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We Are the Song

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A lush and beautiful fantasy set in a world where music is magic and the fate of many thrones lies with one girl... Twelve-year-old Elissa has been raised in seclusion as a devotee of the Mother Goddess. She is a special child, a blessed child, a child who can sing miracles into being. Her voice can heal wounds, halt landslides, cure hunger--and even end wars. But there A lush and beautiful fantasy set in a world where music is magic and the fate of many thrones lies with one girl... Twelve-year-old Elissa has been raised in seclusion as a devotee of the Mother Goddess. She is a special child, a blessed child, a child who can sing miracles into being. Her voice can heal wounds, halt landslides, cure hunger--and even end wars. But there are those who would use her gift for darker things. And when Elissa finds herself the farthest from home she's ever been--along with her vain and jealous music tutor, Lucio--she will have to develop the judgment to decide who wants to use her song to heal... and who wants to use her song to hurt.


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A lush and beautiful fantasy set in a world where music is magic and the fate of many thrones lies with one girl... Twelve-year-old Elissa has been raised in seclusion as a devotee of the Mother Goddess. She is a special child, a blessed child, a child who can sing miracles into being. Her voice can heal wounds, halt landslides, cure hunger--and even end wars. But there A lush and beautiful fantasy set in a world where music is magic and the fate of many thrones lies with one girl... Twelve-year-old Elissa has been raised in seclusion as a devotee of the Mother Goddess. She is a special child, a blessed child, a child who can sing miracles into being. Her voice can heal wounds, halt landslides, cure hunger--and even end wars. But there are those who would use her gift for darker things. And when Elissa finds herself the farthest from home she's ever been--along with her vain and jealous music tutor, Lucio--she will have to develop the judgment to decide who wants to use her song to heal... and who wants to use her song to hurt.

30 review for We Are the Song

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maddie

    “There is only one voice you should listen to, Caé Elissa—and that is your own.” ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. TW: death, death of a parent, war. Poetic and unique, "We Are the Song" is just as captivating as its cover. When I first saw this cover, I knew I had to read it and then the premise (I'm a sucker for discussing the line between good and evil, + music magic) completely sold me. What I didn't know before going reading was that “There is only one voice you should listen to, Caé Elissa—and that is your own.” ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. TW: death, death of a parent, war. Poetic and unique, "We Are the Song" is just as captivating as its cover. When I first saw this cover, I knew I had to read it and then the premise (I'm a sucker for discussing the line between good and evil, + music magic) completely sold me. What I didn't know before going reading was that this is - more than any other aspect - about Elissa knowing who her Goddess is and trying to reconcile that with what others/the Church (big C) is telling her about them. I like to keep my spiritual life private, but this a very personal, sensitive topic that's close to my heart. The author handled it amazingly. She put emotions I have felt for years into simple, beautiful sentences that made me go, "Yes! That! Exactly!" which, admittedly, is not what I was expecting from a Middle Grade. I feel slightly humbled by this, and grateful. There isn't much I can say about the story without delving into spoiler territory so I'll sum my review up with this: "We Are the Song" was beautifully written, atmospheric, and heartfelt, while never losing the reader's attention or sympathy. I really enjoyed this and hope to read more from this author in the future.

  2. 4 out of 5

    neve ❀✿

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A much grateful thank you to Holiday House, the author, and NetGalley for sending me this arc. This book will release May 3rd. We Are The Song is a middle-grade fantasy novel surrounding Elissa and the love and power gained through music and song. Elissa is a very empathetic twelve year old princess who cares about others and is easily relatable. Blackwell easily wields a world of love and magic that any child will be entranced with. It is official, We Are The Song is a beautiful story to watch A much grateful thank you to Holiday House, the author, and NetGalley for sending me this arc. This book will release May 3rd. We Are The Song is a middle-grade fantasy novel surrounding Elissa and the love and power gained through music and song. Elissa is a very empathetic twelve year old princess who cares about others and is easily relatable. Blackwell easily wields a world of love and magic that any child will be entranced with. It is official, We Are The Song is a beautiful story to watch out for❤️

