Book Review: Blackbird Summer

Blackbird Summer

In the cornerstone of the rural south, Brooklyn, Mississippi, no one dares make eye contact with the strange Caibre family. Until the rewards are worth the cost. The townsfolk come, cash in hand, always at night, to pay for services only a Gifted can provide.

No matter the Gifts prevalent in her family, at twenty-one, Tallulah is expected to follow the path laid out for her: marriage, babies, and helping her mama teach the family home school program. She’s resigned to live the quiet life and stay out of trouble…until she meets Logan.

An outsider and all around rebel, Logan doesn’t care about her family’s reputation. Yet after a tragic loss wreaks havoc on the crumbling relationship between the Caibres and the townsfolk, Tallulah must decide if love and freedom are worth risking everything.

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Blackbird Summer and it may be the best book I’ve read in a long time. I said on Twitter that I wish Goodreads let me give a book 6 stars and it’s not a joke.

The Gifted members of the family are all so wonderful that I found myself wishing I was related to them. Their Gifts were awesome but it was the love they shared and the close-knit quality of their family that drew me to them, and it was the same love that tore me apart when tragedy struck them. I was so invested in their family, in fact, that when the unthinkable happened I cried.

The forbidden love story between Tully and Logan moved at a natural pace for a couple of twentysomethings, with just enough romance story trappings to make me swoon. I was rooting for them the whole time, and hoping things would work out between them in the face of the Caibre family traditions.

The Caibre family had such strong traditions and folk-like tendencies that when Tully mentioned things like dial up internet and cell phones it almost seemed foreign. She and her sister Delia were complete opposites but Delia seemed to serve as the story’s link to the “future” while Tully represented the traditional “past” even though she was only a few years older than Delia. The disparity between the two sisters made their characters all the more real and when they faced some very real-world problems I felt like they were my own sisters in need of support and love.

The true genius behind Shotwell’s writing is her ability to make you lose yourself in the story. I had a hard time putting it down, always telling myself I would read just one more chapter. I was also excited to see that there’s another Blackbird novel in the works and hope it’s about Delia, though I can’t imagine what can still happen in Brooklyn.

I highly, highly recommend Blackbird Summer to everyone. I honestly cannot wait until it comes out so I can point people in the direction of buy links, and you can bet I’m going to be reminding you when it comes out.

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