review June 17, 2014
Blackbird by Anna Carey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This twisty, breathless cat-and-mouse thrill ride, told in the second person, follows a girl with amnesia in present-day Los Angeles who is being pursued by mysterious and terrifying assailants.
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.
I really really struggled with this book. It started with the fact it's written in 2nd person. Perfect for when I would want to give my students both an example of 2nd person AND an example of why it's difficult to read. I tried super hard to get past it and get used to reading a book written in this style. In the end I just couldn't get beyond it. I couldn't take reading things like "you wake up slowly and look around" - "you" do this and "you" do that. I just found it very distracting to me. I might have been able to move beyond it somewhat if I had cared for the main character more. I just didn't. I didn't know enough about her to care about her. She doesn't remember any of her past, so there was nothing for me to build on. Maybe I needed more of the few flashbacks paced earlier on in the story so that there was something for me to hook myself on, but there just wasn't enough.
I also found her friendship with Ben a bit to quick and easy. It felt convenient. I couldn't buy into, because this is a girl that is in a very scary place not remembering her past and knowing who to trust. I just found she trusted and went with him to quickly for me to buy into.
I really wanted to like this book because I thought it sounded really good, but I couldn't get beyond the 2nd person and there wasn't enough to pull me beyond my frustration with that issue.
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