If Birds Fly Back
A sparkling debut about love, family, and the mysteries of the universe.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.With humor and heart, debut author Carlie Sorosiak weaves a story of finding people who leave and loving those who stay, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Emery Lord.

If Birds Fly Back Details

TitleIf Birds Fly Back
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 27th, 2017
PublisherHarperTeen
ISBN0062563963
ISBN-139780062563965
Number of pages448 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Romance

If Birds Fly Back Review

  • Carlie Sorosiak
    June 28, 2016
    I mean, impartially speaking, it's pretty good. Things in this book: movies, Miami, kissing, more kissing, astrophysics, missing people, love, questions about finding your place in the world, and a bird or two.
  • Anna Priemaza
    July 20, 2016
    Holy bananas, this book was good. I loved every bit of it. The famous, elderly cult writer who shows up at the old folks' home where Linny volunteers, mysteriously reappearing after three years' disappearance. The gorgeous screenplay Linny writes to cope with the fact that her sister disappeared out the window one night and hasn't been heard from since. Linny's notebook entries about people in history who disappeared... and why they came back. The excerpts from A Brief Compendium of Astrophysica Holy bananas, this book was good. I loved every bit of it. The famous, elderly cult writer who shows up at the old folks' home where Linny volunteers, mysteriously reappearing after three years' disappearance. The gorgeous screenplay Linny writes to cope with the fact that her sister disappeared out the window one night and hasn't been heard from since. Linny's notebook entries about people in history who disappeared... and why they came back. The excerpts from A Brief Compendium of Astrophysical Curiosities genius Sebastian quotes to cope with why his father disappeared. The adorable, dorky, anxiety-filled way Linny and Sebastian fall in love. All of it: magical.IF BIRDS FLY BACK is a love story, but it's about so much more than romantic love. It's about friendship. ("Say what you will, but bromances are real.") It's about sisters. ("Are you still running, Grace? Because I'm still chasing you, and my legs are about to give out.") It's about unexpected relationships that change you and heal you and set you free. ("This is going to sound kind of corny, but I think I needed him this summer, in a completely different way than I thought I did. He broke me out of something.")The whole story was gorgeous and full of heartache and joy and poetic and beautiful, and I can't recommend it enough.
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  • Cale Dietrich
    August 22, 2016
    Maybe people fall together while they’re falling apart?Okay, so this book was ASTONISHINGLY good. It’s addicting and super fun and stars a duo of unforgettable characters who start the summer romance to END all other summer romances.Case in point: the ball-pit scene. I don’t think I’ve ever read a scene that was as swoony and perfect as that one. And then it just keeps getting better from there, with more incredible, cinematic and unforgettable scenes. This book really captures that that magical Maybe people fall together while they’re falling apart?Okay, so this book was ASTONISHINGLY good. It’s addicting and super fun and stars a duo of unforgettable characters who start the summer romance to END all other summer romances.Case in point: the ball-pit scene. I don’t think I’ve ever read a scene that was as swoony and perfect as that one. And then it just keeps getting better from there, with more incredible, cinematic and unforgettable scenes. This book really captures that that magical, sun-soaked feeling of summer, and then combines it with two of the most loveable and interesting YA characters I’ve ever read about.Speaking of, BIRDS is dual POV, split between two very distinct and equally amazing characters: Linny and Sebastian. I adored both of them so much that they’re new all-time faves. Linny, who is trying to find out what happened to her sister, is so charming, relatable and complicated. And then there’s Sebastian, who is just everything. He’s this nerdy boy with messy hair who wears shirts that say stuff like ‘I edit Wikipedia’. He’s just the best, and I already know readers are going to fall totally in love with him.This book also tackles a lot of really big questions about loyalty and self-discovery and family in such thoughtful and unique ways. It’s got a really great insight into the way the people/the world works, and I love it even more for that.Basically: this book is just incredible. It’s extremely fun to read, has a lot of depth, and is nearly impossible to put down. I’ll just say this: Sorosiak is now an insta-buy author for me, because I’m totally in love with this book, and I need more books like it in my life.
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  • Lauren James
    June 28, 2016
    This is so raw and real and wonderful. You're all going to love this to pieces. And wait until you meet SEBASTIAN.
