesting. The idea of losing your voice after suffering a loss of family is a very painful one. I feel as if the emotion in the writing behind that was very good. That's why I decided to give it 2 stars as compared to a 1 star. Everything else I felt wasn't up to that level. The gay best friend stereotype was just painful to read and having these stick-thin girls obsess over their weight was cringe inducing too. The part where Nettie talks about having great body confidence and being body positive when she herself is the thinnest of them all made me roll my eyes. Of course she feels great about her body and her friends bodies - none of them are bigger than a size 2 (at least from what we can gleam from the narration about the other girls bodies). Maybe that message would have came across better if one of the characters was a bit heavier and if there was some revelation about it instead of it just being small talk between the girl characters? The relationship between Fletch and Nettie was awkward too. While reading I wanted her to end up with Luca. The writing was leading us there and then it turned very quickly back to Fletch. There are many things I did not like about this book but I did keep reading because I wanted to know more about Nettie's mom and familial relationships (What happened with her mom and grandma? Why does her grandma act hateful towards Nettie?) I was very sad when I got to the end and there was no information on it. I see that there's a sequel for this book but unfortunately I won't be reading it. 

If this book was more focused on Nettie, her mother, and finding out more about her then it would have been a better book. I think throwing in the forced love triangles with Luca, Jade, Natasha, Nettie, Fletch, Kiki, and even Alec (hitting on every single guy- gay or not) really brought this book down and took away from what I wanted to read about.
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This book is a very quick, and adorable read full of wonderful characters (main and side). It tells the story of Nettie, a singer who has lost her voice after losing her mother to cancer. The book deals mainly with Nettie's first year in a highly prestigious performing arts college, attempting to deal not only with the loss, but the mental block that is making her unable to sing in front of anyone. I think at its heart this book is really about connection, with other people and with pieces of yourself. The friends that Nettie makes at school are almost more endearing than Nettie herself, and I found myself rooting for all of them. The setting is in London, so there were a few slang terms that took some figuring out on my part, but it did not detract from the story, it helped suck me in even further. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review and ARC. This was a delightful, happy ending read that really lifted my spirits. I highly recommend
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I felt torn in rating this book, it was very cute, and for a YA novel I think many readers would enjoy. However, I felt like a lot was missing with context and it was very predictable.
This book follows Nettie, a singer who auditions for Duke's school of performing arts, but right before she begins her audition, she cannot sing. The death of her mother impacted her more than she knows.
She gets accepted anyways and is excited to be able to leave her grandmother's house, who has always been cold towards her. She still cannot sing in her classes, but it being given special treatment and excused from singing til she figures out what is wrong. She makes some friends right away including a 2nd year boy named Fletch. She helps him finish a song in the library and feels connected right away. She also feels connected with a mystery piano player who played in the empty theatre a few times and she was brave enough to let things go and sing when nobody was around.
Throughout the school year she has a few meeting with Cecile Duke, the woman who runs the school and apparently was good friends with her mom. She talks to her a few times and Cecile seems to know something about why her mom stopped dancing. 
So first, the book was predictable, boy meets girl, they both like each other's then a mystery singer gets in the way, but it ends up being her. The other thing that frustrated me was the missing context and unanswered questions. We know nothing really about Nettie before school. Who is she, other than her mother being a famous dancer, now dead, and an estranged grandmother she has to live with, we get no background. Then the writer hints that Cecile knows why her mom stopped dancing and it is never mentioned again?? The very end of the book Nettie falls down and knocks herself out. Her head is bloody when she wakes up and prolly has a concussion, but she performs and then goes to the after party like nothing happened. 
Like I said, the story was cute and I liked the idea, but it was missing too much context, and it just seemed too 'superficial' 
Thank you to @netgalley for a chance to review this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to Netgalley for allowing to review this book. 

The storyline begins when Nettie is about to do the biggest audition of her singing career. However, everything that could go wrong goes wrong because she has not been able to process past life events. 

