*I was given a copy of The Songs You’ve Never Heard in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Sweet Cherry Publishing, Becky Jerams and Ellie Wyatt*
How can two lost girls find their voices in a world that’s determined to keep them silent?
Meg McCarthy seems to be everything Alana Howard is not: rich, glamorous and – thanks to Caspar, her world-famous pop star brother – a social media influencer that every brand wants to sponsor.
While Meg is feeling trapped by the squeaky-clean McCarthy brand, plagued by online haters and too terrified to share her own talent with the world, songwriter Alana doesn’t seem to be scared of standing out.
But when Meg and Alana’s worlds collide, they learn that appearances can be deceiving.
As soon as I saw The Songs You’ve Never Heard was a music-themed book set in Brighton, I knew I had to read it. As someone involved in the music scene in Brighton, it was so fun to read. Well, for the most part, there were a few things that I really didn’t like, but overall it’s a decent YA book.
I’m not sure how much I like Meg. She’s very judgemental. I especially didn’t like how she called Alana an amateur because she hasn’t played a gig outside of Brighton. As someone who is involved in the Brighton music scene, it’s very competitive.
Also, her saying “Without sounding snobbish, she didn’t really look like a stereotypical performer” about Alana really rubbed me the wrong way. What is it even supposed to mean? I don’t know if it is a fatphobic comment or not, but the only other thing Meg had to say about Alana is about her size. The previous comments weren’t specifically mean though, more of an observation. This seems unnecessary in a book that ‘champions sisterhood, musical talent and body positivity.’
She also comments on how Alana says weird things, but the stuff she was saying is the type of things I say so I took it personally. I know this is fiction but I hate when people are mean to very nice characters. I’m not being completely serious with this comment, but it did make me a little sad.
The plot was quite interesting and moved at a good pace. All the parts about writing and recording music were really fun and having the lyrics to read was a nice touch. I always feel like I read them in a weird rhythm though.
Casper was absolutely vile and I did not think he should get a redemption arc. Unfortunately, there were a few unlikeable characters in this, but my love for Alana made it ok. She was a brilliant character, she felt like a real person.
The Songs You’ve Never Heard was a super quick and fun read that is great for music lovers. You get a little glimpse into the industry and there are some great performance descriptions.
I especially think if you live in Brighton (like me) you will enjoy this book on a different level. I’m not sure why but I get excited whenever books mention places I visit often, Meg talks about the audio equipment she got from GAK and that’s somewhere I go every time I go into the town centre. It’s the little things I suppose.
Check out Young Creative Press on all socials
You can also check out my StoryGraph here
Like this post? Why not read this one too: Monthly Wrap-Up: January 2023