The Songs Of Us
By Emma Cooper
Book Review, No spoilers I swear!
Published by Headline (2018)
I’ve had this book on my TBR pile for some time and I’ve been seeing all the reviews of Cooper’s latest novel, The First Time I Saw You, and I really want to read it but felt like I had to read her first book first because I felt like I would be cheating if I didn’t read her debut and just go straight for her second book. So when I was stuck in Yorkshire because of the floods I thought it was time to make a start on that high pile. I originally bought it in The Works over a year ago and was hooked by the blurb.
If Melody hadn’t run out of de-icer that day, she would never have slipped and banged her head. She wouldn’t be left with a condition that makes her sing when she’s nervous. And she definitely wouldn’t have belted out the Arctic Monkey’s ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ in assembly at her son’s school.
Just a side note: I am a massive fan of Arctic Monkeys that when I read this in the blurb it was a done deal, I was buying this book. Anyway, back to the blurb.
If Dev hadn’t taken the kids to the zoo that day, then the accident wouldn’t have happened. He wouldn’t have left Flynn and Rose without a dad. Or shattered the love-of-life’s heart.
But if they hadn’t seen the missing persons report, they might never have taken the trip to Cornwall, And, in the last place they expected, discovered what it really means to be ‘Us’.
I honestly thought I had this book figured out from the go. But I was so very wrong. Melody and her condition of singing when she’s nervous and usually at inappropriate moments was something I hadn’t experienced as a reader before. It sounds cheesy and cringy which it is in some scenes but it also describes the pain and hurt that Melody feels at the best of times. This only adds to the emotions but also when adds to the laughs when Melody sings at the most inappropriate of times.
Flynn and Rose are the teenager kids of Melody. Flynn is the oldest at 16 and is ‘the man of the house’ with anger issues that are triggered by the bullies at school who tease Flynn about his face. Rose on the other hand, is the clever one. Also teased about her looks, her red hair and goldfish looks. They all seem to be coping. Almost.
When the missing person’s report comes through, matching that of Melody’s lost husband. The three of them go on the search, unaware of what they will find. This story is one hell of an emotional roller-coaster, one that will give you hope, love, laughter, grief and sadness. With each chapter in the POV of the characters in the book, it gives a very real insight into these character’s lives. It’s the perfect story that as you read you view it as a film, you forget it’s a book.
I absolutely loved this story and felt it so much. Coming from a ‘broken family’ I felt such a connection with these characters and what they were feeling. Especially Flynn. After my parent’s split it was just me, mum and my younger brother. My mum was in a world of her own, she would sing. Just like Melody when she was sad. Often blaring out Adele, Sinead O’Connor, Will Young oh and who can forget, Bastille’s ‘Things We Lost in The Fire,’ it was one of my favourite songs but now she has butchered it for me. So thank you mum love you! When I was reading from Flynn and Rose’s POV, I could hear my younger self so much that I really did feel for the characters.
What I’m trying to say is that this story is very real indeed and is a story I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. With plenty of twists and turns, this is a book that will keep you hooked and invested all the way through.
Perfect for fans of Cecilia Ahern, Marian Keyes and Jojo Moyes (Especially if you loved The One Plus One, you will love this book too.)
Rating: 5 stars out of 5. (Any book that makes me cry deserves 5)
So where can I get this book?
Try your local library? If they don’t have it available then you can get it from Amazon in either paperback (£8.99) or kindle (£3.99).
After all tomorrow is another day spent reading,
Till next time,
P.S. Just as I was about to post this, Arctic Monkey's I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor came on Radio X.