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Isda does not exist. At least not beyond the opulent walls of the opera house. Cast into a well at birth for being one of the magical few who can manipulate memories when people sing, she was saved by Cyril, the opera house’s owner. Since that day, he has given her sanctuary from the murderous world outside. All he asks in return is that she use her power to keep ticket sal Isda does not exist. At least not beyond the opulent walls of the opera house. Cast into a well at birth for being one of the magical few who can manipulate memories when people sing, she was saved by Cyril, the opera house’s owner. Since that day, he has given her sanctuary from the murderous world outside. All he asks in return is that she use her power to keep ticket sales high—and that she stay out of sight. For if anyone discovers she survived, Isda and Cyril would pay with their lives. But Isda breaks Cyril’s cardinal rule when she meets Emeric Rodin, a charming boy who throws her quiet, solitary life out of balance. His voice is unlike any she’s ever heard, but the real shock comes when she finds in his memories hints of a way to finally break free of her gilded prison. Haunted by this possibility, Isda spends more and more time with Emeric, searching for answers in his music and his past. But the price of freedom is steeper than Isda could ever know. For even as she struggles with her growing feelings for Emeric, she learns that in order to take charge of her own destiny, she must become the monster the world tried to drown in the first place.


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Isda does not exist. At least not beyond the opulent walls of the opera house. Cast into a well at birth for being one of the magical few who can manipulate memories when people sing, she was saved by Cyril, the opera house’s owner. Since that day, he has given her sanctuary from the murderous world outside. All he asks in return is that she use her power to keep ticket sal Isda does not exist. At least not beyond the opulent walls of the opera house. Cast into a well at birth for being one of the magical few who can manipulate memories when people sing, she was saved by Cyril, the opera house’s owner. Since that day, he has given her sanctuary from the murderous world outside. All he asks in return is that she use her power to keep ticket sales high—and that she stay out of sight. For if anyone discovers she survived, Isda and Cyril would pay with their lives. But Isda breaks Cyril’s cardinal rule when she meets Emeric Rodin, a charming boy who throws her quiet, solitary life out of balance. His voice is unlike any she’s ever heard, but the real shock comes when she finds in his memories hints of a way to finally break free of her gilded prison. Haunted by this possibility, Isda spends more and more time with Emeric, searching for answers in his music and his past. But the price of freedom is steeper than Isda could ever know. For even as she struggles with her growing feelings for Emeric, she learns that in order to take charge of her own destiny, she must become the monster the world tried to drown in the first place.

30 review for Sing Me Forgotten

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    This book is true definition of magic! This is outstanding, powerful, magical and painful because it slowly breaks your heart and makes you deeply root for the characters. Gender switched Phantom of Opera: a monstrous girl hid behind the shadows, was born with marks on her face, using her powers connected to the enchanting magic of music, extracting memories and she falls for a sunshiny boy, wearing pendant, singing like an angel in the middle corrupt kingdom and growing threat of political angs This book is true definition of magic! This is outstanding, powerful, magical and painful because it slowly breaks your heart and makes you deeply root for the characters. Gender switched Phantom of Opera: a monstrous girl hid behind the shadows, was born with marks on her face, using her powers connected to the enchanting magic of music, extracting memories and she falls for a sunshiny boy, wearing pendant, singing like an angel in the middle corrupt kingdom and growing threat of political angst. Yes, this is so much more than I expected but the author is creative musician who pulls the strings of our hearts and play them gently, adroitly and passionately to compose a memorable, soul brushing, extremely emotional symphony. She awakens so many contrast emotions at the same time: love, hate, fear, excitement, regret, disdain, shock because even though this book is poetic, lyrical, poignant, heart wrenching, it is also violent, dark, terrifying with its gory, gothic atmosphere and action packed chapters ending with blood baths. Overall: this gives me everything I like. It’s perfectly written. I truly loved both Isda and Emeric who sings like angel, makes homemade caramels and I also know I never forget their beautiful, intimate, powerful bounding. No more words: I LOVED IT SO MUCH. Giving my five memorable, musical, magical stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and Inkyard Press for sharing this spectacular ARC with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    *DROPS DOWN FROM A BIG CHANDELIER* Is this... PHANTOM OF THE OPERA-inspired?????

  3. 4 out of 5

    ʙᴇʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.

    2021 seems so far away... The cover is so gorgeous! Listen folks, I was never a fan of the Phantom of the Opera, sorry. That is until I heard the words gender-bent Phantom of the Opera retelling. Now I am. *.* 2021 seems so far away... The cover is so gorgeous! Listen folks, I was never a fan of the Phantom of the Opera, sorry. That is until I heard the words gender-bent Phantom of the Opera retelling. Now I am. *.*

