Do you know that feeling when you open a book, read the first line and go like, ‘yup, this is my author, alright’. I got this feeling when I started reading “Vicious” - the first book by Victoria Schwab that I read. And I got the same feeling when I started reading ‘This Savage Song’. And it thrilled me to no end.
“This Savage Song” was doing a lot of rounds on BookTube last year, and the most mentioned thing about it was the fact that there is no romance in this book, which is incredibly rare and unusual for a young adult novel. What this book does have in abundance is monsters - both of human and supernatural variety.
The novel is set in a dystopian world, in the city which is divided by civil war. August Flynn and Kate Harker might seem like dystopian Romeo and Juliet but, thankfully, they are not star-crossed lovers, although there is an undeniable connection between them. There is enough gore and violence in this book to make it seem almost an adult novel. Almost but not enough. I would have loved this book to be more heavy (yes, more angsty and more intense), but I loved it for what it was worth.
“This Savage Song” seems like such a my book that it is surprising that it doesn’t have my name printed all over it. I couldn’t have asked for a better book (well, maybe a bit more angst and queerness) to read. I am surprised I have not written it myself, in a way. Just like when I was reading “Vicious”, I kept thinking that Victoria must be my brain twin as she created monsters that are more human than humans, and humans who are more monstrous than monsters - something that I aspire to do too.
I adored this book. I read it in less than two days because I just couldn’t put it down. I did, however, manage to predict who the real bad guys are, but it didn’t disappoint me in the least but rather made me more firm in my assumption that Victoria writes much in the same way as I think. Which is brilliant.
I don’t want to discuss plot for the fear of spoiling it, but I must say that I loved everything about this world: the monsters and their different powers; the fact that monsters are born from the vile crimes that people commit (which is something that I feel strongly about); the dystopian city divided by civil/turf war; chosen families; instant connections and unlikely friendships; being true to oneself, etc. There are so many things that I love about this book. I want to read it again. And again. And again.
The best thing about this book, though, is the fact that there is a sequel and I am already reading it.
Rating: 4 stars