Review by Jasmine Sov, 14
The Meaning of Birds By Jaye Robin Brown
Jessica Perez’s girlfriend means everything to her. Vivi’s the one who drives Jess to pursue her love of drawing and makes her strive to be better about her anger issues. To Jess, the future suddenly holds countless opportunities with Vivi in it—until she suddenly passes away. With her girlfriend’s passing, her dreams shatter, and she starts to slip back into her old habits. Desperate for a way to escape the grief, Jess throws herself into her alternative school program, pushing away her family and friends. But when she makes a friend who shows her a new way to express herself and her emotions through art, she finds that there might be a way to heal her broken heart after all.
Throughout the book, the chapters switch back and forth from the present to flashbacks from the past: from the moment Jess lost Vivi to the moment she met her. Every switch back to reality between the past and present gives the reader the out-of-body sensation of being inside Jess’s mind, reminded again and again that Vivi is no longer. While Jess herself, along with the people who teach her about the art of blacksmithing, possesses relatable personalities and problems, other side characters such as Jess’s friends from school come across as almost flippant when discussing Jess’s grief over Vivi. Raw, poignant, and tender, The Meaning of Birds will punch your heart into oblivion and then ever so slowly piece it back together again.
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Catalog Number: YA FIC BROWN,J