If These Wings Could Fly
Perfect for fans of Laura Ruby, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Mindy McGinnis, Kyrie McCauley's stunning YA debut is a powerful story about the haunting specter of domestic violence and the rebellious forces of sisterhood and first love.Tens of thousands of crows invading Auburn, Pennsylvania, is a problem for everyone in town except seventeen-year-old Leighton Barnes. For Leighton, it's no stranger than her house, which inexplicably repairs itself every time her father loses his temper and breaks things.Leighton doesn't have time for the crows--it's her senior year, and acceptance to her dream college is finally within reach. But grabbing that lifeline means abandoning her sisters, a choice she's not ready to face.With her father's rage worsening and the town in chaos over the crows, Leighton allows herself a chance at happiness with Liam, her charming classmate, even though falling in love feels like a revolutionary act.Balancing school, dating, and survival under the shadow of sixty thousand feathered wings starts to feel almost comfortable, but Leighton knows that this fragile equilibrium can only last so long before it shatters.

If These Wings Could Fly Details

TitleIf These Wings Could Fly
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 3rd, 2020
PublisherHarperCollins/Tegen
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Magical Realism, Romance, Fantasy

If These Wings Could Fly Review

  • Sophie
    January 1, 1970
    4,5 starsI confess that what first drew me to the book is the gorgeous cover and once I read the blurb it had all the ingredients that I am looking for in a YA contemporary story and more. This is a first work that certainly does not feel like a first! Kyrie McCauley has written about a very sensitive topic with great insight and lots of care without ever being patronizing!The story of Leighton is a story of parental and domestic abuse.Kyrie McCauley in her author's note explained that she 4,5 starsI confess that what first drew me to the book is the gorgeous cover and once I read the blurb it had all the ingredients that I am looking for in a YA contemporary story and more. This is a first work that certainly does not feel like a first! Kyrie McCauley has written about a very sensitive topic with great insight and lots of care without ever being patronizing!The story of Leighton is a story of parental and domestic abuse.Kyrie McCauley in her author's note explained that she experienced domestic violence as a teenager and wrote If These Wings Could Fly "so that those who never experienced it might better understand the complexity of domestic violence."And that's what this story does.Because domestic violence does not generate black and white feelings for the abused.Leighton's father was not bad all the time. He had not always been an abuser.He would also always remain her father.Leighton', mother was not weak either for staying with him. She had a loving past with the man and it was hard to brush it under the rug. She would always endanger herself to protect her kids. That's not someone weak.There is also the shame, the guilt and the silence.You may know, deeply in your soul, that what is happening is wrong, abnormal but you still hide it. You don't want the shame. You don’t want the pity. Or you don't want your world to be turned upside down, even if it hurts, because it's a world you know.So you stay silent, trapped inside your house with words burning inside your body, inside your soul..Kyrie gave us a unique insight with every scene feeling so real, pulling me under. When Leighton and her sister waited for the storm to hit. Because there was a tension in the air. A quality in the silence. And they just KNEW the peace would break soon.The wait was sometimes so unbearable because that's the anticipation that hurts the most. So much that they would provoke his ire and start the storm. Because when it starts you know that it will end. And right after the end of the storm was the safest they felt.This is also a punch in the face when you realize how so many people conveniently turn a blind eye on abuse.From the old neighbor who has been raised with "a woman must endure and support her husband", to the Police chief who says nothing because he is an old friend of the abuser. So many people could have helped and did nothing. I could go on and on about the complexity of that topic but I would like to focus on every little things that gave me hope, brought warmth to the story along with a unique shine. First: the sibling love and support.Leighton would have done everything to protect her little sisters. And they would have done the same. Their bond was strong. It was the cement of their resistance. The fuel to go on and live day after day in this horrible environment. Second: the friendship. Sofia was very supportive of Leighton, always ready to welcome her or gift her something when money was tight at home. She never judged once. She never pushed. But she was always supportive. Third: the love story. I am also a romance reader and Liam's support was incredible. He may have been a star on the football field, beloved by so many at school, never did he make Leighton feel less than perfect.He never pushed her but always stood by her side. Liam was a perfect book boyfriend! And I really liked to witness their relationship progress. Fourth: the paranormal element. Using the crows in this context was symbolic, like a storm brewing and building up and up. Becoming stronger day by day. They can't be ignored. They refuse to be ignored.And the house also became the embodiment of the abuse, the anger. Some tangible evil entity, trapping the family inside and condoning the abuse.I could honestly write an essay on that book as the layers of complexity are impressive. I know I will still ponder on the many thoughts I had while reading. I think that book should be included in school programs to open the eyes, maybe free some tongues and who knows, save lives!  A HUGE thank you to Harper360UK for sending me this copy as I had a marvelous time reading it. And, of course it has no influence on my willing and always honest review.On a side note, I have always loved crows as I believed they were very smart and this story just confirmed it!  Have you read something similar? What do you think of the cover? Thanks for reading! Sophie Find me on:Wordpress: Beware Of The ReaderFacebook: Beware Of The Reader Facebook group : Beware Book Boyfriends Alert Instagram: @bewareofthereader Twitter: @BewareOffReader
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  • Celia McMahon
    January 1, 1970
