Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Book Recommendation: In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

I'm not sure I have words for how perfect this book is. I just finished reading it for the second time, and I cannot wait to read it again and again. It's just stunning. The writing is perfect. And really beautiful. Cat Winters writes really well, and I cannot wait to read more from her. The characters are amazing. They are well written, and they each have a story to tell. And the story. The story is so good. It's different from the other books I have read, and it's just all kinds of perfect and heartbreaking.

I will try to not repeat my review too much, but I'm not reading it before writing this. But I do remember writing how I got to read this book in late January, so if you want to know that, just click on the link to my old review at the end of this book recommendation :) First, In the Shadow of Blackbirds is perfect. And you all need to read it. Right away. And I'm just so glad that I did read it, because it has a special place in my heart. It is one of the best books there is, and I couldn't be happier. Or more heartbroken.

I see from my old review that I had a few issues with the first one hundred pages. I still kind of did. But not an issue. Because in the beginning we get to know the world and the main character, Mary Shelley. Yet I guess what I wanted the most was to see more of Stephen, lol. I did enjoy the beginning a lot more this second time I read it, and I'm glad I did. I read the ARC copy the first time, and now I read the hardcover. It was to be a few changes, but I didn't notice them, hih. It is a stunning book, though.

One of the things I really love in this book is the artwork. There are a few pictures inside it, that are really amazing. It's from 1918, and they are all gorgeous. I loved seeing them. And oh. The chapter beginnings are just stunning. This whole book is gorgeous. And I just adore the cover so much as well. And beneath the jacket copy it is almost even more gorgeous. Sigh. Okay, I shall stop talking about this gorgeous book and amazing cover. But yes. I think you get it. In the Shadow of Blackbirds is beautiful.

The main character in this book is Mary Shelley, a sixteen year old girl. I loved her like crazy. She's special and amazing. She lives in the year of 1918, with the Spanish flu and all the boys going to war. It was an awful time. I must admit to still not knowing much about it, real life. But I did love reading about it in this book. It was interesting and horrifying and just kind of stunning. It felt so real. Even those awful onion and garlic smells. Puke. It made sense though, to try to not get the flu. Still, it was awful.

Mary Shelley just had to leave her home, because her father went to jail for treason. We didn't learn that much about him, but he did seem like an amazing person. So she has to go live with Aunt Eva. I'm still unsure about her. Sometimes she seems so awful to live with. But at the same time she is really caring, and I loved that about her. She's just ten years older, and she just lost her husband. She has this kind of awesome job, though. And I did like her house, even with no power. Ugh. Didn't sound nice ;p

I loved reading about Mary Shelley. I loved it so much. She's just amazing. So kind and sweet. She also has this friend. Stephen. She's been writing letters with him for years, and she used to play with him when they were smaller. They are perfect together. She hasn't seen him in years, but he lives very close to Aunt Eva. She saw him six months ago when she visited, but the day after he was going to war. I understood it. Somehow. But I hated it. Sobs. But they get to meet, and it's perfect and beautiful.

But it didn't stay beautiful. And I hated that. Because I loved reading about Mary Shelley and Stephen together, even for such a short while. Because Stephen has an older brother, Julius. And my god. I really hated him. He was just awful and all kinds of cruel. He said something bad about them, and it didn't end very well :\ But. She and Stephen still send each other letters after he have gone to war. But now it's October, and she hasn't heard from him for months. Then she arrives at his house for a photograph.

Because Julius is a spirit photographer. A fake one. And he's quite awful about it too, to be honest. I just didn't like him at all, so not talking too much about it. But it was interesting to read about, and a great plot twist. Anyway. Mary Shelley learns that Stephen is dead. He died in the war. And ahh. It is so heartbreaking and it just about killed me. It also made me cry so many times. You already know this from the summary, though, so I'm not really spoiling anything. I hope. Still. I need to talk about it.

 In the Shadow of Blackbirds is about Mary Shelley being haunted by Stephen's ghost. Kind of. It's complicated, because she can see and hear him, even touch him. Which I loved more than anything. But, my god. I hated that he was dead. It just broke my heart so much, because they hadn't had the time to be together at all. I wanted them to live together. To grow old together. But it can't be. Because Stephen needs her help to figure out how he died. Why he's being tortured by the Blackbirds.

Most of the book is about that. Figuring out how Stephen died. And it is so awful and heartbreaking and sobs. But it is also perfect. Because it's done so well, and it made me feel all the things. I wish some things hadn't happened, but it also made the book so good, because it's real. We meet a lot of characters as well. Not talking about them, but they are a mix of awesome and amazing and cruel and evil. I did enjoy reading about them all, though, because they each had a part in this story. Sigh.

I both hated and loved reading about how Stephen died. It broke me into a thousand pieces. It's the most cruel way to die, at least to me. It was awful. But it was perfect too, if that makes sense. I loved reading about it all. There is so much happening in this book, and I won't talk more about it, because I need you to read this book. I enjoyed reading about it all. The flu, the war, just everything. And I will always love this book. Always. Uhm, heh, I might have talked too much in this rec. Not sorry, though :D

I don't have a quote to share from this book. Even though I loved every word in it. Because the few things I really, really want to share are huge spoilers, so I can't do that :D But yes. In the Shadow of Blackbirds is beautiful. It is a book that you must read. And if you still haven't gotten to read it, then you really must do so now. Because it is worth it. The heartache is worth it too. I think. Stephen and Mary Shelley is worth it. You just really need to read this book as soon as you can. You will love it.


  1. I love the artwork in this, too. Amulet/Abrams really do excel in this department! I'm going to have to re-read this one in a few months myself. I don't re-read often, but this is a special book. Plus I want to see if I spot the changes at the start. ;) Great rec post, Carina! I'm really glad that this book is getting the attention that it deserves.

    1. Sigh, yes. <3 Ohh, you must :) It's just so amazing the second time you read it as well. <3 Thank you sweetie :) Me too.

  2. I've been meaning to read this since reading Sam's review! This must be really good if it's something you would want to re-read. Thanks for this recommendation post. Gotta pick this up real soon! :)

  3. There is so much love for this book around lately, so I'm glad that you were able to read this for a second time already Carina. I wish I had more time to do this with my favourites. Thanks for sharing a gorgeous post with us! :)

  4. I love that this book is so perfect that you don't have words. The cover is fabulous and it sounds like a book I would love. Thanks for sharing- I must read it soon!


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