The Turnaway Girls by Hayley Chewins
Delphernia Undersea wants to sing. But everyone on Blightsend knows music belongs to the Masters — and girls with singing throats are swallowed by the sea.
On the strange, stormy island of Blightsend, twelve-year-old Delphernia Undersea has spent her whole life in the cloister of turnaway girls, hidden from sea and sky by a dome of stone and the laws of the island. Outside, the Masters play their music. Inside, the turnaway girls silently make that music into gold. Making shimmer, Mother Nine calls it. But Delphernia can’t make shimmer. She would rather sing than stay silent. When a Master who doesn’t act like a Master comes to the skydoor, it’s a chance for Delphernia to leave the cloister. Outside the stone dome, the sea breathes like a wild beast, the sky watches with stars like eyes, and even the gardens have claws. Outside, secrets fall silent in halls without sound. And outside, Delphernia is caught — between the island’s sinister Custodian and its mysterious Childer-Queen. Between a poem-speaking prince and a girl who feels like freedom. And in a debut that glimmers with hope and beauty, freedom — to sing, to change, to live — is precisely what’s at stake.
I wasn’t sure what to think of this book, but once I got halfway through, I really started liking it a lot.
Delphernia is a turnaway girl. She is being raised with the other turnaway girls by Mother Nine. Mother Nine is extremely abusive (trigger warning). The turnaway girls make shimmer (gold) when they hear music, but Delphernia can’t make it. She would prefer to sing, but girls who sing are taken by the sea.
The Masters come to take away some of the girls. They play music and the girls make their shimmer. Delphernia wasn’t chosen at first, but then a boy showed up later to take her with. The night before, that same boy heard Delphernia singing. Her singing also created golden birds.
After she leaves the cloister, Delphernia spends time with Linna, a girl Master. She trusts Linna with her secrets. Something happens that puts Linna’s life in danger. Delphernia needs to try to overcome her fears, forget everything she was taught, and save Linna.
This was a beautifully written story about a girl who was told she was nothing and realizes her self worth.
I gave this book 4 stars. Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for providing me an arc for review.
Have you read The Turnaway Girls? Are there any other MG books coming out soon that you’re looking forward to?