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kalena W

    4/5 stars, this was a really fun story with a really unique magic system Thank you Holiday House for the arc through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! "When I sang, I was never alone" (27). When I first saw that cover I was in love, and I knew that I had to try this book out as well. I also wasn't aware going in that it was a middle-grade novel. There were some moments where I wished for a bit more darkness, or depth, but everything was handled fairly well considering the age range. Wh 4/5 stars, this was a really fun story with a really unique magic system Thank you Holiday House for the arc through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! "When I sang, I was never alone" (27). When I first saw that cover I was in love, and I knew that I had to try this book out as well. I also wasn't aware going in that it was a middle-grade novel. There were some moments where I wished for a bit more darkness, or depth, but everything was handled fairly well considering the age range. While I was reading, it was a pretty interesting story and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it overall. The large theme of this story is how it discusses the difference between good and evil, as well as the difference between being religious and spiritual. Throughout the story, Elissa struggles with understanding her goddess and her wishes, as well as what the church is telling her. There is a large power struggle with that aspect in the story, one that was important in my opinion to read about. While I enjoyed how the author handled it, especially in an age-appropriate manor, I think the plot became a little repetitive over time, and the pacing became inconsistent. That was only towards the end part of the book though, and even then there were aspects that saved the story. My favorite part of this book was the magic system and world building, which was always growing between the pages and in what Elissa learned. I loved how song was used as a form of magic in this story, and how when a song has been sung a certain amount of times, it looses the magic and a new one must be composed. While it created some problems for the main characters, I thought it was a nice limit placed on the magic so that there could be balance. I also love that there was a collection of singers and composers that traveled with them, that was a lot of fun. Cae Elissa was the main character, a bit naive but a fantastic singer nonetheless. Oftentimes I could see her falling into the "chosen one" trope but it's not one that I have a big problem with. She was very caring and empathetic towards everyone she met, which I really appreciated as a whole. As the story went on, I really enjoyed watching her have faith in herself and her abilities, as well as her goddess. She began to take over her own story and I'm really happy she was able to. Lucio was a very fun character in the beginning, but soon began to grow vain and jealous when they visited a noble. I thought this was very disappointing, as in the beginning he seemed to have almost a brotherly relationship with Elissa. They took care of one another and it was very wonderful to see. I understand though that his behavior was needed to push Elissa to realize herself, and what her goddess truly wanted. I just wish he had turned out to be a different character. Overall, it was a very fun and quick story, that handled some complex themes in an age-appropriate and wonderful manor. The characters were interesting, the plot was fun, and the world building was absolutely marvelous. It's been rumored that there will be a sequel, and I will definitely be looking out for it. [TW: war themes, death of loved ones, manipulation, use of alcohol, starvation (mentioned), physical harm]

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    A lush fantasy in which music is – quite literally – magical. A song sung by one of the Goddess’ chosen singers can turn a flower into a bird, heal an ailing queen, or heat a teakettle. The language of music absolutely suffuses the book, from its structure to the names of people and places, to the way characters perceive their world. But ultimately, this poignant and lyrical story is about recognizing the power in our own voices, and understanding that if we use that power wisely, each of us has A lush fantasy in which music is – quite literally – magical. A song sung by one of the Goddess’ chosen singers can turn a flower into a bird, heal an ailing queen, or heat a teakettle. The language of music absolutely suffuses the book, from its structure to the names of people and places, to the way characters perceive their world. But ultimately, this poignant and lyrical story is about recognizing the power in our own voices, and understanding that if we use that power wisely, each of us has the capacity to help bring peace to a broken world.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie Stewart

    "Listen to your own voice. Listen to your own song." **Thanks to NetGalley, Catherine Bakewell, and Holiday House for this ARC** We Are the Song is Catherine Bakewell's debut middle grade novel, to be followed by a young adult novel in 2023. A charming, lyrical middle grade fantasy, We Are the Song tells the story of Caé Elissa, a 12 year old Voice of the Goddess who sings blessings from the creator of the world, Caé. She travels with a 17 year old composer and is tasked with helping the people of "Listen to your own voice. Listen to your own song." **Thanks to NetGalley, Catherine Bakewell, and Holiday House for this ARC** We Are the Song is Catherine Bakewell's debut middle grade novel, to be followed by a young adult novel in 2023. A charming, lyrical middle grade fantasy, We Are the Song tells the story of Caé Elissa, a 12 year old Voice of the Goddess who sings blessings from the creator of the world, Caé. She travels with a 17 year old composer and is tasked with helping the people of their war-torn world. With her voice, she has the ability to heal, to grant joy, and to transform the physical world around her. As the book progresses, she is asked by powerful people to sing blessings that feel evil to her and she begins to wonder how she the Caé she knows and loves can be represented so differently by those with power. A thoughtful exploration of the difference between spirituality/religion and Religion with a capital R, this book emphasizes listening to your own understanding of what is right and your own unique connection with a higher power. Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It was beautifully written and still felt appropriate for being told from the point of view of a 12-year-old. My only complaint was the pacing - the first two thirds of the books flowed beautifully and then it felt like the ending of the book was compressed and happened very quickly. It also sometimes felt a little heavy handed with the religious messaging. Three stars - I liked it :)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    I had zero expectations and chose it purely for its pretty cover. But I pretty much read that in one sitting... Its lovely! The book reads like a song, lyrical and delightfully middle grade book. ARC kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    esska

