by Lucy Christopher
Summary: While visiting her father in hospital, thirteen-year-old Isla meets Harry, the first boy to understand her and her love of the outdoors. But Harry is ill, and as his health fails, Isla is determined to help him in the only way she knows how.
Together they watch a lone swan struggling to fly on the lake outside Harry's window. Isla believes that if she can help the damaged swan, somehow she can help Harry. And in doing so, she embarks upon a breathtakingly magical journey of her own.
This isn’t the kind of book I would normally go for, really the summary didn’t do much for me at all. But Lucy Christopher made it onto my Instant Read list by writing the awesomeness that is Stolen.
But even though it’s not the type of book I’d normally read, I’m glad I read it. It wasn’t as amazing as Stolen was but it was really good… the fact that I’m saying that is surprising, because I’m in kind of a reading funk right now and it feels like I’m kind of burned out on the contemporary YA books. For this book to get my approval when I’m in this sort of reading mood = a good sign.
I honestly can’t think of what to say about the book.
I really liked the main character, Isla. She was kind of odd but kind of normal at the same time and I'm not quite sure how that worked, but it did. She loves birds and bird watching, swans in particular and she has that typical crush on her big brothers hot friend. She kind of did her own thing… there aren’t many teenagers who would get all nerdy about bird watching or run around like a dork flapping a set of wings that are strapped to their backs in front of a guy they like but she somehow pulls it off.
Her relationships with her family and Harry were really well written. With her and Harry, it was sweet… it wasn’t this great big epic romance that has the reader swooning and their heart pounding, it was just subtle and cute and more realistic because of that.
Her relationship with her brother was my favourite, the way it was obvious she looked up to him even without it being written but they would still bicker like normal siblings.
The plot was really original, especially the swan aspect (at least, I’ve never read/heard of any books like it). I loved the swans in the book… which is funny, because swans kind of freak me out in real life (they just look very sneaky, like they're secretly plotting to peck my eyes out or something... plus, this one time, a duck bit me so I kind of have an aversion to… birds that live on lakes), there’s a particular swan in the book and I found myself wishing I could meet a swan just like that, she was so awesome.
There were things in the book that were kind of difficult for me to read and had me bawling like a baby while I was reading because it brought up bad memories for me, but I won’t get into that but expect sadness if you read this book (although the book does have it's happy moments too that make up for it).
Basically, the book made me like swans and it made me wish I could fly (not that I didn’t wish that before, but even more so now) and it was just awesome really. I would’ve probably enjoyed it more if I had read it before Stolen, because my expectations wouldn’t have been so high… and probably if I had read it while I wasn’t in a reading funk (this review would probably be better written under those circumstances too).