Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge

“Her head hurt. There was a sound grating against her mind, a music-less rasp like the rustling of paper. Somebody had taken a laugh, crumpled it into a great, crackly ball and stuffed her skull with it. Seven days, it laughed. Seven days.” 

Ever since Triss fell into the Grimmer at her family’s holiday, something very surreal happened. Something very, very weird. Everyone, even Triss’ parents think she has a fever- after all, she fell into a river in the middle of the night. But Triss knows different: she had an insane hunger for food all the time; there are voices in her head; every day she wakes up with leaves: even when she cries and just wants to get away from it all, her tears are not tears: in stead, in place of the tears, there are cobwebs…

To make things more mysterious, Pen, Triss’ evil sister, is caught talking to someone on her Dad’s forbidden phone. But when Triss’ Dad calls the operator to see the calls that have been made that present moment, none were found. Who was Pen speaking to? Does Pen know anything to do with Triss? And who is Triss really?

I love this book so much I tried to savour it like I do with sweets! The story is so vivid and intense that I feel as if Hardinge is painting pictures in my mind. The imagery is fantastic- the characters, especially Triss and Pen, come to life as soon as I pick up the book. In general, the scenes are all amazing but my favourite part is just after the climax. I enjoyed this book so much because of its twisted fantasy and the fairytale hidden inside.

As this story is physically and mentally quite difficult to read, the age range is probably 14+ but there is no violence but some thriller scenes that I know little boys and girls who love a challenge would like to read! Boys an girls are both willing to read it, as I found it great and my brother was entranced when I read the blurb to him! The publisher is Macmillan and it’s impossible to not give this book a five star.

(Also may I praise the illustrator who made the cove to this book- both attractive and interesting!)



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