    [eARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review] We Are The Song is unique in that it's a literary middle-grade fantasy novel, but told in first-person. Third-person would have felt more natural, given the lyrical writing style. The voice of a 12-year-old doesn't shine through, which is the primary advantage of first-person. However, due to a major plot point, first-person is necessary. Bakewell's prose is gorgeous, and it's by far the novel's biggest strength. The plot is coh [eARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review] We Are The Song is unique in that it's a literary middle-grade fantasy novel, but told in first-person. Third-person would have felt more natural, given the lyrical writing style. The voice of a 12-year-old doesn't shine through, which is the primary advantage of first-person. However, due to a major plot point, first-person is necessary. Bakewell's prose is gorgeous, and it's by far the novel's biggest strength. The plot is cohesive, but there isn't much tension through the first half of the novel. It does pick up halfway through, but Elissa and Lucio don't seem to have much agency early on, and just wander about until they fall into the lap of the King of Basso. I would have liked the stakes established a bit more early on. An enjoyable read with lovely writing. It just took a bit of pushing through the beginning to get to the true heart of the story.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nora

    I’ve been looking for a long time for a fantasy book where religion has an important role to play, and a real impact on the worldbuilding. And I guess I found it… partly. We Are the Song tells the story of Elissa, a young girl with a magical gift: she can make miracles come true by singing them, which is considered a blessing from the Goddess Caé. But the world is at war, and Elissa (as well as 11 other Singers) travels to spread her miracles throughout the lands and help the people in need. Soon I’ve been looking for a long time for a fantasy book where religion has an important role to play, and a real impact on the worldbuilding. And I guess I found it… partly. We Are the Song tells the story of Elissa, a young girl with a magical gift: she can make miracles come true by singing them, which is considered a blessing from the Goddess Caé. But the world is at war, and Elissa (as well as 11 other Singers) travels to spread her miracles throughout the lands and help the people in need. Soon, she finds herself at the mercy of powerful people who want to use her gift for greedy purposes, but she knows in her heart that it is not what the Goddess wants, and she will try to stop the war and bring peace instead. It's a rather simple story when you think about it – young heroine must go against everyone and use her special ability to save the world. I thought the writing was pretty, and the fact that it was in 1st person made a particular scene at the end feel extremely powerful. The pacing felt a bit off, with the story and action really beginning when the characters arrive to the palace of Basso, around 35% in. That’s when I started to get invested, but before that I was a bit bored. I thought Elissa was the perfect main character for this book, because her being so young (only 12) explains her innocence and incorruptibility. She learns to follow her heart and have faith, even in difficult situations, and even though she doubts herself at first, at the end she’s sure she’s doing the right thing, with Caé always by her side. Her attitude contrasts with Lucio’s, her travel companion and composer, who is 17 and quickly becomes seduced by the lavish and idle life lead by the nobles at the Bassan court, which ultimately leads to him betraying and abandoning Elissa. The King of Basso and the Queen of Acuto were good antagonists, because each truly believes that they deserve to win the war, which makes them all the more so dangerous and ambitious. In front of all their power and authority, Elissa has nothing and is nothing, and they quickly stop listening to the “Voice of the Goddess” as soon as she doesn’t go along with their plans. In fact, the only “good” people Elissa encounters seem to be the ones who are truly devoted to Caé, and wish to serve Her and nothing else. Side note: I appreciated the subtle queer rep, with one side character using they/them pronouns, two female side characters being married, and two male ones being a couple. It wasn’t a big deal in the story, it was just there and that was nice. Of course what makes this book different is its magic system, and the importance religion and faith play in it. I think ultimately, this was a story about spirituality and how even the people who claim to follow a divine path will twist morality and ethics to bend to their own will. By listening to the voice in her heart (which is both symbolically and literally Caé’s voice), Elissa proves that deep down, you can always distinguish good from bad, even when that goes against what the Church is saying. The thing that bothered me about it though, was how evidently the religion in We Are the Song was inspired by Christianity (or perhaps any other monotheist religion). Caé created the world and all things, it’s repeated many times that She has a plan and knows what will happen. She loves everyone and is merciful, and the Singers are Her prophets, the literal incarnations of Her voice and will. At the end, (view spoiler)[She comes down to earth to pass judgement, and the ones who have disobeyed Her are punished (hide spoiler)] . I would’ve liked to see a more unique, original, and maybe nuanced approach on religion. It reminded me a lot of the Chronicles of Narnia, the only other fantasy book I’ve read where Christianity heavily inspired the narrative. But this is a middle grade book after all, so I guess in the same way I didn’t pick up on the obvious Christian similarities when I read Narnia at 10, a 10 year-old wouldn’t either when reading We Are the Song. Overall, this was a very lyrical story, addressing interesting and sometimes difficult themes (corruption, temptation, and Elissa does get mistreated and threatened a lot). I’d recommend it if you’re looking for something different and don’t mind the preachy message! TWs for torture, war, death of a parent. Thank you to NetGalley for providing an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Celia

