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If Birds Fly Back

Review

If Birds Fly Back

In her debut novel IF BIRDS FLY BACK, Carlie Sorosiak weaves seamlessly weaves a dual perspective narrative about family and the empty spaces they can leave behind.

Ever since her older sister, Grace, left in the middle of the night, leaving behind only instructions on how to care for her pet turtle, Linny has become obsessed with missing people who reappear, and keeps a running list of them in a book.

"Sorosiak’s writing is filled with heart, and both Sebastian’s and Linny’s voices are different enough to make the dual perspective highly enjoyable. "

She’s volunteering at Silver Springs, a senior living facility near her home in Miami, mostly because her parents say it will look good on her transcript and help her get into an Ivy League college, and then into medical school. It seems like it’s going to be a pretty uneventful summer. Until she spots Alvaro Herrera, the famous writer and filmmaker, who disappeared three years ago and was presumed dead.

Sebastian is a Cal-Tech bound science prodigy and an aspiring astrophysicist, whose mother tells him that his father has just reappeared. In Miami. Desperate to meet the father he’s never known, Sebastian buys a one way ticket to Miami and signs up to volunteer at Silver Springs.

As both Linny and Sebastian get pulled into the mystery of Alvaro’s disappearance, they grow closer, and might just be able to find the answers they are looking for.

Sorosiak’s writing is filled with heart, and both Sebastian’s and Linny’s voices are different enough to make the dual perspective highly enjoyable. While the romance between Sebastian and Linny felt more than a little forced, their interactions with and around Alvaro are sweet and are enough to keep the reader engaged over all. The cast of characters surrounding them, Cass, Ray and Micah being the most notable, add great bits of comic relief into a novel that would otherwise be very emotionally heavy.

Fans of Rainbow Rowell and Sara Dessen will enjoy Sorosiak’s ability to create compelling characters in heart wrenching situations.

Reviewed by Alyssa Cami on July 7, 2017

If Birds Fly Back
by Carlie Sorosiak