If Birds Fly Back Hardcover – 27 Jun 2017
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"A uniquely dazzling love story--sunshine flows through every electric page, and into your heart. Carlie Sorosiak writes with neon prose."--Harriet Reuter Hapgood, author of The Square Root of Summer
-A uniquely dazzling love story--sunshine flows through every electric page, and into your heart. Carlie Sorosiak writes with neon prose.---Harriet Reuter Hapgood, author of The Square Root of Summer
-Should resonate with fans of Morgan Matson, John Green, and Rainbow Rowell.---Kirkus Reviews
"Should resonate with fans of Morgan Matson, John Green, and Rainbow Rowell."--Kirkus Reviews
"In this charming novel about love and missing persons, two quirky teenagers embark on personal quests but end up finding each other...will hook fans of John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Jenny Han."--School Library Journal
"A sweet love story with plenty of emotional heft...Fans of brainy romance will likely like this one."--Booklist
"An engrossing combination of romance and self-discovery."--Publishers Weekly
A sun-drenched and irresistible love story from a stunning new talent in YA --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
It's not very often that I call a book magic, But If Birds Fly Back was completely magical. I devoured every page, every quote and Linny & Sebastian will forever own a piece of my heart. I'm so excited to meet Carlie at YALC and get my copy signed!!
I loved the dual narrative of this book and thought it was so well written. I really got to know both of our main characters and felt invested in both of their stories. First up we meet Linny who is struggling to come to terms with the disappearance of her sister Grace several months before. I really liked Linny because I could just feel her pain so easily and I loved her ambition. I thought she had great development throughout the book and I’d quite like to be her friend. Then we have Sebastian, sweet darling Sebastian. I thought he was adorable and I so badly wanted to scoop him up into a cuddle when things were collapsing around him.
I loved that both Linny and Sebastian had their own separate issues to deal with and how this intertwined to bring the story together. I thought that the theme of loss was very delicately handled and felt very real. Although the romance happened very quickly (I prefer a slow burn) I thought the relationship was very cute and I was really rooting for them.
Something I particularly enjoyed about this book was the little quirks in each chapter. All of Linny’s chapters started with an excerpt from her journal of lost people. These were really interesting to read and I could so relate with Linny because if someone I loved were to go missing I would be desperate to do all I could to find them. Linny’s chapters also contained scenes from her screenplay about Grace and these were so gorgeous to read. Sebastian’s chapters always stared with different scientific theorems and throughout his chapter were his own theorems about his life experiences. I loved these added elements because it was a real reminder that Linny and Sebastian are their own people and have their own passions too.
The relationships in this book were really well written and very realistic. Sebastian and his best friend back home have a great friendship full of funny, realistic ‘boy’ banter. Linny and Cass have one of the most realistic friendships I’ve read in a while. Their friendship is definitely flawed and under strain due to Grace’s disappearance but it was nice to see the conflict within their friendship not being hidden because even the best of friends will having fallings out and I think it’s important that not all friendships in YA are completely perfect.
I also really appreciated the influence of parents in this book. Quite often in YA novels the parents are mythical unicorn creatures who get the odd mention but nothing more. In If Birds Fly Back the parent/child relationships are so, so important. It’s clear from the beginning that Sebastian has a close relationship with his single mother and it was interesting to see how his feelings flipped and turned when discovering who his father is. Linny has a very complicated relationship with her parents and feels overwhelmed by them a lot of the time. It’s easy to see why, being as they have lost one daughter already, but it was great to see Linny discover her courage and finally speak up. I thought all of these relationships had excellent, realistic dynamics.
An incredible debut that will tug at your heart strings and insist on planting a smile on your face. Fantastic!
Interspersed throughout the book is an original and creative screenplay by Grace which describes her feelings brilliantly. These scenes are the highlights of the book and the story would be lost without them.
What I didn’t like:
The story is slow and the protagonists self-indulgent – This is common in YA (young adult) characters – but for an inexplicable reason it doesn’t work here.
Actually, none of the characters really work together, the best friends seem superficial, and without chemistry and any real substance I don’t buy the romance.
I was voluntarily provided a free review copy by the publisher.
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!
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
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