    Reasons to read: charming, lyrical, simply amazing! Personal rating: I cannot stop staring at this cover!! Wow. What a diamond in the rough. I want to first touch upon the magic system and how unique it was. With a song, Caé Elissa can do just about anything. As a Voice of the Goddess she travels alongside a composer to heal and bring happiness to those torn apart by war. She's presented with another chance to sing blessings by some powerful people and this is where the story gets really good. She Reasons to read: charming, lyrical, simply amazing! Personal rating: I cannot stop staring at this cover!! Wow. What a diamond in the rough. I want to first touch upon the magic system and how unique it was. With a song, Caé Elissa can do just about anything. As a Voice of the Goddess she travels alongside a composer to heal and bring happiness to those torn apart by war. She's presented with another chance to sing blessings by some powerful people and this is where the story gets really good. She starts to question the intentions of others and learns right from wrong as well as discovers who she wants to be in the world. There are some tidbits about blind faith that I don't think are too preachy for younger readers. I loved the themes in this story as well as the world-building and voice. Elissa wants nothing more than to help others. The concept of magic through singing is by far one of my favorite magic systems now. My only qualm is how short the book is, but it IS perfect for young readers because of that aspect. it was so easy to be swept away by this book. I highly recommend this book to those looking for a unique fantasy as well as those who will appreciate the lyrical beauty of the author's writing.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lorelei Savaryn

    Elissa is the kind of main character one can’t help but root for: generous, empathetic, and determined to do what is right. This story reads like a song itself, a well-balanced harmony of heart and hope; a testament to the healing power of music and of the peace we can usher into the world when we all work together in love.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gabriella Crivilare

    Thank you to Holiday House, the author, and NetGalley for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review. This book will release May 3, 2022. “There is only one voice you should listen to, Caé Elissa—and that is your own.” Elissa, just twelve years old, is one of the twelve Voices of the goddess Caé, who created the world, divided into three lands here, with a song. Basso and Acuto are currently in a power struggle for the throne of Cadenza, and for the past two years, Elissa and her compose Thank you to Holiday House, the author, and NetGalley for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review. This book will release May 3, 2022. “There is only one voice you should listen to, Caé Elissa—and that is your own.” Elissa, just twelve years old, is one of the twelve Voices of the goddess Caé, who created the world, divided into three lands here, with a song. Basso and Acuto are currently in a power struggle for the throne of Cadenza, and for the past two years, Elissa and her composer, Lucio, have been on the road, traveling in order to bring miracles and magic to people, as in this world songs are spells as well as prayers. However, Elissa begins to question whether she can ever be more than just a Singer, even as the monarchs of the two kingdoms fighting over her beloved homeland seek to use the power of her voice for their own ends. I love the lush world that’s been created here, and how deeply engrained music is in every aspect of the book, from the names of the characters and locations to the descriptions of it and how it comprises the world’s magic system; the author’s love for music rings so clearly throughout. What deeply impressed me was Elissa’s growth—her shift from suppressing her doubt at the limitations imposed on her to speaking out and fighting to use her abilities to create a better world. I also loved Lucio’s arc; he’s every bit as complex as Elissa, and I felt a lot of sympathy and affection for him, even if I also wanted to punch him once or twice. And of course, the other Singers are wonderful—I don’t think I can say more about them without edging into spoiler territory, but suffice to say that I’m pretty sure a choir of angels has nothing on them. Oh, and the religious elements of this are also quite lovely, and I really appreciated how the author examined questions of devotion and purpose in a gentle yet powerful way. Catherine Bakewell’s debut novel is a beautiful tribute to the power of music and one’s own voice, whether you are speaking for yourself or for a goddess, and a lyrical overture to what I am sure will be a wonderful career.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laurel Chandler

