ARC Review: If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak


Author: Carlie Sorosiak

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Release Date: 29th June 2017

Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 352

Linny has been living life in black and white since her sister Grace ran away, and she’s scared that Grace might never come back. When Linny witnesses the return to Miami of a cult movie star long presumed dead, she is certain it’s a sign. Surely Álvaro Herrera, of all people, can tell her why people come back – and how to bring her sister home?

Sebastian has come to Miami seeking his father, a man whose name he’s only just learned. An aspiring astrophysicist, he can tell Linny how many galaxies there are, how much plutonium weighs and how likely she is to be struck by a meteorite. But none of the theories he knows are enough to answer his own questions about why his father abandoned him, and why it left him in pieces.

As Sebastian and Linny converge around the mystery of Álvaro’s disappearance – and return – their planets start to collide. Linny’s life is about to become technicolor, but finding the answers to her questions might mean losing everything that matters.

Thank you to the publisher for sending me an Advance Readers Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

If Birds Fly Back is Sorosiak’s debut novel (and I know for an ARC review my review is a bit late but I only received my copy in the post after the release date), and it follows the story of Linny and Sebastian. Linny’s sister Grace had gone missing previously and Sebastian only finds out the identity of his father at the beginning of the novel. They meet when they’re both in Miami, trying to figure out the sudden reappearance of a famous writer who had been missing for three years. This is Sebastian’s father and he hopes be to reconciled with him, whereas Linny feels if she finds out what happens to Alvero (the writer), she’ll know what happened to her sister, Grace.

I’ll have to admit this was a slow burner for me. I found the first 150 or so pages to be a challenge to read. I hadn’t really connected with Sebastian as much as I had with Linny so I found his chapters a bit boring. Obviously his were very science-based and since I’m not a big fan of science, I found the facts and figures etc hard to follow.

But their slow-burning romance kept me hooked. Sorosiak also has a beautiful writing style and I loved the character of Linny and I loved the diversity in this book with Linny’s friends. I also love how she uses a variety of media in the book – from text messages to quotes from books and also Linny is writing a screenplay about her sister’s disappearances and I really enjoyed those snippets.

Overall, I found it quite challenging to get into at first but as soon as I had jumped past that hurdle I devoured the remainder of it and really enjoyed it.