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Melody Burning by Whitley Strieber

Melody BurningBeresford has lived hidden away for so long in the high rise building with which he shares his name that he barely remembers his past. He knows something terrible happened a long time ago and there are terrible people he should still be afraid of, but lately, all he can think about is the Beresford’s newest resident, teen pop star Melody McGrath. From the first moment he hears Melody singing from the crawl space behind her room, Beresford is sure that he loves her. On the other hand, the only thing that Melody is sure of is that she may have a stalker. But she isn’t prepared for the surprise of her own feelings when she and Beresford finally meet. Melody and Beresford are from completely different worlds, and though Melody finds herself falling for this mysterious boy, she’s not sure that their relationship could ever have a chance. What she doesn’t know is that it’s not only their love but their lives that are threatened by a deadly secret hidden in the depths of the building they both call home.

The concept of Melody Burning sounded more bizarre than intriguing when I first heard about it, but I was hoping that Strieber could turn the bizarre into a good story. Unfortunately, he was not quite successful, and the story remains more bizarre than anything else. The novel has a couple of interesting points that propel the plot, such as the fact that Beresford has lived secretly within a building for much of his life and the dangerous project for which the building Beresford was created. My main issues, however, were with the points and views and voices from which the story was told. I found Melody’s voice to feel somewhat inauthentic; she came off as neither a wealthy pop star nor a moody teenager, two identities she is supposed to hold. This made it difficult for me to feel sympathy for her romance with Beresford because I couldn’t tell what these feelings were based upon. Beresford’s narrations were similarly a little off base; though I understand he has spent the majority of his life on his own without guidance or education, portraying him as so simple and sweetly innocent seemed a little strange. In addition, the switch in verb tense and first or third person narration for different points of view was pointless and irritating. Unfortunately, my inability to connect with the voices of each main character in this novel really prevented me from appreciating the story and left me feeling rather unsatisfied with the novel overall.

Melody Burning may still be enjoyed by readers willing to take a chance on its unique storyline, but I feel that I’m unable to provide suitable novels for comparison, perhaps because this one is so different.

Rating: 2.5

Review copy from publisher Macmillan

1 munch(es) :

BookChic said...

I couldn't even finish this book and that NEVER happens. I made it to about page 100 and just had to put it down. It was becoming a chore to read. I can't believe you made it through.

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