Birdy - Jess Vallance

Genre: Young Adult/Thriller 
Synopsis: Frances Bird has been a loner for so long that she’s given up on ever finding real friendship. But then she’s asked to show a new girl around school, and she begins to think her luck could finally be changing. Eccentric, talkative and just a little bit posh, Alberta is not at all how Frances imagined a best friend could be but it’s not long before they are inseparable. Frances could not be happier. As the weeks go on, Frances starts to examine their friendship more closely. Is it, perhaps, just too good to be true?


Review: For some reason, I got it into my head that this was going to be a vaguely supernatural thriller, maybe something along the lines of Wilson Wilson by Poe. It isn't, it's an out and out thriller, albeit one that is largely wrapped up in a YA drama. For the most part, it's a very well written book, but I think the combination of my own misguided expectations combined with the sudden introduction of the the thriller element towards the end, resulted in my ultimately underwhelmed response.

Very little occurs in this novel outside of what is directly relevant to Birdy and Bert, and I feel the novel would have benefitted from being a bit more fleshed out - or at least from more happening to Birdie and Bert. Still, I liked both characters well enough for them, in conjunction with the well-written settings and secondary characters, to make it a worthwhile read.

Looking back, I feel like I should have seen the signs of what was ultimately coming, and I think it might even be worth skimming the book a second time now that I know the twist. It's a pretty great twist, and while it didn't come out of nowhere, I was just so wholly unexpecting anything like it that it kind of fell flat for me. It took me a while to register that what was actually going on - I had initially put it down to poor writing. I think this could be an enjoyable novel if the reader goes in expecting a solid thriller, but sadly I think my own expectations spoiled it for me.

Rating: 3/5

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