I received this book for free from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Blackbird by Anna Carey
Series: Blackbird Duology #1
Published by HarperTeen on September 16th 2014
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, YA
Buy on Amazon
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.
I always go into YA thrillers with a bit of trepidation. As someone who loves these types of movies and TV shows I always end up finding the teen novel versions to be a bit too convenient which leads to a lot of eyerolling. While this was definitely a unique take on the genre with it’s second person narration, it did still fall victim to the typical tropes I have come to dislike over time.
What was striking right off the bat was how the reader is thrown into the novel with the second person narration. With the word “you” constantly being used to describe our MC it really throws us into the novel and leaves us feeling as if we have woken up with no recollection of who we are and as if we are the one attempting to evade the police. I had read novels in the past with this perspective and they are always written as if the protagonist is speaking to a specific person (or in the case of We Are The Goldens, writing a letter to a specific person) but it was never done quite like this. I liked the immersive experience that it led to and that it did manage to heighten the chase scenes quite a bit.
What I did long for was a more believable timeline of events and that everything didn’t seem to fall into place quite so easily. Of course I can’t go into all of the details that comprise what exactly is going on in the story but I can say that the twists were easy to see coming from a mile away and this led to me feeling pretty bored for a large part of the novel. One thing that I always long for with thrillers is to be taken by surprised, left with my jaw on the floor saying “well, I didn’t see that coming!” and that just didn’t happen here. I will say that the idea behind it all and what happened leading up to the MC waking up where she does at the beginning of the novel was enough to keep me going and was even enough to leave me wanting the sequel to finally figure it all out. I think Carey gives us just enough tidbits of information to leave us feeling like we know what’s going on but feeling like we need to get even more information to have the clearest picture possible.
There is a romance to be had here as well but I can’t tell you that it was anything to write home about. It was rushed, random and really lacked substance, not something that had me rooting for the characters at all. In the end I guess you can say that my thoughts for this one are really all over the map. There were parts that were really well done but I think a lot more of it could have been fleshed out and cleaned up a bit. If you are looking for a quick, passive read I think you could come out enjoying this one quite a bit but if you are looking for an edge of your seat thrill ride I am going to recommend you look elsewhere.
2.5 Hot Espressos
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It’s a bit disappointing how this one turned out, I was kinda hoping for something more from the book.
Erin @ The Book Nut
Nick @ Nick's Book Blog
I knew once I found out that this was written in the second person writing, I wouldn’t enjoy it, so I didn’t download it when it became available and I’m really glad about that.
It always sucks when the twists and turns are so predictable in thrillers. The point of thrillers is to surprise you, so I can understand why you weren’t able to completely enjoy the story. I also think I would have some issues with the romance part of this book. I’m going to stay away from this.
I’m sorry this was such a disappointment, Jenni.
Oh, the story sounds interesting… it’s a shame that it has disappointed you.
awww… seemed to promising
Jenea @ Books Live Forever
Well, I was pretty excited to read this one and I do have it coming up soon. The potential sounded like it was there, but it doesn’t sound like it lives up which makes me kinda sad. At least there was enough reason for you to want to read the next book. Gives me a little hope. Great review.
Bethzaida @ Bookittyblog
I think I’ll pass. I’m kind of unlucky when it comes to YA books lately. Sigh.
Emily @ Books & Cleverness
Bummed to hear about this one. The fact that it was told in second person had me really excited for it! :/
How interesting that this novel uses the second person point of view. That in itself is intriguing enough, because I haven’t read too many novels with from that perspective.
Cait @ Notebook Sisters
Noooo another thriller that isn’t living up to the thrill. *sigh* I’m really excited about a few of the thrillers coming out atm, but NONE of them seem to be genuinely scary or thrilling. GAH. I’ll keep looking. I do like the premise and cover of this one, but being bored? I’m so not interested in yawning my way through a book.
I agree with so much here. Yes YA Thriller books are to find good ones for. I am not sure if they are harder to write than in a ya book or what but they seem to fall short of my expectations. Unfortunately I went into this book with expectations and it did fall short. The mystery I enjoyed, not know what was going on I found very entertaining… the rest not so much. The romance did lack substance for sure. It think some books are find without the romance and this would have been one of them. great review.
Amanda @ Vivalabooks
aww 🙁 Too bad. I was hoping this would be a great thriller and I was really intrigued by the 2nd person narration. Maybe I’ll pick it up as a quick read. Thanks for the honest review!
Hmmmm, I feel like I might end up having to skip this one… 2.5 only?? Not something to write home about at all, and a thriller where you are not surprised? That’s not cool at all! I was very intrigued about the second person narrative and at least that was different enough…
Thank you for your very honest review, Jenni!
Well thank you for being honest. And I might still give this a try. I did enjoy her last series so I’m anxious to see what she wrote next.