Over the course of the chapters, Nettie deals with how to move forward after a tragic loss, while still trying to succeed at college. Her feelings of insecurity and sensitivity were what I related the most, as she truly believed she would not be able to get past it. 

I loved how music was at every point of this book, and how it can help as a coping mechanism. Also, how secondary characters had a good storyline of their own, and how they helped her find her self-growth. Although, the love story was realistic and romantic, There were definitely times were the guys was making things far too confusing for my taste. The chemistry was there, but at times, it seemed like it was not going to be enough.
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Nettie is a first-year at Duke's, a college for artists. The only trouble is - she can't sing. She lost her voice because of the trauma of her mother's death.
Set in London, and where we follow Nettie through her first year at university and see her struggle and gradually overcome her fears and setbacks (and find true friendship and love).

So, that's the synopsis I'd probably put on the back of the cover. An honest synopsis would probably sound like this: Nettie is a lost first-year at Duke's, a fancy college for dancers, singers and such, led by the most ridiculous, Cecile Duke (read: Nettie's dead Mum's ex-best friend). The only trouble (apart from the numerous clichés forced on us throughout the book, such as the gay best friend, plain Jane and the hot musician who "understands") is that Nettie, which is short for nothing less than Antoinette, can't sing in front of people because of a voicemail she got after her Mum's death that messed something up with her brain. 

Okay, I've had my fun, now let's review for real.
The writing was very quick and with almost no description. It was told from Nettie's POV in present tense, and I got the impression that she was always hyperventilating, anxious and super stressed out. (It definitely didn't make me like her.) 
Apart from that, she was the prototype of plain Jane. She had no friends, claimed it was because she ignored them after her breakdown at her Duke's audition, and had no problem with it. Let's get hypothetical here, shall we? So, 12th Year, secondary school. Nettie has a lot of good friends, whom she's known for AT LEAST three years. Then, her Mum dies, and she starts to ignore them all, even though (as she said) they try to help with the grief. Wouldn't she miss them? That'd be... natural. But no, she doesn't think twice about them, same as her Mum - throughout the novel, she continually says how much she misses her and how many problems she has because of her death. Do we, however, SEE her miss her Mum in real-life situations? No, we do not.
Also, this is something I wrote into my notebook when I was at about 28%: "a better intro needed - too rushed, we still don't know who Antoinette is as a person". And you'd think I'd disagree with that statement (at least the second half) after getting through the whole thing - but I don't. I don't know Nettie after 320 pages from HER point of view, besides the fact that she's a musical theatre geek. A singer and an orphan are not exactly personality traits.
The other characters include Kiki, an anorectic commercial dancer, Alec, a cocky ballet dancer (and the gay best friend), Leon, a writer (I think) (the other gay best friend), and Fletch, a guitarist (and the ever-glorious love interest). We also have some antagonists - Natasha and Jade - characters created only to humiliate Nettie or cause drama between her and Fletch. Anna Todd, anyone? They all are somehow stereotyped and flat, even though I smiled along at times - British humour can save everything.
The plot was moving smoothly and swiftly most of the time, which I appreciated, although it irked me how Nettie just seemed to make all the dumbest choices possible and the biggest drama could've been solved by simply communicating. I don't understand if most contemporary writers nowadays miscommunication is cool, but IT IS NOT. It's simply frustrating for the reader.
The last thing - words like obvs (obviously), emosh (emotional) and vom (vomit). If I pay for a book, I'd like to receive one without these typos/desperate attempts at modern language. I'd understand if this was aid while texting, but no - Nettie either thinks it or someone (ehm, the stereotype gay drama queen Alec is, ehm) says it out loud.

