Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson hosted through Turn the Page Tours. I am thrilled to share my thoughts regarding Olson’s debut novel.
About The BookSing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson
Published by Inkyard Press on March 9, 2021
Isda does not exist. At least not beyond the opulent walls of the opera house.
Cast into a well at birth for being one of the magical few who can manipulate memories when people sing, she was saved by Cyril, the opera house’s owner. Since that day, he has given her sanctuary from the murderous world outside. All he asks in return is that she use her power to keep ticket sales high—and that she stay out of sight. For if anyone discovers she survived, Isda and Cyril would pay with their lives.
But Isda breaks Cyril’s cardinal rule when she meets Emeric Rodin, a charming boy who throws her quiet, solitary life out of balance. His voice is unlike any she’s ever heard, but the real shock comes when she finds in his memories hints of a way to finally break free of her gilded prison.
Haunted by this possibility, Isda spends more and more time with Emeric, searching for answers in his music and his past. But the price of freedom is steeper than Isda could ever know. For even as she struggles with her growing feelings for Emeric, she learns that in order to take charge of her own destiny, she must become the monster the world tried to drown in the first place.
About the Author
Jessica S. Olson claims New Hampshire as her home, but has somehow found herself in Texas, where she spends most of her time singing praises to the inventor of the air conditioner. When she’s not hiding from the heat, she’s corralling her three wild—but adorable—children, dreaming up stories about kissing and murder and magic, and eating peanut butter by the spoonful straight from the jar. She earned a bachelor’s in English with minors in editing and French, which essentially means she spent all of her university time reading and eating French pastries. Sing Me Forgotten is her debut novel.
Jessica is represented by Christa Heschke of McIntosh & Otis Literary Agency.
Sing Me Forgotten is a gender flipped Phantom of the Opera retelling with a magic system that is centered on memory and memory manipulation. I was obsessed with Phantom of the Opera growing up and so I appreciated all the little nods to the source material.
They think they can keep me here. That the iron and stone will intimidate me. That the darkness will break me. They forget I was raised in the darkness, that I’ve been imprisoned my whole life. They can threaten me with blade or poison or death, but they cannot make me afraid.
Our main character is Isda, who has spent her life lurking in the catacombs of the Channe Opera House. Opposite her is Emetic (a mod to Eric, maybe?) Who she takes under her wing and tutors so that he can audition for the Opera’s current play, Le Berger. The other main character is Cyril, the Opera Manager who rescued Isda from drowning in a well as a baby. I liked Isda as a character, her voice was easy and her characters flawed but relatable.
They all think you’re a monster, but you don’t want to hurt anyone. You simply want to live.
I enjoyed Emeric and Isda’s relationship. I was worried since Sing Me Forgotten is a standalone, the development of their relationship would be rushed or too”insta-lovey” for my taste, but I was pleasantly surprised. I found Isda’s motivations for getting close to Emeric compelling and Emeric to be a completely, delightful cinnamon roll of a character. He even is described as smelling like caramel- I rest my case.
Because I’ve been waiting my whole life to have someone care for me in this way. And I feel how much he cares for me as deeply as I feel his kisses burning their way along my jaw. I’ve longed for this forever. Hungered for it. Craved it. Now that I have it, I know I shouldn’t keep it. For all his words, he has not seen the corruption of my soul. The beast who burns me from the inside out. The fury that lives deep in my veins.
At the center of the novel is Isda’s longing for freedom and acceptance. It is difficult to ignore the obvious social commentary that Olson weaves into the story is clear. My heart ached for Isda as she slowly found her voice and began to question the only life she had ever known.
I do not know where I will go. I do not know what will happen next or how I will survive . But I do know that wherever I go and whatever happens, I will meet it with both eyes open. Because now not only am I the performer, but I am the director and the maestro of my own life. And though I may spend the rest of that life cherishing the memories of what I have lost here, I won’t let my past stop me from living.
My one complaint the book was that I didn’t really feel truly infested until the last fourth of the book when things go absolutely bananas. The last fourth of the book flew by so fast with so much happening and I really appreciated Olson’s choice to end the novel the way she did. I kind of expected it because I know how Phantom of the Opera ends but it was so satisfying.
Overall, I gave this 4.5? and would recommend it to those who love Phantom of the Opera or fantasy novels with a musical element.
What About You?
Have you read Sing Me Forgotten?