    Normally, when writing reviews, I use an abundance of "amazing" and "fantastic", but this book deserves a better word. Maybe by the end of the review, I'll find it. ****Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for a chance to review this title ahead of its release date. Gut-wrenching, magnificent...familiar. Just a few words to describe Kyrie McCauley's IF THESE WINGS COULD FLY. This book follows Leighton and her two younger sisters as they live through an abusive father and their complacent Normally, when writing reviews, I use an abundance of "amazing" and "fantastic", but this book deserves a better word. Maybe by the end of the review, I'll find it. ****Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for a chance to review this title ahead of its release date. Gut-wrenching, magnificent...familiar. Just a few words to describe Kyrie McCauley's IF THESE WINGS COULD FLY. This book follows Leighton and her two younger sisters as they live through an abusive father and their complacent mother. It's Leighton's last year of high school, so she grapples with escaping her house for college, as well as the guilt of leaving her two sisters behind in a house that seems to fall apart around them. Amidst all of this, a strange influx of crows begins to appear in the town. As the boiling pot of her home begins to pour over, the population of crows soars, almost coincidentally. Woven together, we see a small town that turns a blind eye to those in need; children caught in the realization that their father could finally tip past the breaking point at any moment and destroy their lives forever. To touch upon a few things...The theme of domestic violence in the home was all too real, especially having lived through some of it myself so some scenes struck such a chord with me. It's true that, as children, to cope with such scary things we turn to fantasy and our imaginations and hoping that something outside the realm of the real world would come and save us, and sometimes realizing that maybe nobody was coming at all. When coming to the love interest part of the story, I was afraid he'd come in as the savior, as most books tend to make the male character's. But Liam was not a savior. He was no even the rock that held Leighton up. He was just there for her, which is a good place to be. MAGICAL REALISM. That is all. Oh, did I mention I read this book in one sitting?This is one of those books that every teen should read that may be in a situation of crisis. It's so real and so gorgeously written. This book is a lullaby for hope. I still didn't find that one word to describe IF THESE WINGS COULD FLY, but I don't know, maybe the five-star rating and my glowing review will speak for itself.
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  • Jerico
    January 1, 1970
    Extending my deepest gratitude to Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. However, this does not affect any opinions or feedback stated concerning the book whatsoever. TW: Obscenity, domestic violence and abuse, blood, racial slurs3.75 rounded off to 4 hefty and cumbersome stars.FRTC upon its official release.Honestly, I had a hard time deciding what to rate this book. At some point, I enjoyed most of what happened, some parts of it got me Extending my deepest gratitude to Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. However, this does not affect any opinions or feedback stated concerning the book whatsoever. TW: Obscenity, domestic violence and abuse, blood, racial slurs3.75 rounded off to 4 hefty and cumbersome stars.FRTC upon its official release.Honestly, I had a hard time deciding what to rate this book. At some point, I enjoyed most of what happened, some parts of it got me and my emotions all over the place, made me understand hopelessness and gave new meaning to empathy, friendship, love and courage. But tbh, I did not get invested in the story right away. Instead, it had slowly eaten me up, swallowed me whole and plunged me into some place interesting as I moved along and apprehended the main character's family situation. There were also too many relatable lines and quotes present in this book. I actually found the whole plot rather sanguine and vivifying, character arcs to be brilliantly crafted and well-thought of and the resolution unusually satisfying. The only thing that did not do well for me and is holding me back from giving it the perfect 5 stars that most readers would say it so truly deserves is the dreadful fact that it dragged on longer than it supposed to be. (Also, the number of chapters did not help) Otherwise, this would make for pretty much an exceptional debut novel coming from debut author McCauley herself. And I daresay this author and her future titles are definitely ones to watch and to die for.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Tw: domestic violence and abuseIt's Leighton's senior year and she is focused on school so she can get into a college far away, eager to escape her house. At the same time, she struggles with the guilt of leaving her two younger siblings behind. I haven't lived through any of what Leighton has gone through, so I'm really not to person to judge how realistic it really is, but from what else I've read, this is probably one of the most realistic feeling domestic violence and abuse books I've read. Tw: domestic violence and abuseIt's Leighton's senior year and she is focused on school so she can get into a college far away, eager to escape her house. At the same time, she struggles with the guilt of leaving her two younger siblings behind. I haven't lived through any of what Leighton has gone through, so I'm really not to person to judge how realistic it really is, but from what else I've read, this is probably one of the most realistic feeling domestic violence and abuse books I've read. I thought that the complicated feelings were well portrayed as they all try to deal with it and figure out what to do. Though, my favorite part of this book, that I have to applaud McCauley on, was how Leighton's love interest with Liam played out. She's going through something that I feel like so many love interest would jump at the chance to play savior and fix her problems, but Liam never did that. He was there for her and supported her when she needed it. It was so sweet. I really loved that he didn't turn into a savior. There was so much support throughout this book. Leighton's friend Sofia also was there for her. I really loved the relationship Leighton had with her sisters. They had this bond together and all fought to protect each other from what was going on in the household and tried to make it the best place it could be. If These Wings Could Fly was a heavy book, but it also had so many small moments that made it a little sweet at the same time. For a debut, this is incredibly strong and I'm eager to see what else this author writes.
