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Dr Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets

Canary

Canary - Rachele Alpine I finished this back in August, but for some reason my review never materialized. Still, it's never to late to review a great book, and CANARY is certainly wonderful and fascinating.

While comparisons to SPEAK are certainly apt, Alpine easily carves her own path in a story about family as much as its about the fragile choices her protagonist makes in order to forge an identity in a new school. Further, the focus of this novel, despite what title and hook might suggest, is not sexual assault, though it certainly plays a huge role. The story focuses more successfully on the social realities of a high school and weaves in the broken family trauma so that the ultimately climax ends up being quite satisfying. Basically, this book does not rely on easy solutions to the problems offered.

Also worth noting are the poetry inter-chapters, some of which demand to be read multiple times and none of which feel forced. These are organic expressions from the narrator, not adornments added by the author.