  • Jennifer Walker
    June 29, 2016
    "Let me tell you something about hands. They’re not one-size fits all like hotel slippers. Ours slot together with an audible chink. (At least I can hear it.)" I had the privilege of reading an early copy of this work. It's funny and sweet, and the characters are memorable, engaging and endearing. It reminded me of what it was like to be young again and in love. Linny is smartly written, easy to identify with and to like. Sebastian is adorable and his voice is also authentic, written as a boy i "Let me tell you something about hands. They’re not one-size fits all like hotel slippers. Ours slot together with an audible chink. (At least I can hear it.)" I had the privilege of reading an early copy of this work. It's funny and sweet, and the characters are memorable, engaging and endearing. It reminded me of what it was like to be young again and in love. Linny is smartly written, easy to identify with and to like. Sebastian is adorable and his voice is also authentic, written as a boy in his situation should be. Alvaro is a mystery, like a fancy box that arrives on your doorstep--you cannot wait to open it to see what's inside. The rest of the characters are equally colorful and fun to live with. You root for them all! I'd be okay if this book was 100 pages longer, because I didn't want it to end. The ball pit scene! Just wait for the ball pit scene :)
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  • Jilly Gagnon
    July 11, 2016
    This book was SO. GOOD. I adored Linny and Sebastian--they're both such unique, interesting, lovable-but-flawed characters and I want them to be my IRL friends. And Alvaro! He was as much a magnetic pole for the reader as he was for the characters; I was so impressed by how Sorosiak was able to convey the kind of ineffable draw he had for people even though he didn't have a ton of screen time. There's so much to love about this book: the quirky, unique personalities of everyone in it; the sweet This book was SO. GOOD. I adored Linny and Sebastian--they're both such unique, interesting, lovable-but-flawed characters and I want them to be my IRL friends. And Alvaro! He was as much a magnetic pole for the reader as he was for the characters; I was so impressed by how Sorosiak was able to convey the kind of ineffable draw he had for people even though he didn't have a ton of screen time. There's so much to love about this book: the quirky, unique personalities of everyone in it; the sweet summer love story that never feels predictable; the big-picture questions about identity, and following your passions, and finding your place in the world; I could honestly go on for days. Seriously, though, just get your hands on a copy. You're going to fall in love SO hard.
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  • Emily Murphy
    September 26, 2016
    If I were going to teach a class on voice, this book would be my assigned reading. IF BIRDS FLY BACK is told from the dual POVs of Linny and Sebastian, a couple of teenagers reeling from the loss of two important people who have separately disappeared from their lives. There was so much about this book to admire: in particular, I found the structure of it to be so clever, interesting, and unique. Linny's scraps of facts on famous disappearances; Sebastian's quotations from A Brief Compendium of If I were going to teach a class on voice, this book would be my assigned reading. IF BIRDS FLY BACK is told from the dual POVs of Linny and Sebastian, a couple of teenagers reeling from the loss of two important people who have separately disappeared from their lives. There was so much about this book to admire: in particular, I found the structure of it to be so clever, interesting, and unique. Linny's scraps of facts on famous disappearances; Sebastian's quotations from A Brief Compendium of Astrophysical Curiosities; and most of all, Linny's movie script, pieced together in sections interspersed throughout the novel, was something that touched (and often broke) my heart in merely a handful of lines. IF BIRDS FLY BACK is a coming of age story that will both rend your heart and make you cheer. Perfect for fans of ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES.
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  • Danielle
    June 13, 2017
    “Theoretically, everything should be explainable. But what if the explanation is that things are a gazillion times simpler than we think? That we don't need theorems to figure out our own lives? What if it’s as simple as a boy loving his father? A girl loving a sister? A boy loving a girl?” If Birds Fly Back is a beautifully emotional story that resonates love, longing, and hope. This is a story about family and expectations and longing and grief. Linny is left reeling after the unexpected disa “Theoretically, everything should be explainable. But what if the explanation is that things are a gazillion times simpler than we think? That we don't need theorems to figure out our own lives? What if it’s as simple as a boy loving his father? A girl loving a sister? A boy loving a girl?” If Birds Fly Back is a beautifully emotional story that resonates love, longing, and hope. This is a story about family and expectations and longing and grief. Linny is left reeling after the unexpected disappearance of her sister Grace, and all of Sebastian’s intellect can’t tell him anything about his birth father. Both teens are striving for answers and reasons to mysteries they don’t understand. Linny and Sebastian come together and learn more about family, acceptance, and themselves in the process. Things I Liked :Linny and Sebastian both were great MCs. Linny is a contradiction of optimism and realism. She has a heart wrenching dedication to her sister Grace, and her world implodes after her disappearance. I loved how she documented disappearance, and while maybe not the healthiest of coping tactic, it was truly unique and fascinating. Sebastian is again is a bit of a contradiction. He wants to be an astrophysicists - so he’s very logical and analytical. He also is a bit of a dreamer, who uses physics to explain