ARC Review: Blackbird, by N. D. Gomes


Author: ND Gomes

Publisher: HQ

Release Date: November 16th 2017

Genre: YA Mystery, Contemporary

Pages: 287

My name is Alex. I am fifteen years old, and I don’t know where my sister is. Or if she will ever come back.

On New Year’s Eve 5,000 blackbirds dropped dead. The same day Olivia McCarthy went missing from a small coastal village in Orkney.

Now Her younger sister Alex is on a mission to find out just what happened to Olivia. But does she really want to know all the answers?

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review!

I have to start this review off by saying how beautiful the cover is, but I’m afraid the beauty on the outside does not entirely match the beauty on the inside.

I’m not saying that Blackbird was bad. Because it wasn’t. There was just nothing…amazing about it, you know?

The setting of the book is the idyllic island of Orkney, off the north coast of Scotland, and everything is normal until Alex’s, our protagonist, sister goes missing. It is also the night, coincidentally, that all the blackbirds seemingly died. I thought being the title and the tagline, the bird would play a more seminal role in this novel but that just wasn’t the case. I remember them being mentioned maybe three times.

Up until a certain point in the book, this reminded me so much – maybe too much – of If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak. The main idea is that one sister goes missing and the other sister, who they were so close with, is left behind. The sister that disappears also tends to be the more popular of the two, so the one left behind really doesn’t know what to do with her life. I’m kind of getting tired of that trope.

Also, the reveal at the end about a certain thing that I can’t spoil was utterly predictable! I am terrible at guessing these kind of things but I ended up guessing correctly about 60% through the book.

However, some of the novel was written excellently. It was a tense, unputdownable kind of read. I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. The dialogue also was pulled off quite well too. It was witty and obvious what the chemistry was between each of the characters.

For me, I wasn’t expecting a lot from this because I’d never heard of it before, so it was just average. I’m going to give this book…