  4. 5 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

    I received a DRC from Edelweiss TW: minor self mutilation, kidnapping, addiction 3.4 Isda is a gravoir, born with facial disfigurement and the ability to see and manipulate memories when someone is singing. Gravoirs are meant to be killed as soon as they're born, but Isda was saved by Cyril, who raised her and kept her in his opera house. Every show she gives the audience memories of a far more amazing show than they actually saw- but now, with the arrival of a young tenor, that might not even I received a DRC from Edelweiss TW: minor self mutilation, kidnapping, addiction 3.4 Isda is a gravoir, born with facial disfigurement and the ability to see and manipulate memories when someone is singing. Gravoirs are meant to be killed as soon as they're born, but Isda was saved by Cyril, who raised her and kept her in his opera house. Every show she gives the audience memories of a far more amazing show than they actually saw- but now, with the arrival of a young tenor, that might not even be necessary. As she takes on the role as his voice teacher, under the cover of night, and begins grander missions for Cyril, she finds herself with questions she would never dared to ask. I need to start this by saying that I'm a big fan of the book The Phantom of the Opera, as well as a big fan of the movie musical and have seen the Broadway musical twice. So that's where I'm coming from as I draw comparisons to the story. I think as a retelling it works in a lot of ways, but fails when it comes to the emotional. I love the concept of this so much- a magical, gender swapped Phantom of the Opera is quite honestly what dreams are made of. I love the creepy quality that comes with memory manipulation, and the whole idea of accessing those memories through hearing people sing. Isda's relationship with Cyril and her relationship with Emeric are both interesting. You can see the blindspot with her foster father, and I think that blindspot translates well, so that the reader doesn't quite know what to think. Her relationship with Emeric is definitely more romantic than the original Eric and Christine romance, and I appreciate Emeric's humor and the attitude he has towards Isda at large. He's an interesting character who grows in depth as you learn more about him, but he's also a really great touchstone to come back down to earth on. However, their relationship still isn't one that seems built on much than mutual respect and coincidence. I like the world building in this book, but it needs so much more. It's so bare bones I had trouble holding on to it. I understand the whole concept of the memory elixir and how its trade is vital, but that piece standing alone doesn't really mean anything to me. I'm someone who needs lore- there's extremely little in this. It makes me care a whole lot less than I would, had I been able to feel the world was more real and the stakes genuine. I also wasn't a fan of Isda, and wasn't a fan of the ending (which is also, in some ways, not being a fan of Isda). I know that her struggle mirrors a struggle with addiction, and she can't be entirely blamed for how she acts, but the sheer selfishness we're forced to see over and over again makes it so hard to want to root for her. She's already not a very fleshed out character, swapping her naivety with selfishness and addiction didn't make her a more tangible, or more likeable character. I have a lot of questions when it comes to this book, but most of them didn't get answers. I also had a lot that I wanted from this book that I feel like got pushed to the side. The end result feels like a deeply honed down final draft with a lot of the whimsy and magic forgotten. Pre-review comments under You had me at "gender bent Phantom of the Opera" and then you bought my entire heart with memory manipulating song magic please take all of my money immediately

  5. 4 out of 5

    Abbie | nerdyabbie

    ⭐ 3.75 / 5 ⭐ This beautiful gender-bent YA retelling of The Phantom of the Opera rips your heart out, sautees it with olive oil, and spits on it for good measure. You know when you read a book, and it completely crushes you? You love it, and you hate it at the same time. You love it for all the wonderful feelings it evoked, yet you hate it for making your heartbreak, and your eyes filled with liquid sadness. This book was that for me. I knew after reading the synopsis that this was something I was ⭐ 3.75 / 5 ⭐ This beautiful gender-bent YA retelling of The Phantom of the Opera rips your heart out, sautees it with olive oil, and spits on it for good measure. You know when you read a book, and it completely crushes you? You love it, and you hate it at the same time. You love it for all the wonderful feelings it evoked, yet you hate it for making your heartbreak, and your eyes filled with liquid sadness. This book was that for me. I knew after reading the synopsis that this was something I was bound to enjoy. I’ve always loved Phantom, both the Broadway and movie versions. From the moment I read the opening, this book lured me in. I was already hooked by chapter two. I loved Jessica’s writing style. There were many moments at the beginning where I felt like I was Isda. Immersive books like that are my favorite! It’s one of the things Adrienne Young (like Jessica Olson) does so well. Isda was different from most YA heroines I’ve become acquainted with. She was beautifully flawed, and the ferocity and grit in her always surprised me when it sprang up. This girl is vicious. Her world views her as the villain in the story, and she plays upon that out of spite. She really channeled the hardcore angst of the Phantom. I was vibing. Her banter with Emeric was really adorable too! This fluffy, caramel-scented bean was so adorable. AND I STILL AM HURTING FROM THAT ENDING. JESSICA, I DON’T THINK I CAN FORGIVE YOU. I loved how the author wove the music into the magic system of the world, as well. It just made perfect sense for the story. It also really played upon the tones of the original world in Phantom. It was mysterious, sad, and mystifying. It read much like some of the old gothic classics. The only thing was that ending. I won’t say more, but it HURT. Operatic in its telling, Olson takes you on the journey that allows Isda to find love, contentment in herself, and so much more. If you want a good gut-wrenching, gothic, angsty cry (😂), this is the book for you. Big thank you to Inkyard Press + Netgalley for sending me an ARC copy of this book! Overall: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Writing Quality: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Enjoyment Level: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jessica S Olson

    UPDATE: Sing Me Forgotten is now available for request on NetGalley and Edelweiss!!! https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/boo... . . . UPDATE: aaaaaaand we have a COVER!!! The Inkyard team totally went above and beyond with it, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out!!! Sing Me Forgotten is officially available for preorder, and we will have ARCs (physical as well as up on NetGalley) very very soon!!! . . . I think I’ve read it enough times to mark it “read” here on goodreads! I’m so excited t UPDATE: Sing Me Forgotten is now available for request on NetGalley and Edelweiss!!! https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/boo... . . . UPDATE: aaaaaaand we have a COVER!!! The Inkyard team totally went above and beyond with it, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out!!! Sing Me Forgotten is officially available for preorder, and we will have ARCs (physical as well as up on NetGalley) very very soon!!! . . . I think I’ve read it enough times to mark it “read” here on goodreads! I’m so excited to share this story about monstrosity and the lengths to which people go to find their place in a world that has rejected them time and time again—and I think, at its heart, it’s a testament to the monstrosity in all of us, to the way we all at times feel like outsiders in our own worlds. It’s got: 🖤 a monster-girl protagonist 🖤 music-based magic 🖤 creepy catacombs beneath a Paris-like city 🖤 a sunshine boy with a penchant for making homemade caramels 🖤 revenge, murder, betrayal, kissing, blood, and falling chandeliers I can’t wait to share it with you! Cover reveal coming soon, and then ARCs!

