Tuesday, 4 July 2017

If Birds Fly Back - Review

Book Review:
Title: If Birds Fly Back
Author: Carlie Sorosiak
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Book
Release Date: 29th June 2017 (UK)
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"Just because it’s the end of one thing, doesn’t mean it can’t be the beginning of another."

Linny has been living life in black and white since her sister Grace ran away, and she's scared that Grace might never come back. When Linny witnesses the return to Miami of a cult movie star long presumed dead, she is certain it's a sign. Surely Álvaro Herrera, of all people, can tell her why people come back - and how to bring her sister home?
Sebastian has come to Miami seeking his father, a man whose name he's only just learned. An aspiring astrophysicist, he can tell Linny how many galaxies there are, how much plutonium weighs and how likely she is to be struck by a meteorite. But none of the theories he knows are enough to answer his own questions about why his father abandoned him, and why it left him in pieces.
As Sebastian and Linny converge around the mystery of Álvaro's disappearance - and return - their planets start to collide. Linny's life is about to become technicolour, but finding the answers to her questions might mean losing everything that matters.

I have been in a reading slump since mid-May. I was completely swamped with exams and revision, meaning I had no opportunity to pick up a book. I thought that when my exams ended I would be able to just jump right back into reading, like I didn’t even take a break. It’s safe to say that wasn’t the case. I started about 8 different books hoping that one of them will pull me out of this slump. None worked, until I picked this book up.

If Birds Fly Back is a fantastic debut novel. The story follows Linny & Sebastian who are currently facing some hardships in their life. Linny is having to cope with the grief of her sister running away and Sebastian is having to cope with a bombshell his mother just laid on him about his father, who he has never met, nor does he know anything about.

The book is written in alternating POVs which I really enjoyed. Writing in multiple POVs is always a risk, but Carlie managed to give her two characters very distinct and equally as interesting voices. There was no confusion as to which characters view I was reading from and I honestly never got bored of hearing from one of them.
One thing I really loved about their POVs was the little extras we got. In Linny’s chapters, we got excerpts from her film script about her relationship with Grace, her sister, and we got notes about different disappearances she had researched. In Sebastian’s chapters, we got astrophysical quotes and some personal theories about life. These little tidbits might not seem like much, but they really made the story even more so unique and engaging.
Their romance together was especially adorable. I see everyone talking about the iconic ball pit scene and I 100% agree, that scene was so sweet; I had the widest grin on my face while reading it. Just thinking about it now, has got me smiling all over again!
I think the only person who ships Linny and Sebastian more than me is Alvaro, who is the once missing, now reappeared filmmaker that they are both obsessed with.

Alvaro was a great addition to the story. He was pretty much the backbone of the novel seeing that Linny & Sebastian would not have met without him. Along with the two main characters, I ended up really loving Alvaro, I just wanted to know more about him, his life, his movies, and his relationship with a certain someone.

I also really loved how this book is more than just a romance. It's a story of self-discovery. A story of coping with major life changes. A story of friendship. And a story of family. It’s pretty much everything you could want in a contemporary.

The only thing that didn’t make this book a 5-star read for me was the beginning. It felt a bit rushed and I would have preferred it if we were eased more into the story, rather than dropping a huge bombshell right at the start.
But once I got past the beginning, everything flowed more consistently and I was gripped till the very end.

Overall, I thought If Birds Fly Back was a brilliant debut novel and I can’t wait to see what Carlie has in store for us next!
Don't forget to pick up a copy: Amazon | Waterstones | Book Depository

4 Stars

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