This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Greenwillow Books, 2016
This Savage Song was definitely my most anticipated book of the summer, if you couldn’t already tell the review blitz of Victoria Schwab’s other books. And to my utter delight, this book did not disappoint. Schwab kicks off the Monsters of Verity series (I’m assuming a trilogy?) with an engrossing tale about a desolate world where violence breeds monsters; namely, the main character August and his siblings Leo and Ilsa. The 3 siblings reside at the Flynn compound, where they are all working against Cal Harker, who keeps the supposed peace by providing protection to monsters.
Harker also happens to have a daughter, Kate—our other main character— who’s committed arson to persuade her father into allowing her to return home after many failed attempts at boarding school. August is placed at Kate’s new school with an alias in order for the Flynns’ side to keep tabs on Harker’s daughter. From there, a failed attempt at murdering Kate turns everything to a dreadful head and both August and Kate, despite their fundamental familial and biological differences, have to flee for their lives.
So you’re reading the above paragraph and thinking, “oh, so it’s Romeo and Juliet with monsters and humans, and OF COURSE, August and Kate are going to fall in love despite their differences and their families la dee dah.” Well, you’re wrong.
August and Kate not falling in love was the deciding factor when I decided I love this book. For once, it’s not trite, so-called tragic love. It’s just two people who are dealing with an incredibly unsavory situation. I’m also kind of appalled at the subject heading “Love-Fiction” as found in Worldcat (link below), because THAT’S SO NOT WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT! This is why you don’t use Romeo and Juliet in summaries unless you really mean it, folks.
Aside from my annoyance over nonsense subject headings, this was a good read for anyone who likes YA horror and compelling characters. Out of all of Schwab’s books, I found This Savage Song to be the most engrossing from start to finish. She’s really sharpened her craft as the writing sparkles more than ever with captivating prose and fascinating characters.