    *My thanks to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for the review copy* *3.5 stars* 12-year-old Elissa was more than a good singer. Her song carried the magic power of the Goddess. As the war raged on, she found herself deep in the center of two power-hungry monarchies… We Are The Song is a decent middle grade fantasy about trusting your inner voice and doing the right thing. Elissa was told to be a “good girl” and not to question things. Her opinions were ignored because she was young. As readers *My thanks to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for the review copy* *3.5 stars* 12-year-old Elissa was more than a good singer. Her song carried the magic power of the Goddess. As the war raged on, she found herself deep in the center of two power-hungry monarchies… We Are The Song is a decent middle grade fantasy about trusting your inner voice and doing the right thing. Elissa was told to be a “good girl” and not to question things. Her opinions were ignored because she was young. As readers follow her adventure, they would understand that the opinion of young people are as important as that of adults. I love the strong message conveyed through this simple and quick read. Another thing I liked about the book was the magic. As a lover of music, the idea of human songs being magical was very appealing to me. I also liked how the author played with the notion that the line between good and bad wasn’t as clear as we think, and that some powers, when used in the wrong way, might become a deadly weapon. As much as I liked the themes, I found this book a bit hard to get into. The premise about magical songs was what drew me in, yet the fantasy aspect felt a bit flat. I wish there was a more complex magical system, but as this was meant to be a middle grade novel, I did understand why things were kept simple. Another thing was that I didn’t feel attached to the characters, partly because of the long monologue of Elissa. I know the monologue showed her struggle and self-doubt, but it could feel slow and dull at times. It did pick up at the last 30%, though, at which point I really enjoyed. Overall, I like We Are The Song but didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I do believe it would be an inspiring standalone fantasy for younger readers.

  13. 4 out of 5

    nora⁷

    3.1 ☆ TW//death, death of a parent, war, manipulation, starvation (mentioned), torture (mild?? not described in detail but you get what i mean) I received an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Being a middle school book, it did touch a lot of dark themes as well as gave an interesting commentary on religion and spirituality along with the main message; to listen to one's own voice. When I first read the premise of this book, I didn't expect it to be heavy 3.1 ☆ TW//death, death of a parent, war, manipulation, starvation (mentioned), torture (mild?? not described in detail but you get what i mean) I received an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Being a middle school book, it did touch a lot of dark themes as well as gave an interesting commentary on religion and spirituality along with the main message; to listen to one's own voice. When I first read the premise of this book, I didn't expect it to be heavy on the religious side, especially when the intended age group is fairly young. A couple of dark scenes made me question whether or not it was intended for teens, but the overall symbolism and message in this book is dependent on these situations so I'll let it slide. I'll applaud the author for making me hate a lot of the side characters. As previously said; "If Lucio has a million haters, I’m one of them. If Lucio has one hater, that is me. If Lucio has zero haters, I am no longer in this world." Riling me up with feelings of hate is really what gets to me. Bravo! Overall, We Are the Song was a solid book, which I don't really like, but don't dislike either. It's right in the middle zone. However, it was a quick and easy read. Yet I can't stop thinking about the possibility this story could have had if it had been a young adult fantasy. I found the world interesting, as well as the system of magic, and would have liked to see it at a larger scale with a wide gallery of characters. This premise really had the potential to become a great story. Over and out. -Nora<3

  14. 4 out of 5

    ponytailedbookworm

    Thank you so much to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of ‘We Are the Song’ to read and honestly review!✨ Wow, this really was an absolutely refreshing story! I devoured this book in only a matter of hours. The way it was written made it engaging from the very first line, up to very last one. While it is set in a ‘grim’ world, ‘We Are the Song’ carries a hopeful promise of happiness. All its characters are lovable from the beginning and even if — saying that as vaguely as p Thank you so much to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of ‘We Are the Song’ to read and honestly review!✨ Wow, this really was an absolutely refreshing story! I devoured this book in only a matter of hours. The way it was written made it engaging from the very first line, up to very last one. While it is set in a ‘grim’ world, ‘We Are the Song’ carries a hopeful promise of happiness. All its characters are lovable from the beginning and even if — saying that as vaguely as possible so as not to spoil — they might stray out of their way at times, everything is wrapped up perfectly by the last page. Finally, the worldbuilding is rich and entirely original — it was what hooked me in the first place. All in all, ‘We Are the Song’ is a lovely story about self-discovery, love, loss and happiness. It’s enticing all the way through, and it lingers in your mind! Really enjoyed it! 3.5⭐️