In conclusion (finally!), this book is an OK for me. I didn't like the beginning and a lot of things were not developed and thought out deeply enough, but I found myself quite enjoying the last 40%, so it wasn't a total flop. I'd say, give it a try if you like books about boarding school, singing and theatre, or book set in Britain. Maybe you'll love it!
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This book is centered around a girl named Nettie, who has always had a talent for singing but since her mother's passing has not been able to bring herself to use her voice. This proves to be a major problem, as she is about to begin her freshman year at Duke to study music. During her time at college, Nettie meets new friends, but also deals with many challenges. 
The novel did a good job of describing grief and how music can serve as both a painful reminder and a salve at the same time. That being said, the overall storyline is fairly weak and uneventful, and there was a lot of questionable content including body shaming, abuse, etc. There was also a lot of slut shaming and girl rivalry throughout the book, which doesn't send an ideal message to readers. Overall, not the best read, the main reason being that there was no real driving plotline.
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Sing Like No One’s Listening was a novel packed with all that: sarcasm, humor, romance, sorrow. It’s been a long time since I last read a novel like that, so it’s safe to say that I was very, very into it the moment I started reading it. Everything about it, from the storyline to the characters, was just so simply perfect, so light-hearted and so good. Words cannot do it justice, in all honesty. I related to the characters, but most of all, it was so easy to take a profound liking to Nettie and Fletch. Their relationship was so cute and fun, and every single meeting, every conversation and every scene between them was far from boring and very much enjoyable. Yes, the novel was long, but never did it feel like the author was dragging it or didn’t know where she was going with it. As I said, it was perfect beyond words, every bit of it. Besides Nettie and Fletch and their amazing chemistry, Alex, Leon and Kiki are not the kind to be overlooked. Even their characters were so interesting and great. I was very, very impressed. Oh, and last but not least, the writing style was everything. That’s the whole reason why I admired the book so much. Vanessa Jones’ writing style is what kept me on my toes the entire time I was reading this novel. I would very heartily recommend Sing Like No One’s Listening to all young adult fans!
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I loved this book. The only reason that I didn't give it 5 stars is that there was a lot of predictability and cliché, but it was one of those books that just spoke to me. I mean, musical theater? singing? sweet rom-com? Check, check, and check! I was the kid who stayed up late to watch Fame when I was younger and this felt like a modern reboot. I seriously inhaled this book in under 24 hours.

Singing is an emotional thing. It helps express emotions, but it also is better if it comes from an emotional place. When Nettie's mother died, it was hard for her to keep singing. When she accidentally listened to an old voice mail right before a huge audition, it was a mental block and she couldn't get a sound out. For reasons we don't know at first, she still manages to get into the performing arts school she was auditioning for, but she continually feels like she is not up to par. It doesn't help that two "mean girl" second year students are out to get her, in part because of the boy she has a crush on. Nettie is finally able to sing sporadically when she stumbles into an empty studio and an unknown piano player is playing behind a screen. Full of emotional highs and lows, this was a truly enjoyable book.
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Nettie has an iconic mother, a nasty grandmother, and a life that people would kill for (on the outside looking in). When she gets accepted into Duke's, despite a botched audition, she finds herself having to jump many hurdles. As the story unfolds, readers get to peek inside of the complications of grief, stress, and show business. Thankfully, Nettie is surrounded by wonderful friends and people to help her find her voice.

I loved this story. It was a quick read. Everyone, at some point, can identify with Nettie's helplessness. The message that is important to me, however, is to find your voice when you've lost it. Jump through as many hoops as necessary to get it back. There's a life lesson to be learned. You can overcome every moment that renders you helpless. I saw a review that likened this book to High School Musical. I'm somewhat inclined to agree, BUT I think this, in my opinion, is even better!
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Sing Like No One's Listening follows Nettie during her first year at a performing arts college. After Nettie receives a voicemail from her dead mother on the day of her audition to her mother's alma mater, Nettie suddenly finds herself unable to sing. To make matters worse, her entire time at college depends on her ability to do so, but she discovers that she's able to sing in an empty rehearsal room with a mystery pianist accompanying her from the room next door. She embarks on a journey to try re-gain her voice. 