  7. 4 out of 5

    MissBecka Gee

    I was really excited for a Phantom of the Opera inspired tale. This just didn't work for me; can't even narrow down why. Totally a "it's me not you" kind of situation. Love that cover though. Thanks to NetGalley & Inkyard Press for my DRC. I was really excited for a Phantom of the Opera inspired tale. This just didn't work for me; can't even narrow down why. Totally a "it's me not you" kind of situation. Love that cover though. Thanks to NetGalley & Inkyard Press for my DRC.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kim Chance

    If I had to describe how I feel about Sing Me Forgotten, I think this gif says it all: I was fortunate to have worked with Jessica during PitchWars and from day 1, I absolutely fell in love with this book! I am a HUGE fan of Phantom of the Opera and I was so excited when I got my hands on this gorgeous re-telling! I have read it a few times already, but I cannot wait to read it all over again! Sing Me Forgotten is an emotional, heart-wrenching tale that is guaranteed to make you weep--much like i If I had to describe how I feel about Sing Me Forgotten, I think this gif says it all: I was fortunate to have worked with Jessica during PitchWars and from day 1, I absolutely fell in love with this book! I am a HUGE fan of Phantom of the Opera and I was so excited when I got my hands on this gorgeous re-telling! I have read it a few times already, but I cannot wait to read it all over again! Sing Me Forgotten is an emotional, heart-wrenching tale that is guaranteed to make you weep--much like it's classic inspiration! The lush, atmospheric world-building and the gorgeous prose will sweep you up immediately, and the characters of Isda and Emeric will grab a hold of your heart and never let you go! If you're looking for a book with an ambiguous, morally gray protagonist, a delightfully sweet and charismatic love interest, heart-dropping emotions and suspense, and an ending that will leave you thinking about it long after the last page is read, then Sing Me Forgotten is the book for you!

  9. 4 out of 5

    fanna

    July 01, 2020: Anything dark and gothic is amazing to me.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Froberg

    I have been lucky enough to read this book several times and my jaw is still on the floor. I don't know if I'll ever recover. This book is so beautifully written and atmospheric. Each sentence is like a song that lures you in close and twinges your heartstrings. The characters are amazing. Isda feels so real and her journey to finding herself and what she wants is heartbreaking and real. The romance *fans myself* is so good and believable as you see why both need each other so badly. The magical I have been lucky enough to read this book several times and my jaw is still on the floor. I don't know if I'll ever recover. This book is so beautifully written and atmospheric. Each sentence is like a song that lures you in close and twinges your heartstrings. The characters are amazing. Isda feels so real and her journey to finding herself and what she wants is heartbreaking and real. The romance *fans myself* is so good and believable as you see why both need each other so badly. The magical aspects of this book do not disappoint, and the way Olson slowly builds the magic and everything it's capable of doing makes it easy to digest and like a puzzle you're unraveling to a giant climax. If you love Phantom of the Opera, this book's dark song will not disappoint and the twists and nods to the original will delight you.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stay Fetters

    "Tonight, I was not hiding in the shadows. Tonight, I was a terrifying phantom come to turn dreams into nightmares." This was a book that instantly jumped out to me because I love when Authors take a classic and turn it on its head. It lets me know that debut authors aren't messing around and they want to dazzle us with their talents. Then I saw the cover and it took my breath away. Everything about this screamed at readers to pay close attention to this book and the Author. I finally took that l "Tonight, I was not hiding in the shadows. Tonight, I was a terrifying phantom come to turn dreams into nightmares." This was a book that instantly jumped out to me because I love when Authors take a classic and turn it on its head. It lets me know that debut authors aren't messing around and they want to dazzle us with their talents. Then I saw the cover and it took my breath away. Everything about this screamed at readers to pay close attention to this book and the Author. I finally took that leap. After completing this book, I instantly purchased a copy for a friend and a copy for the Library I work at. It's one of those books that needs to be read by everyone. I've never had so many emotions pour out of me as I was reading and then the ending happened. That ending crushed me and made me weep. It also made me look towards a better future. This lyrically beautiful book has stolen my heart and captured my soul. There was a darkness to this that was laid at my feet and I let it consume me. It was full of devilish magic and you’ll easily fall in love with everything this book has to offer. This is what true love feels like. Sing Me Forgotten is a book that will always live close to my heart. It's certainly one that I'll never forget. This magical book doesn't disappoint and you'll be craving more. The characters were fantastic and the story was beautiful. This was one hell of a debut and I'm ecstatic to see what else Jessica has up her sleeve. I know in my heart that it's going to blow me away.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Adalyn Grace

