YA Review: The Songs You’ve Never Heard

Title: The Songs You’ve Never Heard
Author: Becky Jerams and Ellie Wyatt

How much did I love this book? Just thinking about it is making me smile. A musical in book form is such a clever idea, and the authors have created a warm, emotional story accompanied by an album of the original music from the novel. I loved the entire experience!

Meg McCarthy is thoroughly sick of being the younger sister to musical superstar Caspar, especially when he’s home for the summer, trying and failing to write songs for his second album. Every conversation seems to revolve around her famous brother – at home, at school, and at her embarrassing summer job serving frozen yoghurt to tourists. She’s learned not to expect genuine friendship – everyone wants to use her to get close to Caspar. So when she meets aspiring singer-songwriter Alana at work, she expects more of the same.

But Meg has a secret. She’s been writing and recording her own songs for years, and keeping them hidden from everyone around her. The only person she shares them with is an online contact, but she’s too scared to admit to him who she is in real life. When Alana convinces her to share her music, the two girls begin working together, pooling their talents and writing songs as a duo. Meg isn’t ready to share their songs, and when their work is leaked online she finds herself overwhelmed as she tries to manage the consequences.

Meg is a highly relatable character. She’s used to living in the shadow of a successful older brother, and she has understandably had enough of trying to be friends with people who only want access to him. Her attitude might be aggressive, but I completely understood her need to be seen as an individual, and not an extension of Caspar’s identity. When she meets Alana – larger than life, bubbly, open and enthusiastic – she struggles to understand her new colleague. Their developing connection was a joy to read, and I loved following their journey as they shared their music and friendship.

This book plunged me deep into Meg’s life, and immersed me in her experiences and feelings. I was completely hooked, and invested in her hopes, dreams, and disasters. Her relationship with her brother felt real and raw, and her musical partnership with Alana was joyful and exciting. Half way through the book I realised that I needed to hear the songs, rather than simply reading the lyrics, and I downloaded the album. Hearing Caspar sing for the first time was absolutely thrilling, and listening to songs from Meg and Alana added so much to the experience of the story.

Definitely a five-star read, and a five-star idea. I adored it.

Have you read The Songs You’ve Never Heard? And have you listened to the songs? What did you think of Meg’s story? Click through to the full blog to access the comments section, and share your thoughts! No spoilers, though – you can post those on GoodReads!

YA review: The Songs You’ve Never Heard cross-posted to GoodReads.

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