The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith
Publishing Date: March 10, 2015
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Young Adult Contemporary
The Premise: This story follows a young boy named Ariel, who is the sole survivor of a small village. He moves to America and joins the Burgess, his new adoptive family which includes his new brother Max. The story follows Ariel and Max as the spend the summer at a camp. Intertwined in the story is the story of a schizophrenic bomber, diaries of a failed Arctic expedition, and well the title character, Alex, the crow.
My overall thoughts and review: So when I heard that Andrew Smith was coming out with a new book, I was seriously over the moon excited. I loved Winger and I just find his books, in general, captivate me completely. They tackle real life in such a way that is raw and well, weird. This story was no different. It took me a few chapters to get used to the pacing and the shifting of narratives, but after that it really picked up. The scenes that follow the boys at camp are told from Ariel's perspective and he tells it in a way as if he is telling the story to Max - I really enjoyed it. Smith is known for getting to really difficult subject matter in a way that kind of surprises you and you don't expect it. He kind of braces you with funny and weird scenes (the boys talking about different ways to say masturbation for example) and then immediately shifts to scenes that really made me uncomfortable. I am not saying that is a bad thing because this is something that needs to happen more often in literature - he is not afraid to show the reader uncomfortable subject matter and that only made me really feel for Ariel and his experiences as the sole survivor of his village even more. Smith is incredibly brave in tackling such difficult subject matter but he does it in a way that really resonates with the reader in the long run. All in all, I really enjoyed this read and by the end of it, I was quite fond of Ariel, Max and Cobie. The stories of the crow, Alex were quite interesting to add into it as well. If you are a fan of Andrew Smith, this is definitely something you should check out because as always, he does not disappoint.
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)
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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Penguin Canada (Penguin Young Readers Group is an imprint of Penguin Group) for consideration/review. All opinions are my own.