Sunday, May 5, 2013

Flightless Bird by Paulina Ulrich

Olivia (better known as Livy) Eckels is just your average teenage girl; she's entering senior year, she's quiet and studious, she has an outgoing best friend named Gracie. Her parents are getting divorced, she doesn't really like school, and she's not good at anything. Oh, and she's a major klutz. When she falls riding her bike around her neighborhood, her new neighbors, Gregory, a good-looking guy about her age, and Cecelia, his older sister, help her.

As she struggles to figure out what's going on around her, she becomes friends with Gregory. As they become better friends, Gregory's perfect yet slightly suspicious facade begins to dissolve, and she finds out that he has some secrets -and struggles- of his own.

I don't read romance, generally. Teen romance, especially paranormal romance, bores me. I don't need more of the teenage-girl-going-crazy-over-attractive-guy stuff--I see at least five examples of that every day. In the beginning, Livy was bland. I mean, she had no friends, and she met her soulmate by falling off of her bike? Add to that the fact that her boyfriend showed up every time she wanted him, at the exact moment? I don't care if the zombies are sparkly; in my book, they have to be realistic. (Spoiler alert: zombies don't exist in this book. Sorry!) Livy got better, though. She turned into (drumroll) an Actual Human Being, which is always nice to see.

However, Flightless Bird got better as it went on. It was a bit long for my taste, with some needless descriptions, but it was a very enjoyable light read. The characters developed into having actual personalities (yes, I know. Such a thing exists) and seeming real, and the plot progressed nicely. The romance was nice, and they were friends at first, which I liked. It was refreshing to see Gregory as a guy who isn't a vampire or werewolf. Towards the end, it's a page-turner. Overall, I'd give it a four out of five stars, especially as a beach read.

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