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  • Sam - On Sam's Bookshelf
    January 1, 1970
    This book is powerful. I devoured this story. It had me feeling so many things all at once. There are so many things to love: the slight hint of magic, the beautiful writing, the empowering relationships. This debut is painfully honest about domestic violence and the ways people (don't) respond to it. There were so many strong, beautiful female characters is this book. I am struggling to find a word for how much I loved this book. A big thank you to HCC Frenzy for blessing me with an advanced This book is powerful. I devoured this story. It had me feeling so many things all at once. There are so many things to love: the slight hint of magic, the beautiful writing, the empowering relationships. This debut is painfully honest about domestic violence and the ways people (don't) respond to it. There were so many strong, beautiful female characters is this book. I am struggling to find a word for how much I loved this book. A big thank you to HCC Frenzy for blessing me with an advanced copy of this book.
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  • Erica
    January 1, 1970
    I am so grateful I had the chance to read an advance copy of IF THESE WINGS COULD FLY.I devoured this wise, beautiful, and important book in about two days. There's so much to love here, from the gorgeous writing to the subtle magic to the sweet and empowering romance. The novel is painfully honest about the realities of domestic violence and the ways a community responds to it--or rather how they don't respond. Yet there's so much hope and courage and love here too. And crows. Lots and lots of I am so grateful I had the chance to read an advance copy of IF THESE WINGS COULD FLY.I devoured this wise, beautiful, and important book in about two days. There's so much to love here, from the gorgeous writing to the subtle magic to the sweet and empowering romance. The novel is painfully honest about the realities of domestic violence and the ways a community responds to it--or rather how they don't respond. Yet there's so much hope and courage and love here too. And crows. Lots and lots of crows.
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  • Mary Nguyen (fox & wit)
    January 1, 1970
    The ending was a wee bit abrupt but overall a brilliant book.
  • Liz Lawson
    January 1, 1970
    I would give this book 100 stars if Goodreads would let me. This book is beautiful, heartbreaking, necessary, and literally (and I do mean literally) gave me chills at certain points.McCauley is a gorgeous writer, and she seamlessly weaves together a story about a family being eaten from the inside out by an angry and destructive father. The pacing is pitch perfect. Okay now I'm crying writing this review thinking about the story. {I also cried while finishing it like 2 hours ago. I'm just a I would give this book 100 stars if Goodreads would let me. This book is beautiful, heartbreaking, necessary, and literally (and I do mean literally) gave me chills at certain points.McCauley is a gorgeous writer, and she seamlessly weaves together a story about a family being eaten from the inside out by an angry and destructive father. The pacing is pitch perfect. Okay now I'm crying writing this review thinking about the story. {I also cried while finishing it like 2 hours ago. I'm just a mess. I love this book.}Please pick up this book. It deserves all the eyes possible on it. Leighton's story needs to be told and we need to listen to it and digest it and take it into our hearts and hold it tight. It is important. It is sad.It is beautiful.Read this book.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    I don't think this book is particular bad, I'm just not interested in it.The magical realism part of it was my favourite - I really liked the crow aspect and the counting of that between parts of the book. It discusses a every important topic which I felt was done well.The ending was a bit to abrupt for me, especially because it was the end but something else happened right before the end and I was like what??If you like contemporaries, I think you'll love it. It's just not for me.
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  • L
    January 1, 1970
    This book... Not only is the writing beautiful and the story fast-paced and intriguing - this book is IMPORTANT. McCauley handles the subject of domestic violence with care and does something that I've never really seen done with any other book involving the subject. She brings attention to the fact that apathy and complicity are sometimes one and the same in matters like this, but no one sees it that way because they often don't want to see anything at all. This is an absolutely stunning debut, This book... Not only is the writing beautiful and the story fast-paced and intriguing - this book is IMPORTANT. McCauley handles the subject of domestic violence with care and does something that I've never really seen done with any other book involving the subject. She brings attention to the fact that apathy and complicity are sometimes one and the same in matters like this, but no one sees it that way because they often don't want to see anything at all. This is an absolutely stunning debut, and I look forward to reading future works by the author.
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  • Kristin Lambert
    January 1, 1970
    A tense, emotional, beautiful read. The perfect combination of lyrical prose and suspenseful, page-turning plot. I felt like I was there with main character Leighton as she struggled to keep herself, her sisters and her mother safe, while balancing her guilt for attempting to find love and happiness and escape. The magical realism/surreal elements of the story took it all to another level of artistry, and I cant wait to see what else this author writes in future. A tense, emotional, beautiful read. The perfect combination of lyrical prose and suspenseful, page-turning plot. I felt like I was there with main character Leighton as she struggled to keep herself, her sisters and her mother safe, while balancing her guilt for attempting to find love and happiness and escape. The magical realism/surreal elements of the story took it all to another level of artistry, and I can’t wait to see what else this author writes in future.
