Title: If Birds Fly Back
Author: Carlie Sorosiak
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
UK Release Date: 29th June 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
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.
- Thank you to Macmillan for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
So yesterday was actually my blogoversary, and I thought posting this glowing review would be a nice way to celebrate (although I may do another post on it with more celebration)! A little while back, I contacted My Kinda Book to ask for a proof of If Birds Fly Back because it sounded like such an amazing book, and I was delighted to be able to read it ahead of publication. I’m always nervous to start a review copy of a book in case I don’t like it and then want to write a review but don’t have much to say by way of positive opinions – but any nerves were completely unnecessary in the case of If Birds Fly Back as it was honestly so excellent.
First things first: the romance. I hadn’t read a book with a really good romance plot and a good level of sheer cuteness in such a long time, so I was delighted by how perfectly If Birds Fly Back ticked this box. The relationship between Linny (best name!) and Sebastian was just so much fun to read about, as there was a great mix of teenage awkwardness and nerves, but it also developed into something more substantial so the reader gets to enjoy two aspects of their relationship. It also had two perspectives, which I really enjoyed, as I got to appreciate how each liked the other, but didn’t realise they liked each other back for a while.
I also thought that the writing was absolutely gorgeous. There were so many lines that I would read and think ‘how on earth did Carlie Sorosiak come up with words and phrasing this beautiful?’ or I would want to highlight it or write it down or tweet it – just something that would allow me to capture it and maybe share it so more people could experience the beauty of the language in If Birds Fly Back. The language around the romance was especially lovely, and I think that this book seriously deserves some appreciation for how overall wonderful the writing was.
Finally, I adored the family relationships in this book. Sometimes in a book with a strong romance, it can be overshadowed by the feelings pinging between the protagonists, but If Birds Fly Back had such excellent exploration of relationships between lots of different characters as well – such as Linny and her sister or her parents, and Sebastian with his father. In particular I liked the exploration of Linny’s feelings towards her sister, and how they were explored through the form of the play that is intermixed with the story, although I thought all the relationships were in general really strong and well-written.
Overall, I think it’s easy to tell from this glowing review that I would definitely recommend If Birds Fly Back! It’s such a gorgeous story with beautiful language, a wonderful romance, and really strong relationships between a whole host of characters at the core of the story, and on the whole I just really loved this book.