the beauty and mystery around him. I also really loved Álvara Herrara. Though we don’t get much from him, he very much felt like a catalyst for our characters and the overall story. He was so earnest and a lovable grandfather-type character trying to play matchmaker for our two leads. I loved Linny’s script. It was so beautifully whimsical and meaningful. I became invested in her relationship with her sister, even though we’ve never seen them together. It also really showed Linny’s emotional state and growth through the story as she starts questioning and blaming herself, wondering what she could have done, and grow toward acceptance.Sebastian’s little theorems and thesis prompts through the story was one of my absolute favorite parts. Like, Linny’s scripts, Sebastian’s theorems showcased his thought process and emotions really well. And they were just fantastic in general. Here are some of my favorites:A Theory for Absent Fathers #2: The end of invisibility directly correlates with the beginning of complication. Theory on Kissing, Featuring Newton’s Third Law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. But you will never fully understand this until there is a girl pressing her lips against yours in the same way that you are pressing your lips against hers.The Stars-are-Like-Secrets Principle: Both can run out of fuel. Even if they remain dormant for years, all it takes is a catalyst. One day, they will explode.This story was so EMOTIONALLY GRIPPING!!!!!!! It was so powerful and moving without feeling really heavy or depressing. There was this bright air of hope and growth that infused happiness into the story. Things I Didn’t Like :I felt like Sebastian’s father reveal felt really abrupt and out of nowhere. It happened at the beginning of the story to set the events into motion, but it just came out of left field.There was this whimsy-ness that made it hard for me to connect and really sink my heart into the story until about 60%. It almost felt like I was an outside looking in, and I was missing an unnamed something. This was a surprising success for me and I really enjoyed it. I don’t know how many times I can say beautiful and emotionally resonate, but it was just so fantastic. This is perfect if you like your summer contemporaries with some depth and great character growth. Highly recommend this!!!I received a copy of the book from HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Tanaz
    June 30, 2016
    LINNY: "Ever since my sister disappeared, I’ve been living in black and white. Full-on classic movie without any of the good bits. It’s the sad channel, twenty-four seven."SEBASTIAN: "For the last seventeen years I’ve made up stories about my dad. The guy bolted before I was born—and that’s all I know about him. That he left." Linny's sister Grace disappeared during her junior year, leaving a gaping hole in Linny's life.Sebastian's mother just told him about his biological father's identity - a LINNY: "Ever since my sister disappeared, I’ve been living in black and white. Full-on classic movie without any of the good bits. It’s the sad channel, twenty-four seven."SEBASTIAN: "For the last seventeen years I’ve made up stories about my dad. The guy bolted before I was born—and that’s all I know about him. That he left." Linny's sister Grace disappeared during her junior year, leaving a gaping hole in Linny's life.Sebastian's mother just told him about his biological father's identity - a father who does not know Sebastian exists.When enigmatic writer Alvaro Herrera reappears in a nursing home after going missing for three years, Linny and Sebastian's lives collide in interesting and unexpected ways. Linny hopes that discovering the reason for Alvaro's reappearance can help her figure out if Grace will ever return. Sebastian simply wants to tell Alvaro that the latter is his father - only it's not that simple.Alternating between Linny and Sebastian's perspectives, the novel is cleverly structured as part screenplay and part narrative. Carlie Sorosiak writes with warmth and compassion, effortlessly balancing the heartbreaking storyline with wit and humour. My favourite scenes in this book were by far the ones between Linny and Sebastian, the sweetness of their romance counterbalanced with just enough awkwardness to make it realistic and perfect. I fell in love with these characters and finished this book with a full heart. Highly recommended for lovers of contemporary fiction about families and relationships.
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  • Karen Fortunati
    May 28, 2017
    What a gorgeously written, absolute gem of a debut! Carlie Sorosiak deftly weaves themes of loss, abandonment and identity into one of the most captivating romances I've read. I adored Linny and Sebastian! The story's structure works brilliantly in the alternating POV of the two main characters but what elevates it to another level is the addition of the character's coping mechanisms: Linny's screenplay and excerpts from Sebastian's favorite physics text. Drafting the screenplay helps Linny get What a gorgeously written, absolute gem of a debut! Carlie Sorosiak deftly weaves themes of loss, abandonment and identity into one of the most captivating romances I've read. I adored Linny and Sebastian! The story's structure works brilliantly in the alternating POV of the two main characters but what elevates it to another level is the addition of the character's coping mechanisms: Linny's screenplay and excerpts from Sebastian's favorite physics text. Drafting the screenplay helps Linny get an understanding of her sister's abandonment and Sebastion relies on the text for guidance in dealing with his father's abandonment. While these issues are serious and Sorosiak never underestimates the immense pain of these losses, the story just sails due to the humor and wit of Linny and Sebastian. The dialogue in this book simply pops off the pages, the characters' voices so distinct and singular, the Miami setting so realistic you could feel the heat - IF BIRDS FLY BACK picks you up and doesn't let go until the last page. This spectacular debut is a must read!