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    Firstly, I want to say thank you to harper360 for sending me a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am so grateful for this opportunity. I am going to make a bold statement. This may be the most important book you will read this year. Honestly, trust me on this one. I would like to add that there are trigger warnings for domestic violence, domestic violence that can be quite graphic at times. But if you can get past that in a way that will not affect you, then please Firstly, I want to say thank you to harper360 for sending me a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am so grateful for this opportunity. I am going to make a bold statement. This may be the most important book you will read this year. Honestly, trust me on this one. I would like to add that there are trigger warnings for domestic violence, domestic violence that can be quite graphic at times. But if you can get past that in a way that will not affect you, then please please please pick up this book!I was automatically drawn to this book based on the synopsis and the main premise. I work in the domestic violence arena and I think there are very little books that depict this subject. Those that do, I very rarely find do the hardship justice and you can tell that the author hasn't done their research. Kyrie has really got a grip on this and I feel that it really does do victims of this awful subject justice. I make that statement loosely, as I will not pretend that I have been through this before personally. I think my favourite thing about If These Wings Could Fly is the writing style. Kyrie's writing style appears to flow effortlessly in a way that you will begin this book and quickly release you are over half way through. Picking up this book will eat away at your time in a rate that you do not actually realise. If These Wings Could Fly has the ability to draw you in, as a reader you are engaged with the plot from the start and from that moment forward you will struggle to put this down. The characters .. wow the characters. I really felt like I had a connection with them. Leighton is so so brave, I really wanted to dive into the book and give her a cuddle, tell her that in the end it will all be okay. I felt so sorry for her sisters, I just felt sorry for the family. I could feel the pain that they were feeling. I think Liam is my favourite, what an incredible character. I fell in love with him from the moment I was introduced to him and my love just grew from that moment onwards. What a kind hearted young man, so thoughtful and fiercely protective. If I am lucky enough to have a child in the future I want them to be just like Liam. Ahh, Im tearing up just thinking about him now. I would like to add at this point that whilst writing this review I have done a little bit of research. I should have known this before, but I did not. If These Wings Could Fly is actually a debut novel for Kyrie McCauley. I literally would never have guessed this by reading this book. Wow. What an amazing debut. I think the only criticism I have about this book, and I use the word criticism lightly is the ending felt rushed. I would have liked another 50 pages rounding things off a little bit more. I felt closure through this ending but a little bit extra would have made it truly perfect. Not that it wasn't perfect anyway. I will be shouting from the rooftops about this book and I cannot wait for other people to read it. It is so worthwhile investing your time and money into!
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  • hayaat ♥
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars.would 100% have been a new favourite of mine, if it wasn't for the ending. it's not open-ended, just feels kinda unfinished. definitely could have benefitted from a mini epilogue or smth. otherwise, a really, REALLY good book. i felt every emotion Leighton felt -- the anxiety, powerlessness, and fear. especially the fear. the writing is exquisite -- miss Kyrie does not waste a single word, every single one hits exactly where it's supposed to. it's not so flowery to the point it feels 4.5 stars.would 100% have been a new favourite of mine, if it wasn't for the ending. it's not open-ended, just feels kinda unfinished. definitely could have benefitted from a mini epilogue or smth. otherwise, a really, REALLY good book. i felt every emotion Leighton felt -- the anxiety, powerlessness, and fear. especially the fear. the writing is exquisite -- miss Kyrie does not waste a single word, every single one hits exactly where it's supposed to. it's not so flowery to the point it feels like a burden to read, and it still maintains that airy and otherworldly element that is associated with magical realism.i could write an entire MLA formatted, .12 Time New Roman, 4000 word essay just screaming about how good the damn writing is and i still wouldn't do it justice. so instead, here's a passage i really liked: "IN SCHOOL WE ARE TAUGHT TO begin our papers with a thesis statement.I like the logic of it. The structure. I write one sentence, and every word thereafter must support that claim. I never could get lost in poetry, the way it can’t seem to follow rules. Mom likes that about it. The sentence fragments and the way it shrugs off proper grammar like an ill-fitting coat. The way words are felt, until that’s all that’s left. No reason. No logic. Not even self-preservation. Mom’s thesis statement became, “My life has meaning because he is in it.” And now every move she makes supports that claim. come on. in short: this shit goes HARD, y'all. read it, please.
