Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Book Review: Bird by Crystal Chan

I admit that I have been tempered to jump off my roof.

'Grandpa stopped speaking the day he killed my brother, John. His name was John until Grandpa said he looked more like a Bird with the way he kept jumping off things, and the name stuck. Bird’s thick, black hair poked out in every direction, just like the head feathers of the blackbirds, Grandpa said, and he bet that one day Bird would fly like one too. Grandpa kept talking like that, and no one paid him much notice until Bird jumped off a cliff, the cliff at the edge of the tallgrass prairie, the cliff that dropped a good couple hundred feet to a dried-up riverbed below. From that day on, Grandpa never spoke another word. Not one.

The day that Bird tried to fly, the grown-ups were out looking for him – all of them except Mom and Granny. That’s because that very day, I was born.'

Twelve-year-old Jewel never knew her brother, but all her life she has lived in his shadow. Then one night, on her birthday, she finds a mysterious boy sitting in her oak tree. His name is John. And he changes everything.

This book is very tearfully. I cried a lot because there is some sad parts. I mean it deal with family and different forms of abandonment. It done very well and it is a good read. I could probably write essay on the themes in this book (but won't because this is a review after all). 

This is a character driven book. It centres on the family's relationships with each other. Bird's death overshadows everything and has messed up their relationships. There very much still in a state of extreme grieving. Jewel is very lonely and doesn't feel like she can actually talk honestly to anyone in her family. I don't want to say much about John (the boy in the tree) as it bit spoiler, but I really like the contrast his family background brings in comparison to Jewel's.

There also interesting stuff about duppies and generally spirits, like how to ward them off. 

Overall, I gave it 5 out of 5 stars for erratic rocks. It book that you will make you feel things and it very relatable.

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