Review: Postcards to a Songbird

I received this ARC from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis | Goodreads

Everyone eventually leaves Wren Plumley. First it was her mother, then her best friend, and then her sister. Now living with only her cop father and her upended dreams, Wren feels stranded, like a songbird falling in a storm.

When Wilder, a sickly housebound teen, moves in next door, Wren finally finds what she’s always wanted—a person who can’t leave. But a chance meeting with Luca, the talkative, crush-worthy boy in her driver’s ed class, has Wren wondering if maybe she’s too quick to push people away. Soon, Wren finds herself caught between the safety of a friendship and a love worth fighting for.

Wren starts to dream again. But when postcards begin arriving from her sister, Wren must ultimately confront why her mother left fourteen years before and why her sister followed in her footsteps. For her new life to take flight, Wren will have to reconcile the heartbreaking beauty of lost dreams and the beautiful heartbreak of her new reality.

Review | Rating: 5 stars

Postcards For A Songbird is a beautiful coming-of-age story. The story starts a month after Wren Plumley’s older sister, Lizzie, left in the middle of the night without saying goodbye. Wren believes she is cursed and everyone is destined to leave her eventually. She is a shell of herself and so much so that her father forces her to get out of the house and take a driver’s education course. Slowly, after meeting a few new people and getting reacquainted with her sister’s best friend, Wren is able to figure out who she is and what she wants in life. She’s able to find out long held secrets and really move forward with her life.

Postcards For A Songbird is the kind of book that got me into reading contemporary YA in the first place. It is deep and dealt with issues that effect real life. The characters are three dimensional while also being quirky and funny. This was a great summer read that had its light moments along with its dark ones that did not overshadow the rest of the story too much but added depth and heart to it.

I loved how eccentric and off-beat it was with the auras and the casserole Wren’s father made for every softball game even though no one ate it. Wren was such a strong character who did not know her strength. She lived in her sister’s shadow all her life and tried to make sure her sister never left that she never found out who she was. She never found out what she wanted in life and was content to just let life flow around her. But when Lizzie leaves, Wren starts to discover who she is and what she wants out of life. She has to learn how to live for herself and while it looks like rebellion, it really isn’t. When you are the good child who always follows the rules and never makes any waves, any little thing you do can seem as if you’re rebelling against the system. That’s what happen to Wren after her sister left. She started doing more and realising that even if people may leave in the end, you still have to live your best life.

I also enjoyed Leia and Luca from the beginning. Leia did not beat around the bush and I loved how she was so open from the start. She felt a certain way about things and she made sure to let everyone know. I enjoyed her personality a lot. I liked Luca because his personality was so bright and infections. He was happy and he too did not beat around the bush. He liked Wren from the moment they met and he made sure to let Wren know that. He was persistent and talkative in a way that sad Wren wasn’t. He slowly but surely helped pull Wren out of the shadows. Baby Girl was a great character too and I loved seeing her finding herself along side Wren. Baby Girl spent her whole life being everyone but herself only to realise that she wanted to finally find out who she was and what it was she liked.

Wilder was Wren in the sense that he was cautions and never stepped out of his comfort zone. He believed in playing it safe at all costs because the risk of being hurt and left behind just wasn’t worth it. Wren had to realise even with that risk she wanted to give into love and new friendships. These three new friends helped Wren when she needed it the most and so did Wilder in his own way.

Learning the reason behind Wren’s mother leaving and then Lizzie’s leaving fourteen years later was a shock. It was unexpected to find out what was the truth of it but finding out helped the reader realise why Chief —Wren’s father—acted the way he did with his girls. Finding out the truth was what Wren needed to really move on from the past and embrace her future. It was what Lizzie needed as well to move forward.

Postcards For A Songbird was such a powerful and moving story that showed the importance of friends, family, and never letting fear rule your life. Wren had to learn that she was not the reason people were leaving and that she had to learn to live the life she wanted. This coming of age story was one of the best I’ve read this year and I enjoyed it so much!

*This review was originally posted on The Nerd Daily!

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