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  • Jay
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no ways changes my opinion and all the words below are my own. My review is based on an advanced copy of the book and may not fully reflect the finished copy.This review is going to be a bit shorter and more scattered than usual because normally when I review a book I write down my thoughts/feelings every time I put it down. However, with this book, I read it in three chunks so there were very few notes other than I LOVE IT".One big I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no ways changes my opinion and all the words below are my own. My review is based on an advanced copy of the book and may not fully reflect the finished copy.This review is going to be a bit shorter and more scattered than usual because normally when I review a book I write down my thoughts/feelings every time I put it down. However, with this book, I read it in three chunks so there were very few notes other than “I LOVE IT".One big note I did take away from this book is that this is EXACTLY the kind of strong female character I want to read about more often. I think when young adult readers specifically are looking for the "strong female character" trope they lean towards pretty much everything other than contemporary because we want to see a powerful lady snap an elf's neck with a single glance or stand up to a dystopian dictator. This book is put under contemporary and magic realism but the main character herself is not really magical and it could not at all be considered a fantasy. Our main character, Leighton, is the most incredible example of a real-life strong female character. I'm going to try not to spoil things but she has the kind of story that needs to be told, and she took back power in her life in a way that was almost brutally realistic. I just love how she was written and how real she was without being bland or hard to read about. All of the characters were beautifully real, really. So many books that are tackling a strong issue become tunnel-visioned and none of the characters outside that problem get life in them or have any other problems, which is understandable because too many topics make writing hard, but it is also not how real life works. If These Wings Could Fly annihilated that! Domestic violence, abusers being victims, racial minorities, authority figures turning a blind eye, so many good things that all happen in real life at the same time got addressed. The second thing is actually a big part of why I was interested in the book in the first place. Crows are my favourite animal. I've loved them pretty much my whole life (tiny me had a crow as my imaginary friend). So I was really interested to see just how they played into the book without it being a fantasy, and I was very pleased. Another topic that's a bit hard to describe without spoilers but I loved how clear it was that the author actually dug into in for about crows and didn't just look at some out her window and call it good. Finally, I just want to say that this is my first five-star read of 2020, and already on my top books of the year list event though it's only February so if you enjoy contemporary books please go get a copy when it comes out!
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  • Melissa Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    This book hurts. It is absolutely amazing, but it hurts. I read it in one sitting, I couldn't stop. I have never personally suffered domestic abuse, but have relatives and friends who have. I've witnessed it as an outsider and know how helpless Leighton's friends feel. Waking up to multiple missed calls because your phone was on silent. Knowing that you can talk until you're blue in the face but nothing will change their mind or perspectives until they are willing to admit they need help. This book hurts. It is absolutely amazing, but it hurts. I read it in one sitting, I couldn't stop. I have never personally suffered domestic abuse, but have relatives and friends who have. I've witnessed it as an outsider and know how helpless Leighton's friends feel. Waking up to multiple missed calls because your phone was on silent. Knowing that you can talk until you're blue in the face but nothing will change their mind or perspectives until they are willing to admit they need help. Knowing all you can do is be there and available This is such an important perspective on domestic violence. You read along and feel what Leighton feels. Her agony, guilt, anger, deep sadness and love. There is so much love, but yes, this story hurts. There are undertones of magical realism in this story. With the crows, Joe, the sister's grey feathered protector, and the house itself. After every violent outburts by their father, the house repairs itself. Erasing any signs of damage. The house itself is a frightening character. It seems to reflect their father's rage. The crows that overrun the town are a harbinger, but not of death. Of change.Thank yoi so much HCC Frency for this advanced copy. I am lucky to have recieved an early copy.
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  • Yahaira Perkins
    January 1, 1970
    The writing and thoughtfulness that went into writing this book is evident to the reader. The most beautiful thing about the writing is the use of figurative language to represent a realistic, multilayered view of what domestic violence feels and looks like. One of the many reasons I could not put this book down.
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  • Dante
    January 1, 1970
    I felt this book in my soul. Kyrie McCauley is officially an automatic preorder for me. The voice was sensational, and the topic was so well represented that I have a feeling I'll be buying this book several times over and giving it to friends and family. SO. GOOD.
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  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free arc in exchange for my honest review. I thought that this was an excellent novel. It's probably one of the best contemporaries I've read, but I don't like contemporaries. I liked all of the characters, and I thought their interactions were interesting and seemed realistic. This book seemed, to me, to do a good job of addressing why someone would stay in an abusive situation (I've never been so it was good to get insight into it). Surprisingly, I didn't mind the romance. I received a free arc in exchange for my honest review. I thought that this was an excellent novel. It's probably one of the best contemporaries I've read, but I don't like contemporaries. I liked all of the characters, and I thought their interactions were interesting and seemed realistic. This book seemed, to me, to do a good job of addressing why someone would stay in an abusive situation (I've never been so it was good to get insight into it). Surprisingly, I didn't mind the romance. Generally, I don't like romance in my books, but this one seemed more like the relationship was there to give the MC someone to safe to talk to, so I liked how they had a healthy relationship and how it wasn't the focus of the book.The author's note at the beginning helped improve my reading of the book, so make sure you read it before reading the novel (provided they keep it in). Overall, I thought that this was a pretty solid book addressing a serious issue. I think that the author did a good job approaching it, and it was easy to tell that the author felt strongly about what she was writing.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    *thanks to Edelweiss for the opportunity to read this ARC*"When the legacy is anger, the inheritance is fear."Everyone needs to go read this book. It is incredibly insightful at depicting the complexities of domestic violence. I want to write a longer review, but I feel like I won't do the book justice. But I will say a few things:1.) The elements of magical realism in this book make the story even more intricate, heartbreaking, and beautiful.2.) "Stories matter. Representation matters."3.) *thanks to Edelweiss for the opportunity to read this ARC*"When the legacy is anger, the inheritance is fear."Everyone needs to go read this book. It is incredibly insightful at depicting the complexities of domestic violence. I want to write a longer review, but I feel like I won't do the book justice. But I will say a few things:1.) The elements of magical realism in this book make the story even more intricate, heartbreaking, and beautiful.2.) "Stories matter. Representation matters."3.) Women supporting other women. "I smell the roses and think of women let down by other women. Women who are told their obedience is more important than their voice, not by their husbands, but by their mothers, their friends. Women willing to watch each other get hurt for the sake of image and tradition."4.) This book showcases how domestic violence can sink its claws into every facet of a person's being and what it is like to live with and love an abuser. "Evil is easy to hate, but broken...broken can love and be loved."
