I read this book because my boyfriend had bought it purely based on the cover, which is so, so pretty! If this book was in a competition for most beautiful cover, I’d definitely vote for it! It gets full marks for that. But this isn’t a review about the cover alone, so I will now move on to talk about the book itself.
Now, I liked this book. That’s the simple response.
The main reason I liked it was because it was so different to anything I’ve ever read before. It was weird in the best way possible and wonderfully quirky. Charlie Jane Anders is an incredibly unique writer and I really enjoyed the way she portrayed the plot, characters and themes in the novel. It was so charming and hilarious and, in a weird way, the book was like a friend I’d like to have.
I’ll tell you a little about the plot: It’s basically a story about a friendship between a witch named Patricia and a scientist named Laurence and what happens to them as their conflicting careers battle it out at the end of the world. The book is largely about their friendship, starting from when they were children and going into adulthood. However, it’s also largely about their characters as individuals, which I really liked as I thought they were fascinating. Especially Patricia. It was really enjoyable to read about what happened to them and how they developed as people, and also as witches/scientists throughout their lives. The plot is also a lot of fun and a really great read. Overall, I really enjoyed the whole concept of the novel. It was very, very clever.
However, there are a few things that dropped my rating of this novel down a whole star. Up until about two thirds of the way through the novel, I was pretty sure I’d be giving it a 4/5. But, somewhere in the last third of the novel, things got a little odd. It didn’t feel like the story was flowing as well as it had the rest of the novel. It felt like I was missing a lot of story, that it was kind of rushed. A hell of a lot happened in a short amount of time, and I think that just disconcerted me.
Along with all of that, there’s one scene that I just didn’t like and made me all squeamish. I don’t know if that might just be me and my preference to what I want to read when it comes to particular activities that adults get up to (if you know what I mean) or if it was because, even though this isn’t a YA book, it had felt like one up until this particular scene. Maybe there was a weird genre mash that just didn’t compute to me. Whatever the reason, it changed my mind about the book and from that point I was a bit disappointed by it and certainly not in love with it anymore.
However, there were still so many things I liked about this book. I think it’s definitely worth reading. It’s super interesting and the characters are depicted so well and are just great to follow around for the entirety of the story. Apart from the few misgivings I had towards the end, I enjoyed this book quite a bit and think you should pick it up if you’d enjoy a story about friendship, romance, family, magic, science and the end of the world. All The Birds In The Sky will make you feel a lot of things, that I can guarantee :).