Friday, July 7, 2017

Book Review: If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak

Pages: 448
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "A sparkling debut about love, family, and the mysteries of the universe.  Linny has been fascinated by disappearances, ever since her sister Grace ran away in the middle of the night without saying goodbye.  Sebastian can tell you how many galaxies there are, and knows how much plutonium weighs. But the one thing he can’t figure out is the identity of his birth father.   They’ve never met, but Linny and Sebastian have one thing in common: an obsession with famous novelist and filmmaker Alvaro Herrera, who went missing three years ago and has just reappeared. As they learn more about the mystery of Alvaro, Linny and Sebastian uncover the answers they’ve been searching for. With humor and heart, debut author Carlie Sorosiak weaves a story of finding people who leave and loving those who stay, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Emery Lord."

Linny has been obsessed with with missing people every since her sister disappeared a few months ago.  Just like the people she reads about, she hopes that Grace reappears one day.  In turn, Linny's parents are super overprotective of her, but can you blame them? It's the summer before her senior year of high school and she has to stay focused if she wants to get into Princeton.  She is volunteering at a retirement community and while there she sees Alvaro Herrera, a famous author.  The only problem is that no one has seen or heard from him for three years. Enter Sebastian.  He has recently found out that his father is Alvaro Herrera and after he flies to Miami, he decides to volunteer at the retirement home with the hopes of meeting him.  While there, he meets Linny and sparks fly between the two of them.  Carlie Sorosiak's debut, If Birds Fly Back, is a smart read for the summer that is in the same vein of John Green and Emery Lord's novels.

Linny is an interesting character in If Birds Fly Back. I really can't relate to her in anyway, but I can empathize with her.  Her preoccupation with missing people eventually reappearing is due to her sister's disappearance and I really feel for her regarding that tough situation.  She is even writing a screenplay inspired by it all and Sorosiak puts excerpts of it in the novel, which I found to be distracting at times.

While Linny was just an ok character for me in If Birds Fly Back, I enjoyed Sebastian a bit more.  He is a science wiz and his chapters (there's dual narration) always included quotes about astrophysics.  I really thought Sebastian was well-developed and I was interested in how he was going to handle the reappearance of his father.

I found the whole love story in If Birds Fly Back to be a bit predictable though.  Nonetheless, there were many parts that were endearing and their relationship did remind me of the kind that are depicted in a John Green novel as Linny and Sebastian are both quirky characters.

While If Birds Fly Back didn't really blow me away by any means, it was an entertaining read for the summer.  If you like smart, realistic YA fiction for the summer, give this one a try.


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    1. Thanks, EL. I appreciate it and thanks for visiting!


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