Book Title: The Song of Us
Author: Kate Fussner
Release Date: May 30, 2023
Genres: Middle Grade, Poetry, Contemporary, Retelling, LGBTQ+
My rating: 4/5 Stars
This stunning debut and wholly original queer middle grade novel-in-verse retelling of “Orpheus and Eurydice” adds a new chorus to the songs of great love, perfect for fans of Other Words for Home and Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World.
Love at first sight isn’t a myth. For seventh graders Olivia and Eden, it’s fate. Olivia is a capital-P Poet, and Eden thinks she wants to be a musician one day, but for now she’s just the new girl. And then Eden shows up to Poetry Club and everything changes.
Eden isn’t out, and she has rules for dating Olivia: don’t call. Don’t tell her friends. And don’t let anyone know they’re together.
But when jealousy creeps in, it’s Olivia’s words that push Eden away. While Eden sets out to find herself, Olivia begins a journey to bring Eden back—using poetry. Both Olivia and Eden will learn just how powerful their words can be to bring them together . . . or tear them apart forever.
The Song of Us is a beautiful novel written in verse that follows two young girls as they struggle to find their place in their school and in their lives, and to figure out who they are. Because it was written in verse, this one may not be for everyone, but for those who enjoy this kind of story, you’ll definitely like The Song of Us.
I read this one really quickly, and I finished it with a bittersweet smile. The entire story was messy, it was raw, it was imperfect, and it was real. The two MCs feel immediately connected, and while at first I felt like their attraction to each other was rushed, I remembered that it was accurate for their age. At that point in life, everything happens so fast, and every emotion feels so big. This is all perfectly exhibited in the story through Olivia and Eden’s actions and feelings.
Another interesting part of The Song of Us is the fact that it’s a retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice. There are a few references to the original myth that fans of Greek mythology will have a fun time pointing out. But even though it’s a retelling, anyone could go into this story without any of that context and have it completely stand on its own. However, knowing the origins of this story makes every choice made even deeper and profound.
For anyone who’s hesitant to pick up a middle grade, I encourage you to pick up this book! It’s a great story for all ages and will teach everyone something different. It’s a reminder of how difficult growing up and finding our place is, but that the world is also not without hope. It’s a book about identity and love, and most of all, it’s a book about words and their power.
I enjoyed this one a lot, and I hope you all will too!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
Check out my last blog post: Blood Debts (ARC Review)