By: Melanie | February 3, 2014 | (28) Comments

Blog Tour: Bird

Blog Tour: BirdBird by Crystal Chan
Publisher: Text Publishing Australia
Release Date: January 29, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, YA
Pages: 295
Source: For tour
Goodreads | Purchase

Nothing matters. Only Bird matters. And he flew away.

Jewel never knew her brother Bird, but all her life she has lived in his shadow. Her parents blame Grandpa for the tragedy of their family’s past; they say that Grandpa attracted a malevolent spirit—a duppy—into their home. Grandpa hasn’t spoken a word since. Now Jewel is twelve, and she lives in a house full of secrets.

Jewel is sure that no one will ever love her like they loved Bird, until the night that she meets a mysterious boy in a tree.

Grandpa is convinced that the boy is a duppy, but Jewel knows that he is something more. And that maybe the time has come to break through the stagnant silence of the past.

Entrenched secrets, mysterious spirits, and an astonishing friendship weave together in this extraordinary and haunting debut.

Thank you Text Publishing for hosting this blog tour

My Review

Bird really surprised me–the writing was absolutely spectacular, I loved the prose so much and I found it hard to put it down because of it. Crystal Chan also mastered the characters. They are perfectly flawed (which sounds awfully contradictory) and I felt myself growing onto them when I close the book. The presence of family is obvious and the drama within was also handled well. You know what? Bird ticks all the boxes for a successful contemporary novel.

A lot of things happened when Bird died. Jewel was born, her grandfather stopped speaking and her family was left in a grief that never seemed to have an end. Jewel’s parents blame Grandpa. See, Bird’s real name was John but Grandpa said he looked more like a Bird, they way he flapped his arms so much–as if he was about to take flight. And when Jewel was born, Bird took this chance to go to the cliff and see if he could really fly–his father even claims that it was the duppies (spirits). But he could not fly. When Bird jumped, he fell, down down down to his death.

Like I had aforementioned, what shines most in this book was Crystal Chan’s prodigious ability to write. Anyone who picks up this book is going to struggle to put it down–I’m that certain. Here’s just an example:

I closed my eyes as I stood there, my back muscles relaxing, my arms stretched out, settling into their openness. I didn’t know how long I stood there, but I listened to everything I could, to the mice rustling through the leaves, to the bending grasses, to the hollowness of the air over the cliff.

I know I only have this 4.5 stars even though I’ve mentioned no flaws–but I’ll be honest, I don’t give those out until I get blown off my feet completely. Still, I highly recommend this to all readers–not just contemporary fans. A novel about acceptance and forgiveness, finding yourself and that making mistakes is totally okay. I am eagerly waiting for the author’s next books–she better write more because this beautiful prose should not be just just shown off in one book.

~Thank you Text Publishing for sending me this copy!~

4.5 stars

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About Crystal Chan

Crystal Chan grew up as a mixed-race kid in the middle of the Wisconsin cornfields and has been trying to find her place in the world ever since. Over time, she found that her heart lies in public speaking, performing, and ultimately, writing. She has published articles in several magazines; given talks and workshops across the country; facilitated discussion groups at national conferences; and been a professional storyteller for children and adults alike.

In Chicago, where Crystal now lives, you will find her biking along the city streets and talking to her pet turtle. Her debut middle-grade novel, Bird, is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. She is represented by Emily van Beek of Folio Literary Management.

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Melanie

Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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28 Responses to Blog Tour: Bird

  1. Siiri says:

    “The presence of family is obvious and the drama within was also handled well” — I love family relationships and exploring them. This story seems so sad. I think that the way the family blames Grandpa for Bird’s death is just horrible, but understandable. I’m already incredibly sad just by reading your thoughts. I love the excerpt you chose to showcase the writing. It’s beautiful and really sets a tone to this novel. I hope that you’ll enjoy something else by this author as well:) Thanks for your lovely thoughts, Mel!
    Siiri recently posted…Review: Sweet by Erin McCarthyMy Profile

  2. I just finished reading Bird as well and it completely took my breath away – it was emotional, poignant, aching with heart break. Lovely review Mel!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George Review: Wintery, whimsical fairy taleMy Profile

  3. Sara says:

    I normally enjoy books published by Text Publishing and having such a high rating means I MUST GET IT NOW? So what did all the Midnight readers think of it?

