A Song to Take the World Apart happened to start off strong, centering on a young girl cursed with an ability she didn’t understand and a boy far too tempting to resist. The element of mystery, or more so not-so-mystery for most readers, is what kept the first half of the novel upbeat and enticing. I liked the idea of a contemporary/sort-of fantasy YA that brings together the best of both worlds, but after some time the fun of it started to wear off. While the characters were all three-dimensional and intriguing in their own ways, the story began to fall apart as Lorelei, the main character, discovered the origin of her problems.
The insta-love readers experience in the novel paves the way for what makes to be an understated, though original concept. All in all, A Song to Take the World Apart wasn’t horrible, but there were plenty of things that could have been done better or differently to set this story apart from typical Siren mythology. I want to say that the underdevelopment of this book is what contributed to its underwhelming-ness. Romanoff could have made the connection between Lorelei and Chris develop more instead of being instantaneous, and found a way to keep it unique once Lorelei understood the curse that had been placed on her and her family. This book felt a lot like lust and obsession and fanaticism more than it felt like first love with a wicked twist. I can also say that this story needed a dash of Nancy Drew, or anything else, really, as Lorelei’s family history was basically handed to her and there was no real search or hunt for her to discover what she was really missing. Adding a little more complexity to the concept would have really done it some favors.
On the other hand, the prose was very often fluid and lyrical, considering music was on the mind most of the time. The portrayal of modern-day teens with modern-day problems was believable, and somewhat relatable. I can see how the underlying plots, such as the hidden fling between Lorelei’s brother and a bandmate, as well as the firecracker personality of Lorelei’s best friend, Zoe, could easily suck someone in and help them overlook the other lacking aspects of this novel.
While A Song to Take the World Apart was more of a miss rather than a hit for me, any fan of sirens and the mythology that accompanies them will surely enjoy this tale that blends contemporary and fantasy fiction.