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  • Andi
    January 1, 1970
    I know a ton of highly anticipated books are coming out on March 3rd, but add this to your list! This is a YA contemporary with hints of fabulism. The themes of sisterhood bonds, and love for language were beautiful. My chest physically ached for these characters while reading. If These Wings Could Fly heavily discusses domestic violence in a very real and intense way so major trigger warning for that. The authors poetic language and the fabulism elements involving crows added the cherry on top I know a ton of highly anticipated books are coming out on March 3rd, but add this to your list! This is a YA contemporary with hints of fabulism. The themes of sisterhood bonds, and love for language were beautiful. My chest physically ached for these characters while reading. If These Wings Could Fly heavily discusses domestic violence in a very real and intense way so major trigger warning for that. The authors poetic language and the fabulism elements involving crows added the cherry on top of this well crafted, gut-wrenching novel. I will be thinking about this book for a long, long time.
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  • Barb
    January 1, 1970
    The author did a very good job with a very delicate subject. The story was from Leighton's POV. She becomes the caretaker of her 2 younger sisters and her mother. They live in a delicate balance with her father. Can an object carry the feelings of what caneZ before, be it fear or happiness, even from generations before? Leighton maybe a teenager getting ready to graduate and start her real life,if only the house and her father let her.As I said at the beginning the author did a good job with a The author did a very good job with a very delicate subject. The story was from Leighton's POV. She becomes the caretaker of her 2 younger sisters and her mother. They live in a delicate balance with her father. Can an object carry the feelings of what caneZ before, be it fear or happiness, even from generations before? Leighton maybe a teenager getting ready to graduate and start her real life,if only the house and her father let her.As I said at the beginning the author did a good job with a very delicate subject. The author was gentle and doesn't actually use the words but the message comes across clear. I think this book is perfect for the teenager that might be in crisis.
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  • Kelly Olson
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! What an amazing book! This book made me feel. Feel what? Sorrow, happiness, love, anger all of that and more. This is an exceptional story exploring what happens when a mom/ wife is to afraid to leave her husband until it is almost too late. It explores the feelings of children involved in domestic violence. It explores what happens when a town and neighbors ignore what is right in front of them. There is a bit of magic involved in a way you wouldn't think. All I can say is this is an Wow! What an amazing book! This book made me feel. Feel what? Sorrow, happiness, love, anger all of that and more. This is an exceptional story exploring what happens when a mom/ wife is to afraid to leave her husband until it is almost too late. It explores the feelings of children involved in domestic violence. It explores what happens when a town and neighbors ignore what is right in front of them. There is a bit of magic involved in a way you wouldn't think. All I can say is this is an exceptional read!
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  • Lucsbooks
    January 1, 1970
    Its so important not only that books like this exist, but that this author started it by telling her readers that she knows what it feels like to live in an abusive household because often times it's hard to recognize the way you are being raised is not right when you have never known anything else. Books like this show us that there is another way to live and more than that that there is hope and there is help.This book is not only about Leighton and the abusive household in which she lives. It’s so important not only that books like this exist, but that this author started it by telling her readers that she knows what it feels like to live in an abusive household because often times it's hard to recognize the way you are being raised is not right when you have never known anything else. Books like this show us that there is another way to live and more than that that there is hope and there is help.This book is not only about Leighton and the abusive household in which she lives. That is a consequence. Of the place, they live in and certainly of the way in which children are raised. How boys and girls are treated differently and they grow up being harmed by it, but the girls are often the ones that feel it the most. I also liked that the author made sure to point out that violence is not an isolated thing: oftentimes abusers were victims themselves and they count on the complicity of others, on people thinking that it's not their business or place to intervene to continue with their behavior. It’s up to everyone to speak up!On the opposite side of that culture of violence and silence, we have an younger generation that is trying to be better: a sense of sisterhood among the girls that try to protect each other (while older women try to protect their families and their husbands place in society at their own cost) and boys that are more and more being raised to be good instead of pressurized into being “strong”. Leighton and Liam’s relatinship is in every way an opposite of Leighton’s parents relationship. They spend most of their time talking, both about their interests but also about what the other is comfortable with: both of them, not just the Leighton. Liam is treated as a human being, not the perfect boy that knows everything and has no flaws. He is not a protector, he is a friend and a partner, that understands that it’s not his place to tell her what to do, or fly over her head and do what he thinks is right.This idea that tradition is used as an excuse to be hurtful is seen not only when protecting men but to excuse racism. Liam is one of the few POC students in his school and although he is popular and beloved that comes at a tremendous cost that he is fully aware of.I really, really, loved the writing in this book and particularly how the author had teenagers talking and thinking like teenagers do. I also really enjoyed the magical realism part up until the ending. The crows who are amazing and really smart creatures also deserve some love and it was fun to have a book in which they were not an omen of evil.Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Katherine Tegen Books for this DRC.