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  • Kayla
    September 26, 2016
    It's only been a few hours since I finished reading If Birds Fly Back, but I cannot stop thinking about it. This world and its characters felt so, so real—I loved seeing the world through the perspectives of Linny and Sebastian, and I absolutely adored Álvaro, the eccentric elderly man who brought them into each other's lives. The Miami beach setting was vibrant and distinctive, too; every time I picked the book up, I was easily and immediately transported to their world.While I adored If Birds It's only been a few hours since I finished reading If Birds Fly Back, but I cannot stop thinking about it. This world and its characters felt so, so real—I loved seeing the world through the perspectives of Linny and Sebastian, and I absolutely adored Álvaro, the eccentric elderly man who brought them into each other's lives. The Miami beach setting was vibrant and distinctive, too; every time I picked the book up, I was easily and immediately transported to their world.While I adored If Birds Fly Back for its incredibly fun and compelling story—which is also, at times, heartbreaking—I also adored it from a craft perspective. I loved how Linny's chapters were framed with journal entries and excerpts from her in-progress screenplay, and that both offered insight into what she was going through in the wake of her sister's disappearance. Likewise, Sebastian's physics-themed observations were a creative and excellent way to peek into his head and heart. Without going into too much detail, because spoilers, I loved how Sorosiak brought both the screenplay and the physics around full-circle. Everything was just so cohesive, and the storylines/main character arcs played brilliantly off of each other. I could basically just go on and on about how much I loved this book.All this to say, if If Birds Fly Back wasn't on your radar already, I hope it is now. I have a feeling I'll be recommending this one for years to come—for anyone who enjoys books by Stephanie Perkins or Jennifer E. Smith, books that live at that perfect sweet spot intersection of fun-but-with-tons-of-heart-and-depth. Can't wait to read what Sorosiak writes next.
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  • Ellen
    August 29, 2016
    This book is absolutely, positively amazing. I am normally a slow reader but I could NOT put this down. While the amazingly sweet, true-to-life romance will definitely draw you in, there is so much more to discover and think about in this book. Alvaro's character is so perfectly written, the relationship between Linny and Grace is so painful and raw but so beautifully written that you just want to drown in it with Linny. The friendships are genuine and all the characters are people you would act This book is absolutely, positively amazing. I am normally a slow reader but I could NOT put this down. While the amazingly sweet, true-to-life romance will definitely draw you in, there is so much more to discover and think about in this book. Alvaro's character is so perfectly written, the relationship between Linny and Grace is so painful and raw but so beautifully written that you just want to drown in it with Linny. The friendships are genuine and all the characters are people you would actually KNOW and ones I'd genuinely want to be friends with. Beyond the story itself, the writing is just superb. While masterfully developed, it is not contrived or overwrought. You feel as if you really are in the characters' heads and that they're really not that different from you. Seriously, read this book!
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  • Kate Watson
    July 3, 2016
    The idea of this book sounded so good, but the reality of it is so much more. IF BIRDS FLY BACK is lovely and heart-wrenching and hilarious and unique and beautiful, all at once. I couldn't help but fall in love with Linny and Sebastian, as well as the minor characters, like Alvaro and Linny's dad. Linny's and Sebastian's stories are compelling and their emotions feel real. Sorosiak hits every emotional beat perfectly. I cried and squealed and swooned in every place that I wanted to and in plent The idea of this book sounded so good, but the reality of it is so much more. IF BIRDS FLY BACK is lovely and heart-wrenching and hilarious and unique and beautiful, all at once. I couldn't help but fall in love with Linny and Sebastian, as well as the minor characters, like Alvaro and Linny's dad. Linny's and Sebastian's stories are compelling and their emotions feel real. Sorosiak hits every emotional beat perfectly. I cried and squealed and swooned in every place that I wanted to and in plenty of places I didn't expect to. This book is deep and delightful, and you don't want to miss it.
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  • Olivia (The Candid Cover)
    February 22, 2017
    I am so interested in the idea of two strangers who are both interested in a mystery in If Birds Fly Back. The theme of family also intrigues me, as this is one of my favourite topics in YA. This book seems intense yet sweet, and I can already tell that I will love it since it is recommended to fans of Emery Lord. I can’t wait to read If Birds Fly Back in the summer!