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mae

    I received an Advance Review Copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Final rating: 3.5 ⭐ I picked this up because I found the cover pretty and I didn't expect myself to enjoy it as much as I did. I loved the author's lyrical and lovely prose as well as the soft, atmospheric fantasy setting described. The fact that a musical goddess was the foundation for magic in this world was very interesting to read about. The book describes the magic and technicalities of musi I received an Advance Review Copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Final rating: 3.5 ⭐ I picked this up because I found the cover pretty and I didn't expect myself to enjoy it as much as I did. I loved the author's lyrical and lovely prose as well as the soft, atmospheric fantasy setting described. The fact that a musical goddess was the foundation for magic in this world was very interesting to read about. The book describes the magic and technicalities of music so beautifully that it affirms the idea of the power of music to connect and heal. My only issue with the book is the inconsistent pacing. Maybe if the book was longer, the happenings could have been decongested and we would have been able to get to know the various characters much better, because they honestly seemed so interesting. Towards the second half of the book, I thought that the closure of the story would happen in a sequel, which is why I found the ending a bit rushed. Nevertheless, I loved and enjoyed this fairy tale-like story and I will be watching out for the second book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tourniquet Secretworldbooks

    Elissa was the youngest of the Mother Goddess's gifted Singers. She was one of the 12 singers who gave life to songs with her voice, repaired roads with these songs, and healed diseases. The rulers who wanted to bring peace in the name of the Goddess started a war among themselves and claimed that they were doing this war in the name of the Goddess. Elissa would have to contend with Kings and Queens who want to use her voice for evil on her way out to help war-affected people. This struggle woul Elissa was the youngest of the Mother Goddess's gifted Singers. She was one of the 12 singers who gave life to songs with her voice, repaired roads with these songs, and healed diseases. The rulers who wanted to bring peace in the name of the Goddess started a war among themselves and claimed that they were doing this war in the name of the Goddess. Elissa would have to contend with Kings and Queens who want to use her voice for evil on her way out to help war-affected people. This struggle would also learn that she was the key person to ending the war, and she would have to deal with the challenges that came her way. The music theme in the book made it a book with a high reading pleasure for me. The idea that even the closest person to you may try to make you look bad and try to get in your way while doing what you know is right is very well explained.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pancha Mantilla

    An enjoyable reading! The world created by Catherine Bakewell is on point and easy to follow. The story follows a girl with the power to sing things into reality. In a world defined by religion, Elissa must decide who is worth it for her power. Analyze who wants to use it for good or evil, who is really telling the truth. A medieval fantasy where war since imminent. The addition of the importance of music gives the story a unique factor. A book to enjoy from beginning to end.

  18. 5 out of 5

    samantha (Thought to Jot)

    While Catherine Blakewell’s writing is certainly beautiful, I couldn’t push through and read to the end. We Are the Song, Catherine Blakewell’s debut middle grade novel, transports readers into a fantasy world where music is magic. The Mother Goddess blessed twelve-year-old Elissa with the gift of song, her voice capable of healing wounds and staving hunger, but there are some who wish to twist her gift and use it to rend chaos. Elissa must determine who wishes to wield her power for what... Thing While Catherine Blakewell’s writing is certainly beautiful, I couldn’t push through and read to the end. We Are the Song, Catherine Blakewell’s debut middle grade novel, transports readers into a fantasy world where music is magic. The Mother Goddess blessed twelve-year-old Elissa with the gift of song, her voice capable of healing wounds and staving hunger, but there are some who wish to twist her gift and use it to rend chaos. Elissa must determine who wishes to wield her power for what... Things I did enjoy: • a really lovely author’s note at the start, about not being ashamed for your passions • beautiful imagery Reasons I DNFed the book: The pacing felt off; the first part is Elissa and Lucio wandering around until things happen to them. I wish there was a more nuanced approach to the religious aspects. But my biggest grievance is how bored I was while reading. This was the biggest reason I couldn’t make it to the end. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an eARC. This did not impact my opinion in any way. Blog | Instagram