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    (7.8/10) - ⭐⭐⭐⭐If These Wings Could Fly follows Leighton, a senior in high school who is trying to figure out how to leave for college when this means leaving her two younger sisters in a house where their father's rage terrorizes them all.Leighton is one hell of a character, and struck the perfect balance between being a teen while also having to grow up much faster than anyone else her age. From my understanding, this book is (partially) based on the author's own experience, and it shows in (7.8/10) - ⭐⭐⭐⭐If These Wings Could Fly follows Leighton, a senior in high school who is trying to figure out how to leave for college when this means leaving her two younger sisters in a house where their father's rage terrorizes them all.Leighton is one hell of a character, and struck the perfect balance between being a teen while also having to grow up much faster than anyone else her age. From my understanding, this book is (partially) based on the author's own experience, and it shows in the details that make Leighton who she is. She was brilliantly done, in a way that really breaks your heart at times.Through her eyes, we also get a beautiful portrayal of what it's like to be this family in a town where everyone prefers to look the other way and pretend they don't see what is happening. This aspect, too, was very strong.What let me down a little was the way this story teetered on the edge between contemporary and surrealism. While the acknowledgements address this choice and it does make sense, I still find myself wishing it was one or the other. Done the way it was, the surrealistic aspect mostly functioned as a convenient way out of situations, and not always in ways that made sense on the page.If the subject is something you can handle reading about, it's definitely a story I would recommend, and one I hope will find its way into the hands of a teen that needs it!
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  • Stephanie Brown
    January 1, 1970
    Tw: Family violence This is a must read for everyone. Powerful take on family violence and the community that turns a blind eye. Honestly this isnt an easy read but the author provides an outlet thru the magical realism with the crows and thru Leightons relationship with her friends.Leighton and her two sister live in fear that their father will kill all of them when he becomes enraged. Whenever he gets angry the run to Leightons room. They all climb into a armoire that belonged to her Tw: Family violence This is a must read for everyone. Powerful take on family violence and the community that turns a blind eye. Honestly this isn’t an easy read but the author provides an outlet thru the magical realism with the crows and thru Leighton’s relationship with her friends.Leighton and her two sister live in fear that their father will kill all of them when he becomes enraged. Whenever he gets angry the run to Leighton’s room. They all climb into a armoire that belonged to her grandparents and she lights an old light and she tells them stories and plays games with them until they fall asleep. She is a senior in high school and she wants to leave to college but she struggles with the decision because she knows her younger sisters need her. Around that same time the town is infested with a large amount of crows that continue to increases.She is a perfect student but she avoids any type of social relationships because she doesn’t have time and because she has her walls up. But that changes when her new locker buddy Liam starts to talk to her and takes an interest in her. Leighton likes him but knows she cannot date anyone. She must take care of her sisters, maintain her grades and keep herself guarded.
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  • XRXNX
    January 1, 1970
    This book tells a story about a high school senior, Leighton Barnes that struggles with applying for her dream college, falling in love with her charming classmate and escpecially protecting her mother and sisters from her ill-tempered father, whose go-to solution is to break things (and spirits) at home.An emotional and roller-coaster read, it addresses domestic violence and the topics surrounding it, like internalized sexism such as 'a woman must do whatever it takes to support her husband no This book tells a story about a high school senior, Leighton Barnes that struggles with applying for her dream college, falling in love with her charming classmate and escpecially protecting her mother and sisters from her ill-tempered father, whose go-to solution is to break things (and spirits) at home.An emotional and roller-coaster read, it addresses domestic violence and the topics surrounding it, like internalized sexism such as 'a woman must do whatever it takes to support her husband no matter what' and the silence of outsiders when encountering potential DV victims. There's also a touch of magical realism which confused me quite a bit but doesn't affect my opinion on this book.Besides that, there's so many things that makes this book such a wholesome read. I personally love the relationship between Leighton and her sisters, how she's protective of them and how they're are protective of her. I also LOVE how supportive Leighton's best friend, Sofia, is to her and how their bond is strong despite their differences. Not to forget, the charming, understanding and supportive boyfriend LIAM, who's always by her side, who's a football star but actually loves art, who considers Leighton as a superhero for everything she endured.It's a complex story with lots of heartwarming relationships and some frustrating characters. 10/10 recommended!