  4. Ahh I’m so glad that you liked this one! I can definitely see the appeal and the whole concept behind Bird and how he wanted to fly definitely intrigues me. I usually never pay attention to a writing style unless it’s very good or very bad, but Bird sounds like a book where the writing would definitely stand out in a positive way. Fantastic review, Mel! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…Vengeance by Megan MirandaMy Profile

  5. Lovely review, Melanie. I haven’t heard of this before but from your review it sounds intense and powerful. I’m curious about the author’s prose because you described it beautifully.
    I’m glad you loved it so much.
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Review : Better Off Friends by Elizabeth EulbergMy Profile

  6. I hadn’t heard of this book before I made the blog rounds this morning, but I am REALLY excited to read it! It sounds so poignant and beautiful, I hope it makes its way to the States at some point. Thanks for the review, Mel.
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Sexual Identity in Grasshopper Jungle: guest post + giveawayMy Profile

  7. Rachel says:

    It’s nice this book left a mark with you, Melanie. It’s always wonderful when a book combines beautiful prose with a compelling story. Wonderful review! 🙂
    Rachel recently posted…Review: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly HarperMy Profile

  8. Hmm, I wouldn’t have expected much with the blurb and cover but this one sounds pretty amazing. so happy it worked out for you.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Author Interview: The Replacement by Rachael Wade (Blog Tour & Giveaway)My Profile

  9. Emily Mead says:

    I’ve heard SO SO SO much about Bird – I need to read it so badly, which means I would have to end my book-buying ban…oops.
    Emily Mead recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Will Make You CryMy Profile

  10. Emily says:

    Frankly, this sounds like an amazing read! To be honest, I’ve heard nothing of Bird, but your review makes this sound like I have to add it to my TBR! 🙂 Though the cover is definitely not one that blows me away, the story sounds like it will be one 😀
    Lovely review, Mel!! <33
    Emily recently posted…Sun And Moon, Ice And Snow by Jessica Day GeorgeMy Profile

  11. I looooved this book. *hugs copy reverently* I just…yes. Love it. I was so emotionally involved in it! And Jewel was amazing. I haven’t read an MC that good for a loooong time. I think it’s my favourite read of the year so far, but we’ll see what else happens. 😉 The author is ridiculously good for this being her first book.
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Immagica Book Blitz: Interview + (seriously awesome) Giveaways!My Profile

  12. Candace says:

    That good, huh? I hadn’t even heard of this before, but you’ve convinced me that this is a must read!
    Candace recently posted…Young Adult Review: The Tyrant’s Daughter by J.C. CarlesonMy Profile

  13. It takes A LOT for me to give five stars so I totally understand you. But I’m a huge fan of goegous prose and I’ll defintiely be getting a copy of this.
    Fabulous review, Melanie! I’m glad you enjoyed this so much.
    Maja (The Nocturnal Library) recently posted…Review: Nameless: The Darkness Comes (The Bone Angel Trilogy, #1)My Profile

  14. I’m not sure if I’m up for another really serious contemporary – they’re so draining! – but I’m curious to experience this author’s writing for myself. Lovely review, Mel!
    Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings recently posted…ARC Review: Me Since You by Laura WiessMy Profile

  15. Everyone is loving this book! I passed it in Dymocks today but didn’t pick it up…damn!
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Third Sentence Thursday (#1)My Profile

  16. Caroline Kelly says:

    Thank you for this amazing giveaway that forces us to take a closer look at ourselves and what surrounds us.

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