    Official blurb: Enchanting, lush, and decadent, Sing Me Forgotten had me absolutely spellbound. Olson's delivered a captivating debut that's sure to please fans of magic, romance, and ambitious heroines. This book had me up well into the night, desperate to know what would happen next. Official blurb: Enchanting, lush, and decadent, Sing Me Forgotten had me absolutely spellbound. Olson's delivered a captivating debut that's sure to please fans of magic, romance, and ambitious heroines. This book had me up well into the night, desperate to know what would happen next.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I have mixed feelings about this book. At the beginning, I thought for sure, this would be my first five stars book of 2021. It had a fantastic atmosphere as this book was set in an Opera. I was also listening to the perfect soundtrack for it, giving me the best experience. However, my love for this book quickly faded. This is how it went: First 30% - 5 stars Between 30% and 95% - 3 stars The ending - 1 star! So let me ask you... how should I rate this book? Because I have no clue. I'll probably sti I have mixed feelings about this book. At the beginning, I thought for sure, this would be my first five stars book of 2021. It had a fantastic atmosphere as this book was set in an Opera. I was also listening to the perfect soundtrack for it, giving me the best experience. However, my love for this book quickly faded. This is how it went: First 30% - 5 stars Between 30% and 95% - 3 stars The ending - 1 star! So let me ask you... how should I rate this book? Because I have no clue. I'll probably stick to three stars but oh, I am so disappointed after being so hopeful in the beginning especially with that ending that made me think "Really?!" and had me check if this was indeed a standalone and not the first in a series. In Sing Me Forgotten, you will meet Isda, a girl who has power over people's memories whenever they sing. However, in this world girls like her are called "gravoirs" and are hunted down. They are killed at birth after three Gravoirs became too dangerous a while ago. There are also Fendoirs who have powers just not as much. They are allowed to live but they aren't completely free. When she was born, Isda was thrown into a well but a man called Cyril decided to pick her up and raise her as his own as long as she kept hidden away and as long as she earned him money with her powers... When Isda meet a boy with a beautiful voice, she'll take risks that might be dangerous for her. Overall, Sing Me Forgotten has beautiful magical moments that made me believe in its potential. I was engaged and cared for our main characters. I could be a little frustrated by Isda who took a long time for her to come out of her naive shell. Unfortunately, while I loved parts of it, this book didn't hold up like I was hoping it would. It ended up being a bit too simple while I would have loved something a bit more complex. And even though I'm a bit mad by that ending, I'm still glad I got to dive into this book and I would be curious to read any new release by this author. (Thank you for letting me read and review an ARC via Netgalley)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Happy Pub Day! Please read this amazing Phantom of the Opera inspired story! I need people to talk about it with! “I am the Channe Opera House Ghost. Bearer of nightmares. And just as worthy to walk under an open sky as anyone else.” At birth, Isda was considered a monster. She was ruled unworthy of life because of her deformed face, an indicator that she was a gravoir, someone capable of manipulating people’s memories as they sang. But she was rescued from death, hidden away, and raised by Cyril Happy Pub Day! Please read this amazing Phantom of the Opera inspired story! I need people to talk about it with! “I am the Channe Opera House Ghost. Bearer of nightmares. And just as worthy to walk under an open sky as anyone else.” At birth, Isda was considered a monster. She was ruled unworthy of life because of her deformed face, an indicator that she was a gravoir, someone capable of manipulating people’s memories as they sang. But she was rescued from death, hidden away, and raised by Cyril, the owner of an opera house. While she must remain hidden in the shadows, she is well cared for and, in return, she uses her ability to keep Cyril in business. When a young man with an enchanting voice is hired on as the opera house’s janitor, Isda’s safe, secluded world welcomes a risky change and, with that, threats she’d never imagined. I adored this book. It was imaginative, meaningful, and beautifully written, packed with drama, romance, horror and action. I was mesmerized by the story, so pulled in that I found myself audibly urging distressing scenes not to happen. (They didn’t listen!). There were moments that made my heart flutter with happiness mingled with moments that tore it apart. One of my favorite explorations in books is the notion that the monster isn’t always as obvious as we think. Olson did a wonderful job embracing and illustrating that theme throughout the story. While this was rooted in fantasy, it says something honest and challenging about humanity and it does so in a heartbreaking way. The chemistry between Emeric and Isda was magical. I truly appreciated the slow relationship building, which led to an authentic connection. I was completely in love with these characters, both separately and together. I had not expected to feel this way about Sing Me Forgotten. I went in hoping for a fun read that might warrant four stars in the end. Instead, this will haunt my memory for a very long time and is, undoubtedly, at the peak of my mountain of favorites. While the Phantom of the Opera influence exists, Sing Me Forgotten is seductively unique and compelling. It brings fragments of the original’s inspiration into the tale, but proves alluring in its own special way. If any aspect of this book appeals to you, I urge you to get your hands on a copy as soon as you are able! I am immensely grateful to Inkyard Press and NetGalley for my digital review copy. All opinions are my own. Sing Me Forgotten is available for preorder and will be published on March 9, 2021.

  15. 5 out of 5

    ♠ Tabi⁷ ♠

    A gender switched retelling of The Phantom of the Opera?? G I M M E plz

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    5 STARS! *dramatically swings off opera cape* BRAVO! You had me at "gender bent Phantom of the Opera retelling," and still completely surpassed my expectations. I just... wow. I realize I'm perhaps a little predisposed to love this given my love love love of the Broadway musical (yes, I've read the book too and prefer the musical), but this is a beautifully crafted story with a perfect amount of magic and one that doesn't shy away from glaring character flaws and darkness. The world building is s 5 STARS! *dramatically swings off opera cape* BRAVO! You had me at "gender bent Phantom of the Opera retelling," and still completely surpassed my expectations. I just... wow. I realize I'm perhaps a little predisposed to love this given my love love love of the Broadway musical (yes, I've read the book too and prefer the musical), but this is a beautifully crafted story with a perfect amount of magic and one that doesn't shy away from glaring character flaws and darkness. The world building is subtle and impressionistic - the reader is told only as much as they need to know rather than being bogged down by endless explanations in this overly wikified present. The male lead is *gasp* likable and increasingly complex and interesting. The main character is... morally questionable (much like Erik/the original Phantom) and HOW MUCH DO I LOVE books with themes around what makes a person human/a monster? So many books lately have been promising "monster girls" and so few have actually delivered. This book - THIS BOOK. This is 100% the "monster girl" I've been waiting for. I completely got caught up in the magic of it. And I loved the pinnacle moments from the musical - the masquerade ball! The discoveries of bodies! The music of the night with the organ down in the catacombs! The falling of the chandelier! The fire! All these moments, and so many more unforgettable moments of its own (I won't mention them for fear of spoiling them). It was - dare I say - an improvement upon both the original novel AND the Broadway musical (the former, alone, is a feat few retellings have ever achieved). I cried an embarrassing amount. I can't stop thinking about it. I couldn't sit down for like two hours after finishing it and read the last fifty pages pacing back and forth with my kindle. I'm not ready to leave and keep revisiting my favorite scenes and am in the throes of an intense book hangover. This book was one of the best ARCs I've read this year, one of the best standalones I've read in longer. And honestly? I think it's going on my top 5 on the year. This is a DEBUT? Jessica S. Olson, I will 100% read whatever you write next. And I'm buying this one when it comes out. I need it to cuddle with at night. Thank you Edelweiss and HarperCollins for the review copy!!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lyndall Clipstone