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  • Chayse Sundt
    June 23, 2017
    Everyone handles the loss of someone differently as well as reconnecting with someone you didn't know was still alive. Sometimes we pretend that a person is still there, that they have just run away or are vacation. But most importantly we always wonder if they would every fly back. The books follows two characters. Linny, a girl intrigued by people who disappear for days, months and/or years at a time suddenly reappear, and Sebastian, who although is fascinated by space and the amount of galaxi Everyone handles the loss of someone differently as well as reconnecting with someone you didn't know was still alive. Sometimes we pretend that a person is still there, that they have just run away or are vacation. But most importantly we always wonder if they would every fly back. The books follows two characters. Linny, a girl intrigued by people who disappear for days, months and/or years at a time suddenly reappear, and Sebastian, who although is fascinated by space and the amount of galaxies, has a hard time with telling you who is father is. In getting to know both these characters the reader goes on an adventure where sometimes looking for one thing can lead you to finding something else. I think what was really interesting about this book for me was that it wasn't one that I could or wanted to finish in a day. I picked up the book and immediately was teleported to a story of perfect simplicity. Told in duo point of views (which is one of my favorite things an author can do) we are able to really see and learn what is going on in both the minds of our two protagonist. This was the book I needed right now in my life. It dealt with not heartache but a sisters bond, friendship, unexpected love and so much more. Told in both a poetic and imaginative way Carlie Sorosiak delivers a debut book that will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. I know when I was done this was my reaction....If you have not yet gone to the store to pick up this fantastic novel, you are surely missing out. Carlie, thank you for giving me a book that allowed me to cry. for giving me a book that pulled at my emotions and allowed me to feel but mostly importantly gave me a book that I will hold dear to me forever. I give this book 5 souls!
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  • Sam Kozbial
    May 25, 2017
    Wait, I need to dry my tears. That was so beautiful!I am not even sure where to start with this book. But, the gif above pretty much sums up what I looked like when I finished reading If Birds Fly Back. You know, where you are so happy and emotional, that you are simultaneously laughing and crying. That was totally me.I immediately fell in love with the characters in this book. Both Linny and Sebastian were so cute and unique. Linny was an aspiring filmmaker, who was trying to come to terms with Wait, I need to dry my tears. That was so beautiful!I am not even sure where to start with this book. But, the gif above pretty much sums up what I looked like when I finished reading If Birds Fly Back. You know, where you are so happy and emotional, that you are simultaneously laughing and crying. That was totally me.I immediately fell in love with the characters in this book. Both Linny and Sebastian were so cute and unique. Linny was an aspiring filmmaker, who was trying to come to terms with her sister's disappearance. She felt like her world had dimmed without her sister in it, but Linny just did not see herself the way others saw her. She was vibrant, sweet, and charming. And Sebastian! He was the geek that you could not resist. His mother had finally revealed the identity of his father, and he was in Miami trying to connect with said father trying to solve that puzzle of why his father left him. Sebastian was a lover of astrophysics, who always felt like there was a piece of him that was missing, when in fact, he was a a perfect package of loving son, awesome friend, and quirky genius. These two were awesome on their own, but even better together.This story really won my heart, because both Linny and Sebastian were searching for someone, but along the way, they found themselves and each other. This type of story always pierces my heart and brings me joy, and If Birds Fly Back was no exception to this rule. This tale masterfully blends so many themes together. Sorosiak tackles family, first love, identity, and friendship. I obviously latched onto the love story with both hands, as I always do, but it was made better by all the other parts of the story.Something which enhanced my reader experience was the way Sorosiak told the story. The book alternates between Linny and Sebastian's POV. Linny's chapters contain excerpts from her Journal of the Lost and Found, as well as scenes from her screenplay, The Left-Behinds. Sebastian's chapters contain quotes from A Brief Compendium of Astrophysical Curiosities, as well as his own very well named theories. Each excerpt and quote was used thoughtfully and fit properly in the part of the story it was placed. They provided interesting background information, and also helped me focus on important ideas in that chapter. I especially loved The Left-Behinds. These snippets spoke so much as to the feelings Linny kept deep down inside, and we filled with gorgeous imagery.This book was the perfect blend of fluff and substance, hard and soft, heavy and light, happy and sad. It took me through just about every emotion, and left me with my heart bursting with joy. If Sorosiak continues to write books like this, I will read every one of them.**I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this bookBLOG|INSTAGRAM|BLOGLOVIN| FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Jago T.K.
    June 30, 2016
    This book doesn't come out for a long while, so I won't do a proper review just yet. However, it's funny, smart, and charming. I'm reticent to admit this, but I even choked up during a few parts. You're going to want to add this one to your to-read list.
