Monday, 15 September 2014

ARC REVIEW: Blackbird by Anna Carey

Pub. Date: September 16th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 256
Readership: Young adult
Genres: mystery, thriller

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her.  
On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined.  
The Maze Runner series meets Code Name Verity, Blackbird is relentless and action-packed, filled with surprising twists.

What an interesting read! When I first heard about Blackbird it was via GoodReads and I was intrigued by the plot immediately. Strange girl? Abandoned on some train tracks? No idea of who she is or how she got there? Ok, I'm in! I love me a good amnesia story and Blackbird flipped the trope on it's head by giving it a suspenseful, action packed ride.

What's most interesting about Blackbird is that it's told in second person, which is something you rarely see in fiction. I like it for a number of reasons. You're in the character's head as much as you would be in second and even maybe first person but you also get a sense that someone else is pulling the strings, that someone else is telling the story and that they're whispering in the character's ear. You do this, you do that. It's an eerie thing and it works perfectly with the story because "Sunny" has absolutely no idea who she is or why she was dropped in the middle of LA on some subway tracks.

The pace was fantastic. It wasn't too fast like some action based books could be but it wasn't slow, either. It kept me reading until well past midnight when I probably should have been sleeping. While turning the page lead to more and more questions than it did answers, I still enjoyed watching "Sunny's" journey into finding out what had happened to her and who she was. Even when it was revealed who she was and what exactly was going on, that only lead to more questions and "oh, shit"s.

I've never been much of a reader of straight up contemporary because we all know I'm a sucker for the sci-fi or the fantasy, but this was a good contemporary thriller. It felt a bit like a sci-fi at some points because I was wondering just who was behind "Sunny"'s amnesia and what exactly was going on with the dreams, the memories and this mysterious island. Blackbird has a little bit of everything.

By the end, I'm still not sure how I feel about "Sunny". I was rooting for her to get all of her answers and to find that mysterious boy from the island and her memories, but it felt like there was a little something missing. But that could be how it's supposed to be due to the eerie second person narration. For all we know, there is some big reveal to come in book 2 that throws us all for even more of a loop. The other characters were very likeable too. There was Ben, the boy from the supermarket who has a bit of a thing with "Sunny" but there might be more to him than what we see on the surface. I quite liked Ben. He was sweet and caring but not in one of those over-bearing, please stop ways.

All in all it was a very enjoyable read, not to mention a fast one. It's perfect if you want a fast but gritty, action packed ride. Blackbird is awesome!

*Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for providing an ARC for review!!! Follow @HCCFrenzy on twitter and HarperCollinsCanada on Facebook!* 


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