  19. 4 out of 5

    Isabelle✨

    The COVER!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina Kleckner

    “I wasn’t acting outside of the role I was given. I was stepping into the role I was always meant for.” This is such a thoughtful story about learning that even when you are part of a greater whole, you can and should question your place in society. Elissa has spent her life being told she has one purpose: that she is a Voice for Cae, the Goddess of her people. Even though this is a rare honor that Elissa is proud to have, she begins to realize that maybe she was not meant to be just one thing. A “I wasn’t acting outside of the role I was given. I was stepping into the role I was always meant for.” This is such a thoughtful story about learning that even when you are part of a greater whole, you can and should question your place in society. Elissa has spent her life being told she has one purpose: that she is a Voice for Cae, the Goddess of her people. Even though this is a rare honor that Elissa is proud to have, she begins to realize that maybe she was not meant to be just one thing. And when she finds herself at the center of a war, she learns that even the most well-meaning people don't always have the right answers. I loved how earnest this story was--Elissa has so much love for her Goddess and her war-torn homeland, and all she wants is to do right by them. She makes mistakes that have huge consequences, but they are what teach her that "right" and "wrong" aren't as clear-cut as she was always taught to believe. I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you like intricate world-building and middle grade books that can also be enjoyed by older audiences!

  21. 5 out of 5

    ʙᴇʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.

    Lets us take a moment to stare at that cover Singing to save the world? I'm in;) Lets us take a moment to stare at that cover Singing to save the world? I'm in;)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Célia Cross

    Thank you so much Holiday House for sending me an eARC through Netgalley for review! All thoughts and opinions are my own. "Nothing is impossible for us. You told me that we were part of Caé Herself . . . We have no proof we are part of Caé. But the twelve of us, we know it's true. We are the song She wrote, and we will not end until She decides it's time." *3.5 stars* CWs: death, death of a parent, war, manipulation, use of alcohol, starvation (mentioned), physical harm This book was a pleasant sur Thank you so much Holiday House for sending me an eARC through Netgalley for review! All thoughts and opinions are my own. "Nothing is impossible for us. You told me that we were part of Caé Herself . . . We have no proof we are part of Caé. But the twelve of us, we know it's true. We are the song She wrote, and we will not end until She decides it's time." *3.5 stars* CWs: death, death of a parent, war, manipulation, use of alcohol, starvation (mentioned), physical harm This book was a pleasant surprise! I was expecting an average, boring middle grade, but this was definitely more. I mean, it obviously wasn't as detailed or deep as Young Adult is with character arcs, worldbuilding, etc. but it was a nice change. It reminded me of what got me into reading books in the first place - the simplicity of being transported to another world. We Are the Song was atmospheric and dealt with the much more mature idea of religious beliefs. As another reviewer said, this book emphasizes listening to your own understanding of what is right and your own unique connection with a higher power. It was very interesting to see the connection between the Singers and Caé, as well as how their magic worked. I wish there had been limits to their powers versus just the classic good and bad parts. At first, I thought the purpose of the story might be lost as the narrator is a 12-year-old girl. Elissa was a good narrator for the story - her naivete made her a believable and likable character. It was lyrical and well-written. I really enjoyed the twist near the end, but I also predicted an earlier twist. My only complaint really was the ending; it felt very rushed and anti-climatic. Overall, an interesting story!

  23. 5 out of 5

    mikayla mae

    Set in a world where music is magic, twelve year old Elissa is one of the few gifted with the ability to sing as a mouthpiece for the goddess Caé, and she’s faced with an impossible decision. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I finished this book in one sitting. The setting, the characters, the story; everything pulls you in from the first sentence. Our main character Elissa is a gifted singer, one of twelve who is able to sing with magic. After a terrible war, each of the twelve Singers spli Set in a world where music is magic, twelve year old Elissa is one of the few gifted with the ability to sing as a mouthpiece for the goddess Caé, and she’s faced with an impossible decision. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I finished this book in one sitting. The setting, the characters, the story; everything pulls you in from the first sentence. Our main character Elissa is a gifted singer, one of twelve who is able to sing with magic. After a terrible war, each of the twelve Singers split off, and with a composer, travel to the ends of the kingdoms to restore peace and to fix what has been broken. Elissa is one of the youngest Singers, and with her best friend, Maestro Luico, she sings to repair bridges, villages and even blocked mountain paths. But when a jealous ruler asks for their help, and Lucio doesn’t seem to be saying no, she takes matters into her own hands, whatever the cost. This is a fabulous middle grade fantasy, filled to the brim with magic and deceit, and I read it in only a few hours. Music and magic intertwine, and it's so easy to get lost in the world as Elissa and Lucio travel around. It truly captures the feeling of being trapped between your own intuition and what others tell you. Bakewell has a way with her characters and writing, I look forward to seeing what she writes next. Thank you to NetGalley, Holiday House and Catherine Bakewell for providing an advanced reader's copy of We Are the Song in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carolina (fictionologyst)

