Publisher: Text Publishing Australia
Release Date: January 29, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, YA
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
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!~
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