Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton (Book Review)

When I saw that Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton was being compared to Where the Crawdads Sing, I knew I had to have it.

When Cadie Kessler was 13, something happened that she’s been trying to forget ever since. Now an entomologist (insect expert), Cadie spends most of her days in the forest, following a particular type of invasive beetle. But when her research brings her back to her hometown in New England and she reunites with the people she left behind, her childhood memories (good and bad) come flooding back.

*I received this book for free from the publisher (Forge Reads) in exchange for an honest review.

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Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton book review

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Waiting for the Night Song: My Thoughts

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, books set in nature are my kryptonite. I loved the lush New England setting here – especially the parts of the story that take place in the past. I felt like I was trekking through the forest alongside Cadie and Daniela. It reminded me a bit of my own childhood: picking blackberries, scraped knees, and exploring the forest behind my home growing up.

But I have to say, I preferred the parts of the story set in the past, thick with nostalgia and summer magic and mystery. For me, the first half of the story was stronger than the second half.

There were recurring themes around childhood friendship, ecology, guilt/morality, immigration, and racism in a small town, all of which are important topics. But I think the story was trying to do too many things at once, and it all got a bit jumbled.

Additionally, the dialogue and character interactions were odd at times. Sometimes the characters would do things that didn’t make sense, or talk in ways that didn’t feel genuine. They discussed certain events or arguments over and over, to the point of feeling repetitive and unnecessary. For that reason, the ending dragged on, which took away some of the magic from the earlier parts of the story.

While I did enjoy this one for the most part, sadly, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. But I do know others have loved it, so don’t let my review stop you from checking it out!

Rating: 3.25 (out of 5) stars

Release date: January 12th, 2021

Waiting for the Night Song book review

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