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  • Anna (AnnaReads.com)
    March 1, 2017
    THAT WAS SO GOOD.
  • Stacee
    June 30, 2017
    When it came time to read this book, I wasn't quite sure why I requested it in the first place. I liked Linny and Sebastian well enough. I loved that she was into film and he was into physics. They're both dealing with some things and it's an elderly man that brings them together. Plot wise it was just meh. There were some cute moments, but nothing really stood out. Nothing grabbed me. I'm struggling to write a review to explain anything and the fact that it took me 5 days to read it should spea When it came time to read this book, I wasn't quite sure why I requested it in the first place. I liked Linny and Sebastian well enough. I loved that she was into film and he was into physics. They're both dealing with some things and it's an elderly man that brings them together. Plot wise it was just meh. There were some cute moments, but nothing really stood out. Nothing grabbed me. I'm struggling to write a review to explain anything and the fact that it took me 5 days to read it should speak volumes.Overall, it had potential to be an interesting story, but it was definitely missing something for me. Considering the reviews that up, I'm in the minority. **Huge thanks to Harper Teen for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Bee
    April 22, 2017
    This is actually a surprisingly good book! At first I thought it was going to be another mediocre YA romance, but the characters are adorable, the plot - in some ways - is pretty unique and it definitely had me hooked! It's a very cute, colourful love story that should be up there with the Jennifer Niven's and the John Green's!
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  • Amber ~ The Reading Addict
    June 26, 2017
    "I tell you un secreto pequeno, nina. Only two things matter in life. How we love and how much we love." It's rare that I thoroughly enjoy a book as much as I did If Birds Fly Back. Smart, carefully crafted, and full of heart, this summer debut had me falling in love with Sorosiak's story and characters. At times, this novel reminded me of Paper Towns and Wherever Nina Lies, two other books that revolve around the disappearance of a spirited young woman. Although there are clear similarities, "I tell you un secreto pequeno, nina. Only two things matter in life. How we love and how much we love." It's rare that I thoroughly enjoy a book as much as I did If Birds Fly Back. Smart, carefully crafted, and full of heart, this summer debut had me falling in love with Sorosiak's story and characters. At times, this novel reminded me of Paper Towns and Wherever Nina Lies, two other books that revolve around the disappearance of a spirited young woman. Although there are clear similarities, I was interested in Sorosiak's approach to the plot and her strong depiction of those left behind by people who run away. I was also intrigued by Sorosiak's decision to center much of the novel on an elderly man and his life in a nursing home, simply because it's not very common for young adult books to spend much time discussing problems of the old and the dying. Ugh, Sebastian and Linny's relationship was just so dang cute. Equal parts serious and giggle-inducing, their romance had me grinning throughout most of the novel. Pair their blossoming love with an interesting mystery or two and bam, you've got yourself a novel to pack with you on your next beach vacation. Like many young adult contemporaries, If Birds Fly Back is very much a classic coming of age novel. However, I was extremely impressed by Sorosiak's writing and ability to weave important themes about growing up into a story with so many different plot lines. We here from Linny, who has lost her sister, and Sebastian, who has never known his dad. They struggle with different issues for different reasons, and yet we witness both of them as they pick up the pieces and learn to move on in life. Overall, I was really impressed with this first novel by Sorosiak, and I'll definitely check out any other novels she may write in the future. Do yourself a favor and spend some time with Linny and Sebastian. Who knows? You might even walk away with a better understanding of your own wings.
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  • Nadia
    June 29, 2017
    "Just because it’s the end of one thing, doesn’t mean it can’t be the beginning of another." Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review!There wasn't much you couldn't love about this book. Dually narrated by Linny and Sebastian, it is a heart-warming tale of family, friendship, loss and love.Linny is an aspiring film-maker and it was really interesting to see the world through her lens. I loved how her chapters began with snippets f "Just because it’s the end of one thing, doesn’t mean it can’t be the beginning of another." Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review!There wasn't much you couldn't love about this book. Dually narrated by Linny and Sebastian, it is a heart-warming tale of family, friendship, loss and love.Linny is an aspiring film-maker and it was really interesting to see the world through her lens. I loved how her chapters began with snippets from her Journal of Lost and Found and ended with an extract from her screenplay, The Left-Behinds. It really helped to bring her character off the page.Likewise, Sebastian’s chapters begin with quotes from his favourite book, A Brief Compendium of Astrophysical Curiosities, and occasionally include interesting principles he conjures up as an aspiring astrophysicist. Mostly, I loved how these two teenagers had ambition, and falling in love didn’t change that. The romance was adorable but it did feel a bit like love-at-first-sight.Although most of the book revolves around solving the mystery of Álvaro Herrera’s disappearance, there wasn’t necessarily a BIG REVEAL. This was slightly disappointing as I had already guessed one of the plot twists even though Linny and Sebastian apparently had no idea. Still, I couldn’t really put this book down. Even after the mystery is solved, things really pick up and escalate to the most beautiful finish.Read my full review here.
