This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Synopsis: There’s no such thing as safe.
Kate Harker wants to be as ruthless as her father. After five years and six boarding schools, she’s finally going home to prove that she can be.
August Flynn wants to be human. But he isn’t. He’s a monster, one that can steal souls with a song. He’s one of the three most powerful monsters in a city overrun with them. His own father’s secret weapon.
Their city is divided.
Their city is crumbling.
Kate and August are the only two who see both sides, the only two who could do something.
But how do you decide to be a hero or a villain when it’s hard to tell which is which?
My thoughts: Holy wow. I went into this book pretty confident that I would like it, but man I was not expecting to be so completely blown away. Like seriously. I don’t even know where to start, because if I wrote about everything great in This Savage Song, this review would wind up being 427 pages and you’d be better off just reading it yourself.
First off: the characters. Kate Harker won me over completely. August Flynn stole my heart then broke it repeatedly. I could read about these two all day. How amazing it is that a book about monsters can showcase so much about humanity. I don’t even know what else I can say about them except they were absolutely amazing and beautifully written characters, and I would read about their lives forever. I absolutely loved their stark contrast from each other, how Kate forces herself to be mean and cruel despite the hurting child underneath in an effort to be a monster; yet August is arguably the worst kind of monster and he would give anything to be human, to be whole, to be good. Oh, I feel tears prickling in my eyes just writing about these two. As a bookworm, I take in everything I read and it all affects me, but Kate and August moved my soul in a very specific and profound way I’ll never forget.
Second: the plot. The same but totally new. Post-apocalyptic USA with war on the horizon and scary creatures on the street–that’s nothing new. This Savage Song–not quite anything I’ve read before. There were many twists and turns, and hundreds of tiny little details that were so clever. It was super intense, I couldn’t put it down, but at the same time the pacing took its time and wasn’t forced or rushed. I had so many questions, and eventually all were answered, and I was glued to the pages to get them. I felt this book put a hypnotizing spell on me and I’m not even mad about it.
Third: the writing. Oh my word, the writing. This is my first book by Victoria Schwab, and now I am most definitely going to find more of them because her power with words is nothing short of amazing. I feel like I need to go back through and read it again just to mark it all up because there were countless breathtaking quotes I want to remember. And the way she switched back and forth between Kate and August–each voice so defined–was beautiful, and the way she portrayed their thoughts was so perfect if not totally heartbreaking.
My only complaint was the ending: I thought too many strings were cut waaaaay too soon, especially ones that I loved to watch be threaded, and I felt it was a big opportunity lost for the sequels (though I still have full faith in Victoria Schwab to make something amazing). The thing is, I loved This Savage Song so completely that I was so sad when things changed at the end, but like Ilsa said, “Nobody gets to stay the same.” And I surely didn’t after this book because it made me feel things–happy things, tragic things, horribly familiar realistic things–so completely.
This Savage Song was a gloriously musical masterpiece, gritty, dark, and real, that showcased the struggle between light and dark, good and bad, and how it’s so easy to get lost between the two–whether a human or monster.
Rated 5/5 for 427 pages of outstanding greatness