    SING ME FORGOTTEN has left me completely spellbound. Olson's prose is completely beautiful, and the cinematic pacing kept me up late reading, desperate to squeeze in just one more chapter. Readers who loved Jude Duarte will adore complex, unflinchingly monstrous Isda, whose heart-wrenching descent into villainy is handled with such sympathy. Her romance with sweet, sunshiney Emeric is the perfect (swoony!) contrast. This lush, romantic story is a masterful, original take on the classic Phantom o SING ME FORGOTTEN has left me completely spellbound. Olson's prose is completely beautiful, and the cinematic pacing kept me up late reading, desperate to squeeze in just one more chapter. Readers who loved Jude Duarte will adore complex, unflinchingly monstrous Isda, whose heart-wrenching descent into villainy is handled with such sympathy. Her romance with sweet, sunshiney Emeric is the perfect (swoony!) contrast. This lush, romantic story is a masterful, original take on the classic Phantom of the Opera story.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christie«SHBBblogger»

    Title: Sing Me Forgotten Series: Standalone Author: Jessica S. Olson Release date: March 9, 2021 Cliffhanger: no Genre: YA fantasy, retelling I think the most dominant emotion I felt throughout this novel was disbelief. I felt disbelief over the heroine's actions and the events that occurred because of them. I kept thinking, "Is this really happening??" with a sort of disturbed, uncomfortable feeling crawling under my skin. The heroine is a bit of a sociopath. So there's that. Then there's the fact t Title: Sing Me Forgotten Series: Standalone Author: Jessica S. Olson Release date: March 9, 2021 Cliffhanger: no Genre: YA fantasy, retelling I think the most dominant emotion I felt throughout this novel was disbelief. I felt disbelief over the heroine's actions and the events that occurred because of them. I kept thinking, "Is this really happening??" with a sort of disturbed, uncomfortable feeling crawling under my skin. The heroine is a bit of a sociopath. So there's that. Then there's the fact that she has many TSTL moments. Translation for the newbies: Too Stupid To Live. There are few things worse than a stupid heroine, but a stupid sociopathic killer probably wins top prize. That has to be the oddest combination I've ever heard, because if she's going to be a killer, can she at least be badass? Instead I was shaking my head more times than I can count over her gullibility. In this gender-bent Phantom of the Opera retelling, there are two types of magic holders. gravoirs and fendoirs. gravoirs are the most powerful with the ability to suck the memory out of people and use it as a power source. They can also manipulate memories like Jedi knights. (Sorry, Star Wars nerd here) They can kill an entire village of people if they so desire by sucking out their entire memory "life force" for lack of a better phrase. fendoirs extract the elixers from people's minds. This is the substance that gives gravoirs enhanced powers and strength, and when consumed by the average person will keep their minds perfectly sharp. The poor are generally forced to give up some of their elixer in order to survive, and some sell so much that their children are erased from memory. Then there are those who sell too many memories and become walking zombies with no recollection of their own identity, doomed to shuffle through the streets, fighting to survive. When people sing, I see their memories, starting with the newest. If I want to, I can comb backward through time, sifting through the liquid swirl of moments in their minds as though rippling my fingers through water in a creek. Isda is a gravoir who lives in hiding in the opera house. The law states that all gravoirs must be killed at birth because society was once overtaken by the monstrous Les Trois females who killed and destroyed indiscriminately. Because of their fear that the gravoirs will grasp power again, they believe it's not safe to let them live. However, the fendoirs are enslaved and used for their powers because of the benefits that they provide. Isda was spared a quick death after being thrown in a well as a baby. The opera house owner, Cryril, fished her out and kept her underground in order to use her abilities. In addition to his personal business, he is part of the King’s Imperial Council. The council is in charge of monitoring the fendoirs and gravoirs, and they hunt anyone in hiding if they happen to escape execution. Here comes the part that just did not add up for me. I understand that Isda is sheltered. I understand she's young and naive. BUT...her guardian is literally in charge of hunting down her kind and killing them. He doesn't hide his hatred for those like her, and yet she has blind faith in him. She honestly believes that he saved her out of the goodness of his heart and thinks of her like a daughter. Does she not understand the concept of a lie? She doesn't even question his intentions on the flimsy excuse that he couldn't bring himself to kill her after looking into her eyes as an infant. So why does he still have no qualms about all of the others? He asks her to harm people (even a child) in order to help him get promoted in the council. Whimpers gurgle out from underneath Cyril’s desk. I glance back toward the sound. I should feel a bit more remorse for causing the child so much trauma, but I’m so high on the pride in Cyril’s expression and the satisfaction in my gut that I can barely hear the sobs. He asks her to alter people's memory of opera performances so that people are fooled into thinking that they saw a good show, and buy more tickets. He asks her to make his superior go mad so that he may take his spot. She does all of these things with either a sliver of remorse or none at all because she's more concerned with pleasing him. What does she think is going to happen when he gets his boss' job? He will have more power and better opportunity to kill those like her! I just did not understand why she believed his blatant lies! Cyril’s methods may be a bit extravagant at times, but it is only because he is so determined. Although giving a man hallucinations makes me a bit queasy, it does seem to be a solid plan. Even early on, Isda shows her sociopathic tendencies. Every time she would harm someone and feel pride in herself I figured her moral code fell in a grey area and there would be some character growth by the end. She's an anti-heroine I told myself. I do get that this is a spin on Phantom of the Opera which isn't hearts and butterflies and sparkly rainbows to begin with. But I'm sorry, I could not get behind Isda or root for her. Not only because her lack of intelligence grated on me until my nerves were RAW, but she slipped slowly into homicidal maniac. One could make the argument that the townspeople deserved for her to run amuck on them because of their treatment of her kind. Killing gravoirs on sight, and enslaving fendoirs for their own personal benefit. I suppose you could say she's an unfortunate product of her environment. But on the other hand, doesn't her killing spree validate their fears? That her kind easily slips into a monstrous state that can't control their vicious impulses? She doesn't kill just out of a state of revenge. She loses control of herself and goes into a kind of frenzy that urges her to suck every last bit of life force out of people. For all his words, he has not seen the corruption of my soul. The beast who burns me from the inside out. The fury that lives deep in my veins. This boy, with his caramels and his dimples and his lullabies, is too good for the things that lurk below my skin. I didn't find any redeeming qualities about Isda. There were no boundaries for her. At one point she even stole some of Emeric's elixer without asking him and it didn't even occur to her that it was wrong. Emeric is her only friend-the only person who treated her with respect and doesn't take advantage of her. The fact that she could even betray him without a second thought doesn't sit well. Yes, she does make a sacrifice in the end for him, but in my mind, she was too far gone at that point to ever be redeemed. Perhaps this leans more towards horror for my taste? I cannot recommend it, but I will say that I found the magic system to be really original which is why I gave it two stars. Also, I was invested enough in the outcome to actually want to finish it, though maybe that's because it had the train wreck effect on me. While I didn't love this one, I could see how it may be a better fit for others. If you love Phantom of the Opera, and you enjoy darker fantasies, this might be for you. FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amanda (MetalPhantasmReads)

