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BLACKBIRD by Anna Carey is a thrilling first book in a new duology. The novel follows a girl who has no recollection of herself or anything…or should I say you don’t? This novel is told in second person, which was something new and fresh. It made the novel very personal and you felt like the character because you were just as oblivious to what was going on as they were. There is only one thing you know about yourself: that some people want you dead. 

This book was very unique and unexpected in a way. When I was reading it all I knew was that it was a thriller novel. Nothing else. The direction it went in shocked me. I could not compare it to any other novels I've ever read, and I've read quite a few. The writing style is unique, too, because there are flashbacks as the main character progresses. There are also news-like articles throughout the novel and you don't know how they are relevant until the end. The second person point of view was a little difficult for me at times, though, because if I was the character I wouldn't have acted in some of the ways she did. Besides that, though, I thought being in second POV worked really well because I had as much knowledge as the main character and didn't feel like I was looking down on the story. It felt as though I werein the story.

This novel is told in second person, which was something new and fresh. It made the novel very personal

The plot is fast-paced and crazy. One moment you're running because someone is trying to kill you and the next moment you're having a crazy flashback --- it was insane! There were small rests in the novel to give you a break. I found it a little odd that she was trying to be "normal" at some points in the middle of all the chaos, but I did  feel like it made it more enjoyable. Through all the flashbacks "you" are trying to figure out who "you" are and why people are after "you," which I thought was an intriguing concept. What added to the suspense was that "you" don't know what's going on for 90% of the novel. It's not until the very end that you actually get answers, but by then you're fully invested in the plot and just want more to happen.

All the characters in this book are so complex. They each hide secrets, including the main character. Everyone is untrustworthy, including "you." This amplified the suspense and makes you tip-toe around the characters because you're not sure of anything. The narrator's flashbacks are foggy and you can't even trust if they're true or what they even mean. This makes it difficult to figure out ANYTHING which is completely frustrating, but also what I like that about the book. The characters that you do interact with are suspicious and lively, making you want to trust to them but not sure if you should. The author really makes it a point to make you paranoid as you read. 

Overall, this was a great first book in a duology and it was very crazy. The ending was fantastic --- I did not see that coming, and I do wish that the novel was longer. I would definitely recommend it to people who like mystery-thrillers, Hunger Games fans, and especially people who are fans of THE MURDER COMPLEX.

Reviewed by Christa O., Teen Board Member on September 17, 2014

by Anna Carey

  • Publication Date: September 16, 2014
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Youth Fiction
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0062299735
  • ISBN-13: 9780062299734