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  • Danielle (Love at First Page)
    April 21, 2017
    An unfortunate case of "crash and burn". I was enjoying it, if more on a superficial level than actually feeling a strong connection to the characters, but then about 3/4 of the way through I lost all patience with them. Talk about total derailment. :/
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  • KTReads
    June 28, 2017
    A love story. A mystery. A journey through grief. But what you won't know from reading the description is that story is just brimming with voice and heart and humor. Linny and Sebastian had me by the heartstrings from the outset, and there were just so many amazing moment of insight and snort-worthy lines. I will be eagerly awaiting this author's next book.
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  • Madison
    April 13, 2017
    If Birds Fly Back is a poignant debut. This book is refreshingly heartwarming. A little sad, a lot realistic, and something a bit magical. Linny is obsessed with people who disappear and then reappear again. Her sister Grace left home one night and hasn't been seen since. Linny believes if she can study enough reappearances she might be able to bring Grace back somehow. So, when Linny spots Alvero Herera - missing, presumed dead for three years - at the nursing home where she volunteers, she kno If Birds Fly Back is a poignant debut. This book is refreshingly heartwarming. A little sad, a lot realistic, and something a bit magical. Linny is obsessed with people who disappear and then reappear again. Her sister Grace left home one night and hasn't been seen since. Linny believes if she can study enough reappearances she might be able to bring Grace back somehow. So, when Linny spots Alvero Herera - missing, presumed dead for three years - at the nursing home where she volunteers, she knows she needs to learn his secrets. Sebastian too wonders why people leave, why they can turn their backs on their families. He, too wants to know Alvero, to know his secrets. But Sebastian has a secret of his own. At first Sebastian and Linny repel each other. They get in each other's way, they think they are so different from the other. I love it when characters begin by disliking each other. It brings so much more growth to the story. As Sebastian and Linny start to share their secrets, they learn that they have more in common than they originally thought. And, through a summer of piecing together secrets, they form a strong relationship. If Birds Fly Back is told in alternating chapters, which switch between Sebastian and Linny's points of view. They both have experienced the grief of losing someone who disappears without warning. They both are compelled by mysteries and questions, disappearances, theories, and reappearances. They are both wonderful characters. And yet their voices are unique. Sebastian has a colourful imagination, enhanced by his love of science and theories and testing the unknown. Linny has an artful creativity. Added to her chapters are sections from the screenplay that she is writing about losing her sister and trying to find her again. The book has great imagery, from birds to colours, and is set against Florida's sun-baked beaches and suburbia. Linny's screenplay and Sebastian's astrophysics quotes and theories just add to the richness of their characters. There are also a great set of secondary characters, from Alvero himself, to Grace, who we only see through Linny's thoughts and screenplay, as well as Linny and Sebastian's friends. This is a story about growing up, learning who you are, who you want to be, where you came from, where you are going, and better understanding who the people around you are, even when it feels like you don't understand them at all. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library.
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  • Nazima
    February 23, 2017
    This book was SO addicting. I read half of it in one sitting yesterday, and spent most of this evening finishing up the second half. I loved the characters, who were flawed and honest in their own ways. I loved the writing style and the different chapter starters, especially all of the different mysteries provided at the beginning of Linny's chapters! They were so interesting, and I actually believed some of them were real. (Wishful thinking. I mean, who wouldn't want a chocolate flood to be a r This book was SO addicting. I read half of it in one sitting yesterday, and spent most of this evening finishing up the second half. I loved the characters, who were flawed and honest in their own ways. I loved the writing style and the different chapter starters, especially all of the different mysteries provided at the beginning of Linny's chapters! They were so interesting, and I actually believed some of them were real. (Wishful thinking. I mean, who wouldn't want a chocolate flood to be a real thing? How much chocolate would that take anyway?) Carlie Sorosiak is a beautiful writer and If Birds Fly Back is a stunning debut that I'll be recommending and rereading for a while.If you're a fan of Rainbow Rowell, Jen E. Smith, Morgan Matson, or just contemporary romance in general, I advise you check out Carlie Sorosiak's stunning and addicting debut. The characters were diverse, flawed and honest, and had me rooting for them the entire way through. The romance made my heart melt. I laughed, I cried, and despite the literal storm going on in the background (you suck, Storm Doris) Carlie's writing transported me to a scorching summer in Miami, on a wild adventure. I will definitely be rereading this as soon as the weather begins to warm up, and recommending it as the perfect summer read.
