Title: If Birds Fly Back
Author: Carlie Sorosiak
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: June 29th 2017
Linny has been living life in black and white since her sister Grace ran away, and she’s scared that Grace might never come back. When Linny witnesses the return to Miami of a cult movie star long presumed dead, she is certain it’s a sign. Surely Álvaro Herrera, of all people, can tell her why people come back – and how to bring her sister home?
Sebastian has come to Miami seeking his father, a man whose name he’s only just learned. An aspiring astrophysicist, he can tell Linny how many galaxies there are, how much plutonium weighs and how likely she is to be struck by a meteorite. But none of the theories he knows are enough to answer his own questions about why his father abandoned him, and why it left him in pieces.
As Sebastian and Linny converge around the mystery of Álvaro’s disappearance – and return – their planets start to collide. Linny’s life is about to become technicolor, but finding the answers to her questions might mean losing everything that matters.
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review!
If Birds Fly Back is a heart-warming tale of family, friendship, loss and love. Dually narrated by Linny and Sebastian, who come together to solve the mystery behind the disappearance and return of famous writer, Álvaro Herrera, there was not much you couldn’t love.
The characters were really well fleshed out. Linny is an aspiring film-maker and it was really interesting to see the world through her lens. I loved how her chapters began with snippets from her Journal of Lost and Found and ended with an extract from her screenplay, The Left-Behinds. It really helped to bring her character off the page.
Likewise, Sebastian’s chapters begin with quotes from his favourite book, A Brief Compendium of Astrophysical Curiosities, and occasionally include interesting principles he conjures up as an aspiring astrophysicist. Mostly, I loved how these two teenagers had ambition, and falling in love didn’t change that. The romance was adorable but it did feel a bit like love-at-first-sight.
Although most of the book revolves around solving the mystery of Álvaro’s disappearance, there wasn’t necessarily a BIG REVEAL. This was slightly disappointing as I had already guessed one of the plot twists even though Linny and Sebastian apparently had no idea. Still, I couldn’t really put this book down. Even after the mystery is solved, which was what mostly intrigued me, things really pick up and escalate to the most beautiful finish.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this. It’s light-hearted and humorous at times, but also tugs at a lot of other emotions.
“Just because it’s the end of one thing, doesn’t mean it can’t be the beginning of another.”