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When small-town singing sensation Lily Ross splits with her long-time love, she finds her much anticipated “Forever” album no longer a reflection of her new single status. The Billboard platinum pop star has just three months to write 12 new songs that she can tour with in the fall. Seeking solitude and anonymity, Lily retreats to a tiny island in Maine with her two BFFs to reinvent her sound and reinvigorate her soul. The fresh novel SING gives young adult readers a heart-warming summer story of romance, friendship and staying true to yourself.

"SING will inspire young readers to find comfort in nature and in the people that we can be ourselves with. Lily Ross is the star we all want to be. "

As Lily leaves the bustle of her New York City digs, author Vivi Greene transports readers to Maine’s most beautiful coastal scenery. Stranded on an island in Penobscot Bay --- with no stylists, no schedules, and no paparazzi --- the young celebrity describes her summer setting as “something out of a fairy tale” with clusters of giant evergreens guarding the clear blue ocean. At the pebbly coast, “the waves crash into the rocks at intervals, sending up a dramatic spray of white.” In her new surroundings, the main character experiences freedom. She confesses, “I take a deep breath and look out at the expanse of the ocean. The air in my lungs feels new, and the water --- massive and indifferent --- pulses a stubborn rhythm into my veins. It doesn’t care who I am.” Lily then tosses her cell phone out to sea. She reminds readers of the beauty of the outdoors and the need to part with our electronic devices ever so often.

The pop star may be temporarily without a phone, but she is surrounded by her two best friends, Sammy and Tess (the girls are sharing Tess’s tiny ramshackle cottage). Lily has known Sammy, the strawberry-blond with long legs, since pre-school, and Lily and Sammy met Tess, the sporty brunette, at summer camp when the girls were 12-years-old. The faithful friends --- who work as Lily’s assistants --- give the audience a glimpse into Lily’s past. Yet notably, the author does not give a physical description of the singing star. Does Lily look like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande or Lorde? Author Vivi Greene leaves Lily’s appearance up to the imagination of the reader, but I am not sure why.

Nevertheless, the reader can certainly imagine Noel Bradley, the good-looking local with “breathtaking blue” eyes and light cropped hair, who catches Lily’s attention when she carelessly drives into his truck. Not surprisingly, a romance develops between the rugged fisherman and the privileged celebrity. Consequently, Lily finds inspiration in her relationship, the quaint town and the beautiful surroundings, composing new music for her upcoming tour. The predictable storyline seems to be heading off into the sunset until Jeb Monroe, Lily’s ex-boyfriend (another famous musician) comes to the remote fishing village to get his girl back. Lily must choose which life is “forever.”

After reading about the picture-perfect settings off the coast of Maine, you will want to escape to a remote island for the surf, sand and to “sing” your own song. SING will inspire young readers to find comfort in nature and in the people that we can be ourselves with. Lily Ross is the star we all want to be.

Reviewed by Juliette G., Teen Board Member on June 27, 2017

by Vivi Greene