Frances Bird has been a loner for so long that she’s given up on ever finding real friendship. But then she’s asked to show a new girl around school, and she begins to think her luck could finally be changing. Eccentric, talkative and just a little bit posh, Alberta is not at all how Frances imagined a best friend could be. But the two girls click immediately, and it’s not long before they are inseparable. Frances could not be happier. As the weeks go on, Frances finds out more about her new best friend – her past, her secrets, her plans for the future – and she starts to examine their friendship more closely. Is it, perhaps, just too good to be true?
I got Birdy through a subscription service of books called A Box of Stories. I remember getting it and thinking I’d heard of it back when it published but I never got round to reading it. I think it had rave reviews when it was published and I completely understand why some people will have been enamoured with it.
There will be spoilers in this review. I usually try and avoid them but my feelings towards it were built based on the outcome of the story so if you don’t want spoilers, stop reading now.
There were twists and turns with Birdy that tried to through you off the scent of the story a lot. At the start I thought that the obsession that is referred to on the cover was external to the friendship. I figured that it was a love story and there was a man involved that ruins the friendship between Frances and Alberta. I very quickly learnt who the obsessed person was, even with the twists and turns that the story throws in. Frances is the obsessive one, quickly becoming infatuated with Alberta and I worked that out around chapter 9. The story is told from Birdy’s perspective, after the events of the book, and her impeccable memory for dates really stood out to me. Then certain ways she behaves throughout just made me feel a bit unsettled.
The story is amazingly written because it really does have you sitting on the edge of your seat. I loved that it was told from such a volatile mindset and that it gave Birdy’s side of things. However by the end that slightly strange feeling you get becomes something really wrong. The last chapter was absolutely chilling and I had goosebumps. I just wish the outcome had been a surprise!
Bert was an interesting character too and was a little too out there for me. I felt like she was playing on her innocence a lot of the time to be liked. But I’m not sure how much that was to do with the story being told from Frances’ point of view. However its that innocence that really allows the friendship to go as far as it does. Bert’s parents notice the strange behaviour from Frances early on and would likely try to warn her.
I want to have loved Birdy but the obviousness of what was happening put me off a little. I would still recommend it but it may be more suited to an actual YA audience. I like my thrillers a little darker and less black and white.
Birdy was published in July 2015 by Hot Key Books. My copy was given to me as part of a gifted book subscription for which I wrote a separate review.
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