    A gender-bent retelling of Phantom of the Opera with magic?! Plus that gorgeous cover! My teen self is heard with this book. Never requested anything so fast! It's up on Edelweiss and Netgalley to request! It's beautiful A gender-bent retelling of Phantom of the Opera with magic?! Plus that gorgeous cover! My teen self is heard with this book. Never requested anything so fast! It's up on Edelweiss and Netgalley to request! It's beautiful

  20. 5 out of 5

    Maria F.

    *i received an earc so any quotes I use are subject to change* “Every moment of my life, this world has told me I’m a nightmare. So let them come for me. I will burn them up until nothing remains but ashes and smoke” Wowowowowowow!! I haven’t read many Phantom retellings but this one definitely takes the prize! I wouldn’t say it’s an exact retelling but it does have a bunch of “phantom of the opera” elements that had be SQUEALING. Imagine this: phantom of the opera, but the “phantom” is a GIRL an *i received an earc so any quotes I use are subject to change* “Every moment of my life, this world has told me I’m a nightmare. So let them come for me. I will burn them up until nothing remains but ashes and smoke” Wowowowowowow!! I haven’t read many Phantom retellings but this one definitely takes the prize! I wouldn’t say it’s an exact retelling but it does have a bunch of “phantom of the opera” elements that had be SQUEALING. Imagine this: phantom of the opera, but the “phantom” is a GIRL and she has POWERS. Yeah, that’s right. POWERS. Our protagonist Isda is a graivor- a different type of magic wielder that is able to infiltrate your memories when you sing. Isda is marginalized in her society for this and was left to die as a child. Her face is brutally scarred and she has to wear a mask to hide her identity or risk being murdered Isda uses her ability in the opera house where she works in order to heighten the audience’s memories and will them to believe the performances they’re watching are much better than what they actually are. However, every time she gets a glance at a memory it’s always dull and gray. That is, until one day she stumbles upon a suntanned boy with a dimpled smile and dark messy hair- who happens to have a beautiful voice that brings the most colorful memories for Isda. “The beautiful boy with the voice to shake the heavens” That voice is is infectious and mysterious to Isda and soon enough the two embark on an adventure of heartache, betrayal, stolen kisses and hope. Y’all. This book was SO good and the twist SHOCKED ME. I also loved the ending and how it stayed true to how the phantom really is. Highly recommend this if you like dark reads and if you’re a phantom fan. 4.5/5 stars from me TW: self harm, kidnapping *thank you NetGalley for sending me an earc in exchange for an honest review*

  21. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    ~Review to come~

  22. 5 out of 5

    Vee

    a gender swapped... phantom of the opera.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (AndKellyReads)

