Wren Reviews: ‘Blackbird’

Title: Blackbird

Author: Anna Carey

Genre: Action, Adventure, YA fiction, Romance

 

Premise:

(Goodreads)

This twisty, breathless cat-and-mouse thrill ride, told in the second person, follows a girl with amnesia in present-day Los Angeles who is being pursued by mysterious and terrifying assailants.

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her.

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined.

The Maze Runner series meets Code Name Verity, Blackbird is relentless and action-packed, filled with surprising twists.

 

Plot: The plot is action filled. I do think there were spots that were unbelievable. How did Ivan know to put a tracker in? Did he put it in? He had to.

But let me get down to what happened.

We have the you narrator waking up in a subway, about to be run over by a train. She isn’t run over and runs away. She ends up going into a supermarket and borrowing a cell phone to call someone. She is led to a location and goes there. We have her breaking in and getting caught on camera. She runs away. She finds the guy whose cell phone she borrowed and becomes his friend. And his lover, in case you were wondering. We have her looking for who she was. She ends up realizing she is being tracked, after being followed by people. She traps the person tracking her and demands for information. This guy is kidnapped, and she turns to the police. She tells them her story. They don’t believe her. She escapes and finds Ivan the guy who was tracking her. She races back to the police. They don’t believe her and think she set fire to the house Ivan was in. She leaves and goes to where the police lady tells her she thinks she was born. Or lived at least. The you narrator discovers a house belonging to the two people chasing after her, one is dead, though. She ends up finding out her lover is actually keeping an eye on her. She escapes on the train, going to a new city to start anew.

We end with a cliffhanger and the introduction of a new character. One who has been in the you narrator’s dreams.

I know that is a really quick summary. I can’t say there were any major events until the last bit of the book. It is actually a quick, two hundred or so page read. There are many points I might have left out. Mind you, I try to write the plot from memory, and my memory is scratchy at best.

 

Character Development: The main character isn’t actually ever named. We get the name ‘Blackbird’ but nothing else. Therefore, I named her ‘you narrator’.

You narrator. Oh god. There was something that could have been so right with this girl. She falls in love quickly. Within a few days. She trusts someone she barely knows. And she is described as witty. You are left with many questions. This book doesn’t answer anything about the you narrator or her past. We are given a character with so much potential. She could be a deadly killer. Instead, she’s a flirty teenage girl. How she ever survived on that island is a mystery to me.

Ben. I feel like Ben is a bad character. He makes friends with the you narrator. And somehow cons her into loving him. If that is even possible. He turns out to be one of the bad guys. And he sells pot. I don’t think that it is possible to have a character with that many aspects. I feel like there should have been a Ben and another character. One lover. One pot dealer. Why is the pot dealer thing there? Where doe Ben get pot? I don’t know. He can’t just magically have pot in his hand to sell.

Izzy. She is the best in this whole book. I like Izzy’s character. She is more real. Problems at home. Tattoos. Ear rings. She isn’t a cookie-cutter character. She has a past to her. She is surprisingly my favorite. I don’t feel like Izzy is fake. She is someone who has spunk and sass.

 

Problems: This book has so much potential. It could have been something else. Instead, it isn’t. There were amazing things that could have happened. That didn’t.

The romance was a big problem for me. It felt fake. How do you love someone so quickly? You barely know him. You barely met him. You narrator, get a head. Really. Get some brains.

The you narrator is a terrible character. Childish. Girly. Flirty. She isn’t the hardcore survivor. Why is she all flirty? Ben. Why is she  with Ben? No clue. No clue at all. She seems to have the potential. And  I feel like she tries to live up to the mysterious girl potential in the end. But we introduce a second love interest, and the potential fades. She acts like some superwoman, and I know she’s human. It’s like a character with too much romance and teenage-ness when there should have been ‘The Walking Dead’ kickass heroine.

The plot was dull. There was just something wrong with it. It was more romance. There was no action. Reading this book was something I had to stomach. It seemed so wrong to have this amazing premise and have a lackluster plot. And lackluster characters in general.

 

Good points: To your surprise, you might read this book and throw it down because it is in second person. For me, that’s exactly why I kept reading. I wanted it to be amazing. To prove critics of second person wrong.

But this book proved them right.

Izzy was the only good character. She had something to her. That spark. That energy. That life. Ben and you narrator had none of that. They were flat, cardboard characters.

The other good thing was the ending. I hate cliffhangers, but the you narrator grew into half  the woman I wanted her to be. Which was a good thing. We are left with her leaving Ben behind. Thank goodness.

I felt like this book could have been more. I might have repeated that a million times in this review, but it’s true. I won’t give it anything lower than a five for its potential. It might sound weird to you to read that I can’t wait for the next book. I hope that doesn’t let me down.

 

Score: 5/10

Recommended: If you like mystery. If you like stories written in second person.

 

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