Isn't this cover amazing? I loved having this image of Birdie in my mind's eye as I read, and I could totally see this cover girl throughout the story, surviving through what the author put her through. Whatever artist created this is incredible. I bow to you, whoever you are. Your talent is mind-blowing.
What I loved about the book:
In one word: Birdie. Her character is so simple, yet so complex it just about blew my mind. She's hilarious and wounded deeply, a survivor I couldn't help but pull for. As an author, I'm always looking for what works and what doesn't, and the characters and world Ms. Reece creates are colorful and believable, working to paint a complex tapestry for me to admire and even learn a thing or two from.
I've read scarce few present tense books that I enjoyed. It has to be spot on, and this one is, and how. I was IN the story as I was reading, right there with Birdie.
There are subtle lines throughout the book like these that are extremely creative and awe-inspiring: “Uh hmm. That’s why you be sittin’ here in someone else’s piss? Girl, you gonna have to come up with somethin’ better than that.” Shondra shakes her head. She looks younger than me, but, like, a hundred years old, too. I can’t explain the quick bond between us, but I like her, and I don’t like many people. “They’s places you can go. Some churches, a day shelter on Ethel Street, Hosea House on Donnelly Avenue, and the Guthrie Shelter, but you ain’t got no kids, right?”
She scoots closer on her butt cheeks until our shoulders touch. “Then you can’t go there. You stick with Shondra, honey. I’ll help you.”
Seeing as how Shondra is sitting in the same pee I am, I don’t know what she thinks she can do for me, but at least I’m not alone.
That simple line, that Shondra is sitting in the same pee struck me when I read it. Simple, vivid, tells a story within the story in only a few words. Birdie's "voice" is just perfect.
Here's another bit that makes me love Birdie in all her blunt glory: My trip to the corner market was fun. When you’re homeless, you don’t dream of Perrier, or the surf and turf special at the local steakhouse that you pay for with plastic from your new Coach purse. You dream of bologna and cheese sandwiches, bottled water, and a grocery bag to keep your crap in.
This is a wonderful story that young adult fans everywhere are going to gobble up and rave about.