Thursday, January 7, 2016

Book Review: Silhouette of a Sparrow by Molly Beth Griffin

Title: Silhouette of a Sparrow
Author: Molly Beth Griffin
Series: N/A
Length: 208 pages
Published by: Milkweed Editions
Publication Date: April 10, 2012
Diversity: LGBT+ protagonist, LGBT+ romantic interest, 2 minor characters of color
Rating: ★★★★

This was a fun, quick read about the a teenage girl named Garnet discovering who she is and pursuing what (and who) she really wants instead of the life that has been laid out for her, all in the colorful context of the 1920s. While serious topics were approached and discussed, things were generally kept light. This could have bothered me, but it was all done so smoothly that the lack of depth didn't seem out of place.

From the first few pages of this book, I was prepared to be thoroughly unimpressed. The writing seemed full of over-the-top descriptions and cliches. However, I got used to the writing style within a couple of chapters and ended up really enjoying it! There would still be a sentence every once in a while that didn't sit right with me, but these became few and far between.

While the book was too short to develop a rich cast of complex characters, each character was fleshed out as much as they needed to be, and no two characters were overly similar. Even the best characters are given a bad trait or two, while the worst occasionally redeem themselves.

The setting was vivid, but not what's expected from a book set in the Roaring 20s. Most books focus on the glitz and glamour of the big cities, with speakeasies, flappers, and alcohol. While this did have a little bit of that, it focused on the more typical entertainments of the time: dance halls and amusement parks. And finally, a book that accurately depicts that the reality of the flappers being a counterculture.

The one overarching problem I had about this book is that, with a few notable exceptions, characters seemed to change their opinions very readily to align with Garnet's views and goals. This caused a lot of possible problems to disappear before they were really addressed, and it all just seemed a bit too convenient.

This book didn't blow me away, but it was still highly enjoyable, and I'd recommend it for people who like historical fiction, female characters interested in science, and stories of identity.

Thanks to Avery at thepagesarebookining for letting me borrow this one!

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