Book Review | If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak


Genre: YA Contemporary

Publishers: Macmillan Children’s Books

Publication Date: June 29th 2017

My Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Goodreads synopsis:

Linny has been fascinated by disappearances, ever since her sister Grace ran away in the middle of the night without saying goodbye.

Sebastian can tell you how many galaxies there are, and knows how much plutonium weighs. But the one thing he can’t figure out is the identity of his birth father.

They’ve never met, but Linny and Sebastian have one thing in common: an obsession with famous novelist and filmmaker Alvaro Herrera, who went missing three years ago and has just reappeared. As they learn more about the mystery of Alvaro, Linny and Sebastian uncover the answers they’ve been searching for.

If Birds Fly Back was a lovely book! I really liked it, and was intrigued by the plot; I had no idea where this novel was going to take me, and that was possibly one of the best things about it.

I really enjoyed the writing style, but I will say that I wasn’t immediately drawn into the story-line. I felt like I really had to commit to sitting down with no distractions to get through the first few chapters. However, after those initial chapters, I found myself hooked and flying through the pages.

Our novel is told, in alternating POVs, by our two main characters Linny and Sebastian. I really liked how casually quotes (from Sebastian) intermingled with standard prose, and how sections of Linny’s script were included.


I love this quote so much! (I must mention that this is a quote from the proof copy, and may be different in the finished publication.)

I’m delighted to say I’ve read another book that has diverse characters, including our main character herself (I’m on a roll with good YA books at the moment)! The representation in this novel isn’t just with race, but also sexuality and health – I can’t stress enough how important diversity is in YA books (well, in any book, actually).

Linny is our main character, and her life’s pretty confusing at the moment – she’s trying to deal with the fact that her sister left her behind to run away, whilst juggling over-bearing parents and their expectations at the same time. I sympaphised with her throughout the book, and I found her to be a pretty darn awesome main character (I liked that she took her camera everywhere with her!).

I came to like the sections of script that were shared with us in her chapters – it was an interesting addition to the story, and added another level of mystery – because while you were trying to figure out Grace and Alvaro, you also had to figure out what was going on in the fictitious script, too.

I liked Sebastian, as well (he was a nerd, and who doesn’t like nerds that are sweethearts?!), and together, him and Linny were such a cute couple. I enjoyed the quotes in his chapters – though I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan at first. When I finally understood how they related to what was going on within the novel I appreciated them a lot more, and by the end of the book I loved them.


Alvaro was awesome. He was portrayed as this enigma of a man (which he was), and I love him. I’m not sure why I liked him so much, but I really did! Then there was Grace. Though I can’t say much about her as I don’t want to give the plot of the book away, I do want to mention that I can’t put my finger on what I think about her – was she selfish or brave? Stupid or strong? She, much like Alvaro, was an enigma herself.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Once I was a few chapters in, I was hooked. If you like mysterious, contemporary YA novels and cute romances, this one is for you!

You can pre-order this book on Amazon here!

Thanks to Macmillan for sending me an ARC of this book! This is no way affects my review or my thoughts on the book, as all of my reviews are honest.

Topic Awareness:

  • Death
  • Disappearances


– Emma

Read On!

5 thoughts on “Book Review | If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak

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