    I love the idea of magic that revolves around songs, it’s certainly a unique and refreshing magic system. I wasn’t expecting this book to be heavily related to religion, it’s a little bit heavy topic for Middle Grade I’d say, but I find it really interesting. The moral of the story is about belief and faith, and it can relate to any religions. I absolutely love the writing, it’s lush and poetic. The story is told from first person view so it’s hard to believe that a 12 year old girl can narrate t I love the idea of magic that revolves around songs, it’s certainly a unique and refreshing magic system. I wasn’t expecting this book to be heavily related to religion, it’s a little bit heavy topic for Middle Grade I’d say, but I find it really interesting. The moral of the story is about belief and faith, and it can relate to any religions. I absolutely love the writing, it’s lush and poetic. The story is told from first person view so it’s hard to believe that a 12 year old girl can narrate the story with such big words and big ideas, I think she sounds like a 16 year old at the very least. I have a hard time reading this book because of the pace. I love that the author takes time to introduce the worldbuilding and backstories but honestly it took too long for things to escalate. I thought that the resolution will be in the sequel considering it took 3/4 of the book until the problem occur, but it’s not, it’s not much left for the ending so it really feels rushed and too easy.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brittany (Britt's Book Blurbs)

    Thanks to NetGalley & Holiday House for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided. 3.5 stars Redefining what to expect from middle-grade fiction, We Are the Song is so much more than meets the eye. Sure, it was probably a little too religion-y at times, but I appreciated that Bakewell's characters spanned the spirituality scale. Some twist others' beliefs to fit their motives, while others are more humble in their understanding of these beliefs - wi Thanks to NetGalley & Holiday House for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided. 3.5 stars Redefining what to expect from middle-grade fiction, We Are the Song is so much more than meets the eye. Sure, it was probably a little too religion-y at times, but I appreciated that Bakewell's characters spanned the spirituality scale. Some twist others' beliefs to fit their motives, while others are more humble in their understanding of these beliefs - with characters ranging from questioning to fanatic, it was easier to stomach. I was surprised this was a standalone. It took some time to build up to Elissa's quest, and it didn't feel like there were enough pages left to complete it satisfactorily. In the end, it may have seemed a little rushed, but I was pretty happy with the story as a whole. Elissa's determination and perseverance against all the odds is inspiring. It can be pretty easy to discount middle-grade fiction within the YA genre, but I was impressed with the level of detail in this world. While they're very different stories, I wouldn't hesitate to put We Are the Song in the same category as Pierce's Circle of Magic series or the first couple books in Pullman's His Dark Materials series. Despite their youth, these characters are well-developed and have difficult decisions to make that impact more than themselves. Review originally posted here on Britt's Book Blurbs. Amazon | Blog | Bookstagram | Reddit

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ellanese

    This was a hard read. I took me a long time to end this because I never felt like the narrative was a 12 year old kid. Too poetic, too beautiful and I doubt even a kid would think in a way that bore me to bones. And then there was a religious point. I'm not a fan of religion in general but if it helps with the world building, fine. But this for me was too much, because it was one of the major plot in the book. So not for me. The story for me start too slow but by the half it got a little better. An This was a hard read. I took me a long time to end this because I never felt like the narrative was a 12 year old kid. Too poetic, too beautiful and I doubt even a kid would think in a way that bore me to bones. And then there was a religious point. I'm not a fan of religion in general but if it helps with the world building, fine. But this for me was too much, because it was one of the major plot in the book. So not for me. The story for me start too slow but by the half it got a little better. And the cover? Gorgeous, the best part in the book for me honestly. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Miz P.

    Thank you to Netgalley for providing the ARC. 2.5 ⭐️ I couldn’t push through to finish this book. The world was intriguing to me but there was nothing plot or character wise that kept me going. The author’s writing is really beautiful and poetic. I’m sure that will appeal to a lot of readers but it wasn’t for me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Aronis

    As lovely as promised ❤️

  29. 4 out of 5

    livelaughgabi

    I can’t explain how much I loved this. It’s a short, easy read. Idk why I really can’t pinpoint why but I loved it so much.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kathie

    I was definitely not the right reader for this book. It might appeal to a niche audience, but I don't think I have those readers in my library. I didn't enjoy the prayers, blessings, miracles and other religious content even though the main character was a voice for the Mother Goddess. I did think the cover was stunning. I was definitely not the right reader for this book. It might appeal to a niche audience, but I don't think I have those readers in my library. I didn't enjoy the prayers, blessings, miracles and other religious content even though the main character was a voice for the Mother Goddess. I did think the cover was stunning.

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