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  • Aubrey
    January 1, 1970
    If These Wings Could Fly by Kyrie McCauley is a haunting and tense book about abuse and speaking out and up for yourself. Some of the things that I really enjoyed about this book are that it covers the topics about standing up for yourself. Leighton, the main character wants to take care of her family, while chasing after her dreams. This girl takes care of her sisters, as well as try to keep her mom safe from her abusive dad. Leighton also encourages her mom to stay safe, and to get rid of If These Wings Could Fly by Kyrie McCauley is a haunting and tense book about abuse and speaking out and up for yourself. Some of the things that I really enjoyed about this book are that it covers the topics about standing up for yourself. Leighton, the main character wants to take care of her family, while chasing after her dreams. This girl takes care of her sisters, as well as try to keep her mom safe from her abusive dad. Leighton also encourages her mom to stay safe, and to get rid of Leighton's dad. This book also teaches the reader that a bad influence, or anger that is taken out on people, can spread to others, and not to say that dads are bad, but it also shows that anger can be bad for others, physically and emotionally. Overall, this is a heavier book, but it is good for people who enjoy realistic fiction as a good read.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    The main story was interesting, but the social justice warrior preaching was very annoying and took me out of the story in several places. There were whole chapters dedicated solely to advocating leftest views. Summed up, everyones a victim, women arent treated the same as men, men are evil, republicans are racist and mean, and if your black your just screwed! My favorite was the old republican lady next door who ignores the kids cries for help and tells them she wont help them because its a The main story was interesting, but the social justice warrior preaching was very annoying and took me out of the story in several places. There were whole chapters dedicated solely to advocating leftest views. Summed up, everyone’s a victim, women aren’t treated the same as men, men are evil, republicans are racist and mean, and if your black your just screwed! My favorite was the old republican lady next door who ignores the kids cries for help and tells them she won’t help them because it’s a woman’s place to stay with her man no matter what “cue eye roll.” Republicans don’t think like this, but it’s just one of many examples of the authors view of them lol. It was just very generic Democrat thinking and not based in reality. It got annoying really fast. The author also manages to paint the mc’s boyfriend who is black as a victim even though he was anything but that in the story. He was a popular kid, best on his football team, getting accepted to major universities, and he came from a loving home with both his parents, but through the whole book all we hear about is what a victim he is? Honestly, it just made it seem like the author was trying too hard to convince me of her leftest views while also trying too hard to convince me that Republicans are bad, but she has a very generic idea of what Republicans are really like so it came off as really ignorant of reality. This book was purely politically motivated. Just be aware of it going in.
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  • Nia Dragin
    January 1, 1970
    Originally reviewed on Cyn's WorkshopAmazing. This novel brought to life the tough subject of domestic violence and the pain that comes from turning a blind eye to it. Rationalizing it and turning a blind eye makes everyone just as culpable as the one inflicting the pain and fear, and that is what McCauley is highlighting with this novel.Strangely, it was also so beautiful to read. Leighton lives in fear as she tells this story progresses; she finds the strength within herself to stand up to her Originally reviewed on Cyn's WorkshopAmazing. This novel brought to life the tough subject of domestic violence and the pain that comes from turning a blind eye to it. Rationalizing it and turning a blind eye makes everyone just as culpable as the one inflicting the pain and fear, and that is what McCauley is highlighting with this novel.Strangely, it was also so beautiful to read. Leighton lives in fear as she tells this story progresses; she finds the strength within herself to stand up to her father. It is an empowering novel, a novel for readers to see, one to make them open their eyes and stand up, not stay silent. That is what makes the novel beautiful, how it grows, how the crows and the wings they have can inspire them to free themselves.The magical realism brought to life with the crows; it is incredible. It does not all happen all at once, but slowly, over time, making it even more magical. The crows and Leighton, they influence each other and grow the story forward, which makes for a compelling story, a captivating story.If These Wings Could Fly is an impressive story because it empowers, and it shows the reader one of the many forms of domestic violence. McCauley’s persuasive writing allows the pacing to capture the passage of time without dragging the story. There is a soft sort of energy that keeps the momentum up and keeps the reader interested in the powerful message. See more reviews at Cyn's Workshop and follow me on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | | Goodreads+ | LinkedIn
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  • Lindsay Packey
    January 1, 1970
    If I am being honest, I saw this title float around on Facebook page and picked it up when I saw it on the new arrivals shelf at my library before it closed. I did not know what it was about or that it was considered to be a YA novel. That being said, this was a fantastic read. It did not feel like a YA book. It was deep and powerful. It made me think a lot about what I would do if I was in the main characters shoes. It challenged me to think more deeply about domestic violence and how I would If I am being honest, I saw this title float around on Facebook page and picked it up when I saw it on the new arrivals shelf at my library before it closed. I did not know what it was about or that it was considered to be a YA novel. That being said, this was a fantastic read. It did not feel like a YA book. It was deep and powerful. It made me think a lot about what I would do if I was in the main characters shoes. It challenged me to think more deeply about domestic violence and how I would react if I, or someone I was close to, was in a similar situation. If you have the opportunity to grab this book like I did, don't hesitate!
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