    They may have forced me into the dark, but I am not as powerless as they would have me be. I compare books to Taylor Swift songs pretty easily, and I love doing it because they’re usually pretty happy and lovely, but I have to say, I honestly never thought I’d read a book that made me think of “Look What You Made Me Do” but I just did and so here we are. This book was unexpected. I knew we were getting a gender-bent Phantom of the Opera, and I knew it would be good, but I just didn’t know HOW goo They may have forced me into the dark, but I am not as powerless as they would have me be. I compare books to Taylor Swift songs pretty easily, and I love doing it because they’re usually pretty happy and lovely, but I have to say, I honestly never thought I’d read a book that made me think of “Look What You Made Me Do” but I just did and so here we are. This book was unexpected. I knew we were getting a gender-bent Phantom of the Opera, and I knew it would be good, but I just didn’t know HOW good it would be and how intensely it would make me feel. This book is about Isda, a gravoir who is trapped in a life of solitude deep in the bowels of the Opera House because she should not exist. Gravoirs are dangerous and executed upon birth but somehow, Isda lives, and she lives under the protection of a man named Cyril who keeps her safe and helps her learn how to control and grow her powers. Or at least, that’s what Isda has been told by Cyril. He did save her from death, after all, why would he lie? But then Isda meets Emeric and everything changes. Isda can see memories when people sing and within Emeric’s memory she sees another girl, a gravoir like her, wild and free. What comes next is a friendship that cannot be discovered or it would jeopardize them both, as well as an intense need within Isda to learn more and uncover details that may have been left out of her teaching. It’s dark, it’s dramatic, and it’s dangerous, but then again, Isda has already tempted fate every day just by waking up in the morning, what’s a little extra danger? In a way, Isda is like an anti-hero. She’s not a bad person, but she’s not a good person either. She’s incredibly complex because she is angry and she wants answers, but she’s also naïve and honestly a little terrified of having her world flipped upside down. She has good intentions, but she’s also quite impulsive and doesn’t always make the smartest choices. She’s reckless, yet she’s also somehow still delicate, but at the same time she’s self-aware and acknowledges her mistakes, often in conversation with Emeric who is teaching her, basically, how to interact with other people. For so long it was only her and Cyril, and Isda is the first to admit she doesn’t have a damn clue what she’s doing. A lot of this book is the reader going through Isda’s thought process and watching her make choices and, while we might not always agree with them, honestly I never faulted her for a single decision she made. Sing Me Forgotten is also a very good reminder that not all books are romance novels with a traditional happily ever after. I’m still reeling from the end of this story, if we’re being honest. (And by reeling, I mean screaming into the abyss because WHY) You could shatter the sky with a voice like that. If only our world would let you. This book was beautifully written, it tore my heart to shreds, and it held me captive from start to finish. I will say the love story was a bit rushed, maybe? If that’s the right word? I didn’t fully believe it, but I didn’t not believe it either, if that makes sense. Certain scenes did still get to me, though (and had me literally sobbing uncontrollably, thanks for that Jessica) so I’m not sure how much of it was me not quite understanding how quickly time was moving (because it was never quite clear how many weeks had gone by) versus the fact that it’s YA and we just didn’t get that deep into it. (Honestly it was probably me because it usually is). All things considered, I really enjoyed the hell out of this story. It was dark and complicated, but still full of music and beautiful scenes and memories, and I’m still trying to puzzle my feelings out a few days later, and to me, that’s the mark of a good story. Isda is certainly no heroine, but I think that’s the absolute best part. I loved her, dark damaged soul and all. {Many thanks to Inkyard Press for the ARC!}

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karissa

    Series Info/Source: I got a copy of this book through NetGalley to review. This seems to be a stand alone book. Story (4/5): This was beautifully written and has a fascinating premise. This is basically a gender reversed Phantom of the Opera retelling with some twists. In this world a race of people exists that can manipulate memory through song and they are usually killed at birth. Our main protagonist is a young woman who was rescued from this death at birth and raised in a theater. She is trai Series Info/Source: I got a copy of this book through NetGalley to review. This seems to be a stand alone book. Story (4/5): This was beautifully written and has a fascinating premise. This is basically a gender reversed Phantom of the Opera retelling with some twists. In this world a race of people exists that can manipulate memory through song and they are usually killed at birth. Our main protagonist is a young woman who was rescued from this death at birth and raised in a theater. She is trained to use her skill to manipulate the theater goers into loving their theater experience regardless of the actual performance. As things unravel she begins to figure out how to use other powers she has and find out the lies that form her life. This is absolutely beautifully written, with amazing imagery. The beginning moves a bit slow and this is definitely a story that spends a lot of time discussing the fascination with music. In the end it's more of a love story than anything else. Characters (4/5): While I really enjoyed Emeric (Isda’s love interest) and his depth of caring, I thought he acted somewhat inconsistently throughout. I had a lot more trouble engaging with Isda’s character; she makes poor decisions and is fairly unlikable. However, that being said I do think she was a good female portrayal of the Phantom from the Phantom of the Opera who is also a kind of evil/sympathetic character. Isda is very grey in tone and while I didn’t really like her, her decisions are fascinating to read about. Setting (4/5): I liked the idea of a society that runs off of memories and the sales of them. It’s a unique idea and the inclusion of a couple of races of modified humans that can control and pull out memories is intriguing. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see a ton of this world because of Isda’s isolation in the theater. Writing Style (4/5): The story moved a bit slow for me and some of the decisions Isda makes seemed a bit contrived. In spite of those issues the story is creative and beautifully written, I didn’t have any trouble staying engaging and reading it. This book stands alone well, so it seems like a stand alone to me but there are some unanswered questions too. The ending is kind of a downer and I was left hoping we’d get a follow-up story that would leave our characters in a better place.. My Summary (4/5): Overall I enjoyed this. It’s a very creative premise and is beautifully written with amazing imagery. Parts of it do move slow and the characters were a bit hard to engage with and like. There is a ton of discussion and description of music, so if that’s not your thing you probably won’t enjoy this much. I will definitely be checking out Olson’s future books.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Arundhati

