Cuckoo Song

Cuckoo Song

by Frances Hardinge


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Read this thought-provoking, critically acclaimed novel from Frances Hardinge, winner of the Costa Book of the Year and Costa Children's Book Awards for The Lie Tree.

When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry, her sister seems scared of her, and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out. Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In a quest to find the truth she must travel into the terrifying underbelly of the city to meet a twisted architect who has dark designs on her family—before it’s too late . . .

Set in England after World War I, this is a brilliantly creepy but ultimately loving story of the relationship between two sisters who have to band together against a world where nothing is as it seems.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419719394
Publisher: ABRAMS
Publication date: 04/19/2016
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 489,018
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Frances Hardinge is the winner of the Costa Book of the Year and Costa Children’s Book Awards for The Lie Tree. She is also the author of The Lost Conspiracy (five starred reviews; Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist), Fly by Night (shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize), Well Witched (School Library Journal Best Book of 2008), and Fly Trap (shortlisted for the Guardian prize, longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal). She lives in England.

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Cuckoo Song 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everything will tilt a bit sideways from now on. A thoroughly peculiar story that you can get lost in, and not escape until the end. I loved this book.
Rebecca Petruck More than 1 year ago
This novel caught me off guard. From the terrifying cover (doll head with her eyes open!) and flap copy full of words like "insatiable," "hunger," "scissors," and more dolls (eep!), I expected true horror. CUCKOO SONG is definitely creepy and twisted and dark (deliciously so), but it's also lyrical and deeply poignant about what it means to be alive, part of a family, and imperfect. I was carried away with the journey which rarely went quite where I expected it to and was touched by the sisters' relationship. If you liked DOLL BONES by Holly Black, you'll like CUCKOO SONG, too.
Chancie More than 1 year ago
Well written, but it just wasn't what I thought it was. I didn't realize it was middle grade, so it was much more juvenile than I expected going into it, and I thought it was a horror book. It also wasn't that either at all, just more like fantasy suspense. I had high hopes, and it fell flat. Not sure if it was the book or my own fault.
TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge looks like and gives off a horror vibe from the cover, the synopsis and the first part of the book. I wanted it to be a horror story, but alas, no. Cuckoo Song is a supernatural story that reminded me of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. The writing is well done, but I felt a little disappointed because Cuckoo Song isn't what I thought it promised to be. Triss had an accident and is having difficulty remembering much of anything. Her sister Penny seems to dislike her and doesn't trust Triss either. Triss is actually a changeling and Penny wants to get her real sister back. They discover the world of the Besiders and work together to fix their family. The loyalty of family is a great message and for fans of Ransom Riggs, this should be a pleasing read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first, confusion and suspicion will be all that is available, but as time goes on, the pieces will slid and shift until they click into place and a new world opens up before you. Do not trust easily, yet do not be afraid to believe, especially in yourself.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
“The Shrike was feeding the stolen vine back through her torn side, and she could feel it moving amid her vitals like a dry snake.” This book was so unmistakably good: I cannot possibly tell you how I feel about what I have just experienced. The author’s rich language transported me into a different reality, one in which I have yet to partake in. A world filled with characters that yearned to be part of this world, characters that I have never even dreamed possible and a plot filled with many different angles and venues that made this novel go too quickly. Letting go of my perception, I was taken on an imaginary ride, one that gripped my emotions and had me chanting at the characters as I jaunted along with them on their adventure. I never thought by looking at the illustrated cover that this would be the journey I would be embarking upon. Trying to walk away from this book was pointless, as I thought about The Architect, Triss, Penn and Trista even though my eyes weren’t scanning the pages. What mysteries does the Glimmer hold as Triss emerges from it? Triss claims that she just walked out of the water but her sister Penn knows more of what occurred in those moments and she is not talking. Strange things begin to happen in Triss’ world and I had to reread portions of the book as Triss first begins to see mannequin’s heads move. It doesn’t stop there as her beloved doll then stabs her and suddenly Triss’ appetite takes a sudden turn. She suddenly starts to gorge herself on strange objects and begins to stuff herself where she can’t get enough to eat. This girl Triss can eat, I mean eat!! The story’s pace intensifies and I would love to tell you more as it is a fantastic novel but you really should read it to experience it for yourself. I didn’t feel the novel was scary; more of a great fantasy with lots of storylines and intriguing characters. Great imagination and I really need to stop talking about or I will definitely give the novel away. It really is something amazing and definitely a reread for me.
DownrightDystopian More than 1 year ago
**Thank you to Amulet Books for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!** As soon as I saw this book on Netgalley, I just knew that I had to request it. This book is unique and I could tell that as soon as I read the synopsis. Cuckoo Song follows a young girl named Triss who wakes up after being terribly sick. Her parents are deeply concerned about her, though her sister, Penn, is extremely angry and upset with her. Of course, Triss has no idea why that is. As the story goes on, we come to find out that perhaps Penn has made a deal with someone she shouldn't have and maybe, just maybe, their brother Sebastian who was fighting in the war isn't actually dead, no matter what their parents tell them. I found myself to be creeped out by this book quite a lot. For one, there's a lot of dolls. I don't know about you guys, but when I think about creepy, I think about dolls coming to life. This book included a lot of that. These dolls would sometimes move right in front of the main characters eyes and I had to stop myself to think about it and get myself to not be creeped out anymore. It was really something else! Also, the main character cried spiderwebs at one point. How, just how!?  I absolutely loved how this book was a paranormal set just after World War I. I've never read a book like that before, so I really enjoyed that aspect. At times, I was really wary of the parents because they always seemed to be happiest when Triss was sick. They also seemed to deeply hate on Penn when she wasn't even a bad kid. The parents just seemed way too overprotective, though then again they lost a son to the war. On top of that, they completely blocked out their son's fiancee, Violet, after Sebastian died! Isn't that just the cruelest? I'd definitely say that this book is perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. The two books were greatly along the same lines when it came to the creepiness and weirdness factors. If you liked one, then please do check out the other! I'll be sure to pick out more books by Frances Hardinge in the future.