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  • Brenda Rufener
    October 19, 2016
    "It’s the mistake you always made, she says, trying to love a wild thing."I had the privilege of reading an early copy of IF BIRDS FLY BACK, and what a privilege it was! From voice to rich characterization, this book is beautifully crafted and so much fun to read. Let’s just say, I gobbled this book down and it stayed with me for days, weeks, months after finishing. This book has it all. Whip-smart voice:Carlie's expertise = voice. So organic, so natural. Effortless writing makes for effortless "It’s the mistake you always made, she says, trying to love a wild thing."I had the privilege of reading an early copy of IF BIRDS FLY BACK, and what a privilege it was! From voice to rich characterization, this book is beautifully crafted and so much fun to read. Let’s just say, I gobbled this book down and it stayed with me for days, weeks, months after finishing. This book has it all. Whip-smart voice:Carlie's expertise = voice. So organic, so natural. Effortless writing makes for effortless reading. And, the voices of all characters are rich and fluid. You'll love getting to know Marla, Cass, Álvaro, and even "MomandDad."Two fun-loving characters:Linny - vulnerable, smart, endearing.Sebastian - swoon-worthy, adorable, funny.Astrophysics:"Opportunities for breakthrough come in sets of finite moments, and therefore must be instantaneously capitalized upon to ensure world change."Astrophysics as metaphors:"A TOPOLOGICAL THEORY FOR INTERACTIONS WITH GIRLS:If a girl lets you draw on her shoes, then the outer limits of the aforementioned relationship are yet to be reached."And, love. So much love.There may even be some kissing, and the like...I can't wait for you to experience IF BIRDS FLY BACK in 2017. Thank you, Carlie, for writing such a beautiful book.
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  • Amelia
    February 5, 2017
    I received a free ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.Wow. I absolutely adored Sorosiak's debut novel. Very rarely do you find a debut that is well-written, paced, and balanced, yet If Birds Fly Back accomplishes all three and more. Told from an alternating dual-POV between Marilyn "Linny" and Sebastian, IBFB tells the heartwarming tale of one girl's struggle to deal with abandonment, a boy's search for his father, and how those absences intersect. Linny's older sister Grace disa I received a free ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.Wow. I absolutely adored Sorosiak's debut novel. Very rarely do you find a debut that is well-written, paced, and balanced, yet If Birds Fly Back accomplishes all three and more. Told from an alternating dual-POV between Marilyn "Linny" and Sebastian, IBFB tells the heartwarming tale of one girl's struggle to deal with abandonment, a boy's search for his father, and how those absences intersect. Linny's older sister Grace disappeared. Sebastian has never known who his father is. When he discovers his father's identity, he flies to Miami to meet him, and in the process, meets Linny, a volunteer at Silver Springs. The writing is gorgeous, the plot is near-perfect, and the romance is utterly swoon worthy. Realistic, heart-warming (and heart-breaking), creative, and honest, If Birds Fly Back is not a book to miss. Add it to your TBR and anxiously await Summer 2017! Can't recommend this read enough.
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  • Katie Nelson
    March 30, 2017
    A beautiful story about family, first love, and growing up.IF BIRDS FLY BACK is about two teens who are both longing for more. Linny is missing her sister who disappeared. Sebastian is missing the father he's never known. Both characters are thrown together as they work in a convalescent hospital over the summer, and a friendship develops. There were so many things I loved about this story. The characters are three dimensional and real. Both have unique voices and I fell in love with each of the A beautiful story about family, first love, and growing up.IF BIRDS FLY BACK is about two teens who are both longing for more. Linny is missing her sister who disappeared. Sebastian is missing the father he's never known. Both characters are thrown together as they work in a convalescent hospital over the summer, and a friendship develops. There were so many things I loved about this story. The characters are three dimensional and real. Both have unique voices and I fell in love with each of them at the same time that they were falling in love. The romance isn't insta-love; it develops over the course of the novel, and I loved watching it unfold. The Florida setting is so well described that I felt like I was there, stepping on the hot sand, wiping sweat from my brow. I tore through this book and didn't want it to end. I can't wait to read the next book from the immensely talented Carlie Sorosiak!
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  • Jared Reck
    January 28, 2017
    Carlie Sorosiak's writing is all heart--funny and painful and beautiful. I think what I really love, beyond the relationship between Linny and Sebastian, is the honesty and complexity of the relationships with their parents. So good. Tears were shed.
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