    I hate it when a book makes me so sad. And I am so sad and really mad. This book was magical, beautiful and undeniably heart breaking. It is a gender swapped Phantom of the Opera inspired story. This is the story of Isda, a gravoir who is considered a monster by the society deemed even unfit to live. Gravoir children by law are to be killed off as soon as they are born. But Isda is saved by Cyril, who keeps her in the opera house where she uses her ability to manipulate the ticket sales. His on I hate it when a book makes me so sad. And I am so sad and really mad. This book was magical, beautiful and undeniably heart breaking. It is a gender swapped Phantom of the Opera inspired story. This is the story of Isda, a gravoir who is considered a monster by the society deemed even unfit to live. Gravoir children by law are to be killed off as soon as they are born. But Isda is saved by Cyril, who keeps her in the opera house where she uses her ability to manipulate the ticket sales. His only condition being that Isda keeps herself hidden from everyone. And she does so until she hears Emeric's voice and see's in his memories a way for her to be free. And with that starts Isda's journey to her freedom which mind you, comes at a very steep price. The writing is beautiful. It has a certain flow to it. Like music, of which this book is heavily influenced. One can actually get themselves lost in the words and keep drowning in the lush writing. It is truly remarkable. The story has an impossible romance. Like really. Peak forbidden romances. Which obviously made me too invested in it and I ended up in tears. My dumb brain still refusing to accept the truth.🥺 The romance is sweet and innocent. Isda's and Emeric's banter is just so endearing. I loved it so much. It is full of music, colorful memories and caramels. Lots and lots of warm buttery caramels. The story brings in light the fact how society associates monstrosity to physical appearance. What truly defines being a monster? How the villains and monsters are a product of prolonged social injustices and discrimination. How cruel this world is to the minority. It is so heart breaking to see how all Isda ever truly desire was to perform and be able to walk freely among everyone. To love and be loved and cherished. But she also harbored a part in her which craved for revenge for all the injustices done to her. The characters are multi layered and complex. I can't even talk about the ending. It shattered my heart. I understand why the author wrote the ending the way she did but am I ready to accept it? No. And probably never will be. It was bittersweet. I was happy to see Isda finally accepting and embracing herself. She deserves all the happiness. Overall a great debut novel. Definitely deserves to be recognised and loved. --> 4.5

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh

    * I received an e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* As soon as I heard this was a gender bent Phantom of the Opera retelling and I saw the gorgeous cover, I knew I had to read this one! A stunning debut from Olson, I was completely swept away into this beautiful and magical world. I was drawn immediately to Isda. She’s a gravoir and has been living beneath the opera house, that Cyril, the man who rescued her, owns. She longs so much for human connection, but must live hidden aw * I received an e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* As soon as I heard this was a gender bent Phantom of the Opera retelling and I saw the gorgeous cover, I knew I had to read this one! A stunning debut from Olson, I was completely swept away into this beautiful and magical world. I was drawn immediately to Isda. She’s a gravoir and has been living beneath the opera house, that Cyril, the man who rescued her, owns. She longs so much for human connection, but must live hidden away from a society that thinks of her as a monster. She meets Emeric, a boy that’s been hired to clean the opera house, and everything changes. He has an amazing voice, unlike one that Isda has ever heard. His memories give her hints as to how to break free from her prison of a life, and she begins to spend more and more time with him. She soon learns that the price for her freedom is steep. Emeric is the best! He’s so full of sunshine and light. I loved his sense of humor and just how sweet he is. He also has dimples, *sighs*! The romance between Isda and Emeric is definitely swoon worthy and they are two characters you won’t soon forget. If you like lush, atmospheric, gothic romances, then this book is for you! It will leave you thinking about it long after the last act has ended.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley I exchange for an honest review. Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson was such a pleasant surprise. To say the least, I was intrigued the moment I heard it described as a gender switched YA fantasy retelling of The Phantom of the Opera and for the most part it really worked for me. Olson's writing style is lush and atmospheric. It's easy to fall for the characters and the musical/ memory magic system of the gravoirs. The first half of the novel are quite engaging I received an ARC from NetGalley I exchange for an honest review. Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson was such a pleasant surprise. To say the least, I was intrigued the moment I heard it described as a gender switched YA fantasy retelling of The Phantom of the Opera and for the most part it really worked for me. Olson's writing style is lush and atmospheric. It's easy to fall for the characters and the musical/ memory magic system of the gravoirs. The first half of the novel are quite engaging which kept me hanging on to every word, but it does drag a little in the third quarter, but you've got that outstanding yet terribly brutal finale too. I really wanted to know more about the wider world of the novel since the story is mostly confined to the opera house. I've got to say though that the author does a marvelous job of recreating the tone of the original story, especially when it comes to Isda as the Phantom. Overall, Jessica S. Olson's Sing Me Forgotten is an impressive debut novel that's well worth your time if you're looking for an atmospheric YA retelling or if you're a fan of The Phantom of the Opera. I'm definitely looking forward to Olson's next release A Forgery of Roses due out in 2022 which is supposed to be a YA fantasy Stalking Jack the Ripper meets The Picture of Dorian Gray.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Storiesandcoffee

    Here for a YA Phantom of the Opera retelling. ❤️ Thank you to Inkyard Press for the gifted ARC. Here for a YA Phantom of the Opera retelling. ❤️ Thank you to Inkyard Press for the gifted ARC.

  29. 5 out of 5

    ☀︎El In Oz☀︎

    Okay so the cover isn’t the prettiest but I still think it’s really nice!!!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)

    3.5 stars because sometimes you’re just in a miserable mood and want to read about a girl whose even more miserable getting absolutely drunk on power and tragedy. Could have been better written but the last quarter was undeniably intense.

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