I loved the premise of the book. Nettie's grief over leaving her mother and her struggle ensuing felt real. I thought those aspects of her and her character were well-developed. Even the competitive nature of the performing arts school felt very real and on point. However, I felt as though the character development was lacking in many of the characters throughout the novel. I struggled to understand why characters acted the way they did and what pulled them together. It took some time to get into the novel for this reason as well. There wasn't an immediate pull to any of the characters. The closeness that readers so often need felt like it was lacking.

Overall, I thought the book and the events within it were good, but I struggled to connect to and understand the characters. I never felt like I got a good picture of who each important character was at their core, and at times they felt one dimensional rather than like real, multifaceted humans. It is for this reason that I felt the need to rate the book three stars out of five.
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I was really intrigued by the premise of this book but ultimately had a lot of issues with the writing style and the broad caricatures that were the characters in this story. As I was reading this book, all I could think of was the Hilary Duff movie Raise Your Voice. The "mean girl" characters felt very flat and one dimensional. Nettie's character seemed pretty flat and unremarkable. I don't know as much about European school systems and had to look up what age Nettie was supposed to be because the writing made her feel so childish at times. I think the premise is there but there were just a lot of little things that added up and made this book feel a little unbelievable for me.
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Yikes! What a book.

This book was a difficult read. When I read ohmigod written like that (exactly like that), I asked if this went through a editor. 

The story felt very middle school / high school creative writing project. There was a story there but I don't think it the writing showcased it well enough for me to care. The author clearly knew what she was writing about - seeing that she went to a drama school herself. I just don't think 'writing' was strong enough to carry this story.
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**Thank you to NetGalley, the author, & the publisher for a chance to read & review an E-ARC of this novel!**

It started out with a Fame vibe...and ended up in High School Musical territory...not bad...just not my cup of tea. Please find my extended thoughts below...along with some spoilers (beware). :)
Things I Liked: 
-the music focus...I LOVE music & musicals! I felt that this novel did depict the cut throat world of music/theatre/showbiz pretty accurately. 
-the friendship component...I LOVED Alec, Kiki, & Leon. They steered Nettie in the best directions when she was blinded by her crush(es), they were funny, & the banter between them all was written beautifully! It made me laugh quite a few times. 
-the cool teachers...Steph & Michael...they were funny & helpful in a sea of musical theatre fiascos. 
-how honestly the novel portrayed LGBTQ+ issues & discrimination...I think this is very important! The novel also highlighted how people can combat these issues in healthy ways by investing in themselves.  
-the author's connections to the world of showbiz! I really like that the author has experienced some of the concepts in the novel herself. 

Things That Didn't Sit Quite Right With Me: 
-I have so many unanswered questions (Why did that voicemail from Nettie's mom come through at such an inopportune random time? What was Nettie's mom hiding about her past? What was Ms. Duke alluding to when she talked about Nettie's mom stopping dance? What happened between Nettie & her grandmother? Why was there such tension between Nettie's mom & the grandmother? Did the dance teacher from hell ever get in trouble for her abusive teaching style? How did Ms. Duke respond to Nettie's performance? What happened to Jade at Duke's after the blackmail? How did Steph respond to Nettie's performance? Did Nettie's friends just forgive Fletch?.....)
-the random plot points/ the weird voicemail delivered right before her audition...Nettie falling & hitting her head after Fletch dropped off his letter...Nettie seemingly just hating her grandmother (without more context I didn't really understand this plot point)
-I didn't like how the whole Nettie/Fletch ("Netch") thing just resolved itself. He was a jerk & she was not communicative. I can see this turning into an unstable relationship & I felt like the book sort-of romanticized that.

Overall, I gave this novel 2 stars. It was a solid 3 star read for me...until about 75% of the way through. At that point it just started to feel more drama filled without any purpose (just for the sake of drama or lengthening the book). But this is not a horrible story or read! I just don't think it ended up being for me. I think it would be a fun read for a younger crowd, people who love music/musicals, & those interested in the happy-ever-after style romance stories.
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