Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Teen Book Scene: Songbird by Angela Fristoe

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Little Prince Publishing (June 25, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0615470491
ISBN-13: 978-0615470498

There are defining moments in life when everything changes. For Dani Mays, it was the day she witnessed her father kill her brother. Now seventeen years-old, she still hasn't put it behind her.

After Jace's death, she bounced between her alcoholic mother and foster homes, until she found a permanent place. And a reason to stay: Reece Tyler. He's her best friend, yet Dani wants more from Reece.

Faced with possibly losing Reece, Dani struggles to define his place in her life and escape the memories of her brother's death and the influence it has over her choices. Even as she weaves the pieces of her heart back together, the past becomes more than a memory when a former foster brother reappears and Dani begins receiving threatening phone calls.

Review:

Dani has always had to deal with the death of her older brother, including the memory of her abusive father shooting him right in front of her. Jumping through foster homes was no picnic for her, and when she finally settled down in one that was perfect enough to be called home, she still had to deal with the constant reminders of the past haunting her. Being putting through hell at such a young age steeled Dani and prepared her in a sense not known to most children her age for harsh reality. Having the innocence of childhood robbed from her, she took solace in her best friend and the love she found in his protectiveness of her. Reece Tyler became Dani's rock in fifth grade and has been nothing more for the following seven years. When all their history finally intensifies their friendship and Dani can't hold back anymore, it's Reece who's put in the hot seat.
Soon after he makes his decision the unexpected reappearance of a forgotten foster brother stirs up what was left of Dani's inner peace. An ensuing love triangle begins to form, one of the most endearing you'll ever read.

At first, as I was reading through Dani's history I thought she was a bit naive when it came to making relationships and processing their progress. However, it became obvious that her tendency to categorize the people in her life into particular roles is her rational thinking trying to make sense of what state her life is in and dealing with it. Everything truly came down to how the connections and emotions built up when she was little and with her fractured family affected her future daily life. Both of her relationships with Reece and Colin really made Songbird an engaging book to read because through Dani's eyes it was like a chain reaction. The author made it seem like all the people Dani loved were connected in a way. That in turn made the book more approachable because of the reader's ability to relate with the main character.

Songbird was easily was one of those touching tearjerkers that has a strong main character to root for till the very end. Fristoe's writing style was uncomplicated and easy to follow along as the flashbacks were multiple and interspersed throughout the book. The plot itself made you predict numerous outcomes for the ending but  it was what caught me most off guard and was most satisfying of all.

Grade: B

Source: Teen Book Scene

LiLi