Author: Angela Morrison
Release Date: March 2010
Published By: Razorbill
Goodreads Rating: 4.14
Review: Beth has always been "The Beast" - until she gets a makeover that changes everything forever. When her choir travels to Switzerland, she meets pale, brooding, dreamy Derek and the two fall in love. Once she returns home, her sweet, steady best friend Scott confesses his love for her, and now she must make an impossible choice. But after she makes her decision, nothing is working out. Derek is moving farther and farther away from her, and he's hiding a terrible secret - one that could ruin everything.
Here's the thing: I really wanted to like this book. All the reviews I've read of it have been glowing and raved of the amazing characters and plot and writing, so it was with eagerness that I started SING ME TO SLEEP. However, before long, I found myself disappointed. It wasn't so much that the plot or writing was lackluster that so many things just annoyed me in this book. More than anything, it was the characters that was the problem.
First of all, I hated the idea of the makeover. Once she was transformed, her former "ugliness" didn't even show up in the book again. I thought it would be a recurring theme in the novel of her struggling with self-esteem issues and the skin-deep beauty thing, but Morrison never touched on it again. This is a pet peeve for me, but I detest it when an "ugly" girl has to turn pretty to get boys and friends and a happier life. She slaps on some make-up and gets a haircut and bam, everything is clearly so much better for her because obviously your looks are the most important aspect of you.
Second of all, I disliked both Derek and Scott. Derek was weirdly overprotective in a way that wasn't endearing. He also manipulated her and toyed with her affection for him by making her doubt both herself and him, and distanced himself from her in painful ways. In the end, his reasons for doing this were revealed, but they felt very contrived and didn't excuse his actions. Scott wasn't much better. He just didn't know when to back off, and if I were Beth, I would have been creeped out and concerned.
I don't want to say that this book was completely bad or that I didn't enjoy it at all. I do have to say that I thought the writing was very good. SING ME TO SLEEP had the kind of beautiful prose that makes it read like an elegantly crafted piece of poetry - I just wish that the characters were more appealing. I do know that a lot of people enjoyed this book, so it could have just been me and my personal preferences that caused me to not like it. If the plot sounds interesting to you, I encourage you to give it a try!