Book Review – Blackbird by Anna Carey

Title: BlackbirdBook Review Image
Author: Anna Carey
ISBN: 9780062299734
No. of Pages: 256
Genre: Young Adult; Suspense
Origins: HarperTeen
Release Date: 16 September 2014
Bottom Line: Meh

Blackbird by Anna CareySynopsis:

“You don’t know who you are. But they do.
You wake up on the subway tracks in Los Angeles with no memory of who you are. A backpack is at your feet. Inside is a fresh set of clothes, one thousand dollars in cash, a phone number, and the instructions Do not call the police.

As you try to figure out your identity, the questions swirl. What is your name? How did you get here? What is the meaning of the tattoo on your wrist of a blackbird and the code FNV02198? There is only one thing you know for sure: people are trying to kill you.”

Thoughts:    There is a reason why authors tend to shy away from a second person narrative. It is incredibly difficult to use effectively and can have disastrous consequences for a story if not done well. Blackbird is an example of how a second person narration can destroy an entire novel. At no point in time does the narration become nothing more than a distraction. In fact, it distances a reader rather than build a connection. This results in readers being emotionally removed from the main character and a story that is supposed to be suspenseful but is not.

Another major issue with the novel is the sheer number of unanswered questions remaining when the story ends. Readers are given virtually nothing that would pique their interest in further adventures. One hopes for some answers to help make sense of the unfolding story, but the most one receives in Blackbird is the main character’s real name and confirmation that her dreams are her returning memories. The how and why she finds herself in her current situation remains nebulous, and the story ends as she continues to run away from those hunting her without really understanding where she is going or how she is going to take the stand she says she is going to make.

Blackbird tries too hard to be edgy and different. The use of second person is an example of this; it is also an example of its failure. Readers will never meld with the main character, and the story remains disjointed and remote – the exact opposite of what Ms. Carey was attempting to achieve with her narration choice. The story itself is not terribly exciting, and readers finish the book with too many questions and not enough answers. Combined with the mediocre storyline and lackluster suspense, it is enough to halt any further interest in the next book in the story.

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