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I Belong


Review: Blackbird by Anna Carey

BlackbirdTitleBlackbird

AuthorAnna Carey

GenreYA Thriller

SeriesBlackbird (Book #1)

Publication Date: September 16, 2014

FormatHardcover, 256 Pages

ISBN-100062299735 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13978-0062299734 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed byKaitlin

Synopsis:

From the author of the Eve trilogy comes the breathless story of a girl racing to figure out who she is—and how to stay alive. When a nameless girl wakes up on the subway tracks, she knows only one thing for sure: people want her dead. Can she find them before they track her down? This pulse-pounding contemporary thriller is perfect for fans of The Maze RunnerThe Darkest Minds, and Legend.

Things I Know Are True:

  • I am in Los Angeles
  • I woke up on the train tracks at the Vermont/Sunset station
  • I am a teenage girl
  • I have long black hair
  • I have a bird tattoo on the inside of my right wrist with the letters and numbers FNV02198
  • People are trying to kill me

Quick & DirtyMy expectations weren’t high, but this suspenseful novel surprised me with its grit and originality.

Opening SentenceThe sun holds the heat of the sun, even an hour after it has sunk beneath the pavement, pushing its way below the sprawling city.

ExcerptYes

The Review:

I’ll admit that I have been holding off on reading Blackbird. Bad review after bad review rolled through my Twitter feed and the Goodreads page, making me hesitant to even crack the cover. Anyway, it’s less than 300 pages, and I’m adventurous, so I decided to power through so that I could write my review and be done. I was prepared for the absolute worst: shaky narrative, unexplained mysteries, plot holes. Instead, I found myself enjoying the first half. I wondered, will it go downhill from here? But in my mind it got better. It was unique, incredibly creepy, and gave me nightmares (yay!). I couldn’t help but enjoy the main character’s struggle and for me, the second person narrative style actually helped me to connect with the MC. True, I wish she had more depth, but her feelings of fear, angst, and anger are well done, and that’s what she feels the majority of the book. One little tidbit I disliked was that the whole book, she never learned her real name. Like, ever. Mostly the side characters think about her as “the girl” when they get their side chapters. She goes by Sunny a couple times, so I’ll call her Sunny in the review for the sake of convenience.

Ben was the love interest for book one, though it wasn’t a very deep romance. It was more of a fling, something to take up the time where Sunny wasn’t being chased by maniacs with secrets. She liked him for his body, and he said a few cute lines, but in the end it isn’t a relationship built to last. I doubt that they will stay together book two, though I can’t say for sure, after such a Ben-related-twist at the end. There was also the question of the boy in her few memories, the one who was protecting and kissing her. I am positive that book two will delve more into their relationship and I look forward to it with their history. In book two, I also look forward to Sunny getting back more of her memories and learning more about how the Island operates. I actually am excited for the sequel, because there are a couple burning questions I still have.

Lots of people found the second person narrative style to be hard to read. Instead of, “I put the book down”, or “she put the book down”, it’s “you put the book down.” It’s not easy to get used to, that’s for sure. But once I got past a couple chapters I felt myself sinking more into the perspective and I believe it allowed for more suspense and a closer relationship with the main character. The book was paced well, not too fast, not too slow, never a second of peace. Just when you thought the pace was slowing, bam! Another bomb dropped and you find the chapters of this short novel fly past. At least, for me. I seem to be the black sheep for this novel. Baaaaa.

Altogether, this novel was a lot of fun to read, a whirlwind of suspense and action. I was a little put off by a couple of things, such as the number of questions left unanswered and the lack of much positive emotion. It was a very dark read. The second person style didn’t bother me at all, though many had much more trouble than I did, and the plotline was unique and complex without many plot holes. I do wish the cover was more satisfying: the colors are very powerful but the graphic just isn’t visually appealing to me. Maybe it was my extremely low expectations that made me enjoy it so much more. After all, I expected to have to forge through like a determined soldier rather than enjoy the ride. Either way, I would recommend the book to anyone looking for dark, suspenseful mysterious with a little twist. If you’re the kind of person who is put off by second person, however, skip it; it’s not worth all the angst.

Notable Scene:

It was real, you think, it happened.

But when you turn around the narrow alley is deserted. Not a single car is in the parking garage. There is only that shallow wash of blood and the rush of the freeway above.

The Blackbird Duology:

1. Blackbird

2. Deadfall (June 16, 2015)

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FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Blackbird. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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