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The Lovebird

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  220 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
A spectacularly original, vibrant, and spirited debut narrated by a shy, sensitive college student who, in her search for love and family, must flee everything she knows.

Margie Fitzgerald has always had a soft spot for helpless creatures. Her warm heart breaks, her left ovary twinges, and Margie finds herself smitten with sympathy. This is how Margie falls in love with her
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2013)
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Gia Scott
Oct 12, 2013 Gia Scott rated it really liked it
I'm not sure what I was expecting, but the first half of this book wasn't it. It moved slow. The heroine was an awkward and not-particularly-endearing character who seemed very shallow. I slogged through the book, certain that at some point, things would get better.

Suddenly, they did. In the second half of the book, Margie, the heroine, finally came to life.

Overall, I liked the book, despite its slow start. It's a love story of sorts, but mostly a tale of a coming-of-age of a young woman as she
Beth Ann
Apr 22, 2014 Beth Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received this in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway and immediately loved the cover. Now we all know you can't judge a book by its cover but in the case of The Lovebird it was a good indication of what I would find between the covers. The author had me hooked with her descriptive writing and I was pulled in after the first few pages. The main character in the book falls into a relationship with her Latin teacher who then leads her into the world of animal rights activists. Her actions within the ...more
Dec 19, 2013 Shonna rated it really liked it
I'm a smell person. I love certain aromas and I often nestle my little guys head to inhale his gorgeousness/uniqueness/kindness via his hair or cheek. This book spoke much of fragrances which appealed to me huge.

Some quotes I liked:
"I had the feeling I used to get as a girl when I fell asleep with a dish of orange blossoms beside my bed and their neroli essence seeped into my dreams -- a feeling of limitless longing." Page. 7

The part of the book where Margie's dad is taking her to the dance and
Bonnie Brody
May 27, 2013 Bonnie Brody rated it really liked it
Margie Fitzgerald is a waif-like young woman attending college in the San Diego area. She falls for Simon, her Latin professor, and they quickly become lovers. Simon is head of an organization called H.E.A.R.T. (Humans Enforcing Animal Rights Today). The organization takes on causes and activities that impact the rights of animals, especially those in captivity. An example is freeing all the birds in a pet store or organizing rallies to combat the cruelty that goes into raising meat for human co ...more
Andrea (Cozy Up With A Good Read)
This review and others can be found on Cozy Up With A Good Read

I remember reading the synopsis of this when I first requested it off Netgalley, but to be honest by the time I got around to reading it I forgot what it was about... I knew I liked the colours of the cover and I knew there was something interesting about it or why would I have requested it, right? Well it definitely was a cute book, but at times I felt that I was reading two different stories (both were interesting, but there needed
May 14, 2013 Savannah rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
{Excerpt from my personal book review blog}

"For starters, the writing itself is both incredible and exasperating. There's an amazing mastery of adjectives - someone must have a significantly powered inner thesaurus, Natalie Brown! - and a clever and whimsical use of alliteration in places that I really enjoyed. However, this also lead to storyline bottlenecks in places, where it became so hard to simply breathe in the words themselves - got so choked up in descriptions and repetitive descriptio
Jan 23, 2013 Francesca rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored this novel. It was fun and full of emotion, really a deliciously colorful and sensual read. Exciting new writer!

I fell in love with the quirky, very endearing main character, Margie, and her slightly idiosyncratic voice, which is by turns playful and poignant. She has the voice of a very bookish, sensitive and, in some ways, precocious young woman who has a somewhat antique sensibility.
The novel's language is lush and full of vivid imagery, particularly with regard to the na
Jul 16, 2013 Meghan rated it did not like it
I was less than impressed with this book. I almost didn't finish it as the first third to half was tedious. But, I wanted to attempted enough of it to have given it a fair chance. Luckily, it picks up near the middle.

However... The characters do not draw you in. Even the main character is nothing more than a stereotype, producing a cast of characters flatter than those in Dickens. I could find no sympathy in the main character. The only emotion she invoked was the desire to take her by the shou
Jun 05, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-owned-read
From time to time I can be a shallow reader and decide to read books because of the cover alone – which is exactly what I did in this case. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from this gorgeous cover, and so I picked up the book and began reading, knowing exactly nothing about what I’d find within the pages.

Imagine my happy surprise upon learning how wonderful The Lovebird is! Admittedly, the beginning is a bit slow and Margie makes a lot of incredibly stupid choices that have enormously bad repercuss
Sonia Reppe
Feb 25, 2013 Sonia Reppe rated it it was amazing
This is my type of book. Some might say it's slow, but I think the writing is beautiful. Margie is a soft-hearted college freshman who falls in love with her Latin professor, Simon, and moves in with him. Under his influence, she becomes vegan and involved with his animal rights protest group.

Margie is a beautiful portrait of an impressionable, emotion-ridden girl. Her left ovary twinges when her feelings of compassion are triggered. On her first task with the operation H.E.A.R.T. (Humans Enfor
Kim H.
Mar 25, 2013 Kim H. rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book as a Good Reads' giveaway.

Margie Fitzgerald feels herself orphaned after her mother dies during her birth and her father deals with his depression by drinking. This sense of personal loss gives her a sensitivity to all things vulnerable and aching. That's what leads Margie to a spot on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list for domestic terrorism after the animal rights group she leads burns down a restaurant and is caught teaching potential recruits how to make an incendiary device.
Julie Barrett
May 06, 2013 Julie Barrett rated it really liked it
The Lovebird by Natalie Brown
Like how each chapter starts out with a Latin phrase with English translation under it. The reason why I selected this
book to read was the cover, it's so pretty and peaceful and that it's about a Latin professor. I remember my brother had
a book of Latin and I remember when I was able to read with my new glasses I would look through the book and found it fascinating.
Book starts out with Latin professor Simon Melinkoff at a university in San Diego and she, Margie Fit
Jul 28, 2013 Susan rated it it was ok
This book should have been right up my alley, as someone whose love for animals morphed into animal welfare and then into animal rights. Unfortunately, the just didn't work for me.

On the good side, although it mentioned some of the horrible things that are routinely done to animals, it didn't go into gory detail, something that most people who care about animals beyond their pets already know about. I certainly do, and didn't want more.

A couple of the first characters introduced were a man who w
Jul 03, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
When I first started the Lovebird, I will admit that I was bored. I read about 30 pages and then put it away for a while. In the beginning, the book seemed to be about another student/professor affair but this book was about much more than that.

Margie is a young college student in San Diego, who, it seems, has led a very lonely existence. After losing her mother during her own birth and having an alcoholic father, she arrives in San Diego as alone as ever and is taken in by her Latin professor,
Oct 29, 2013 Anna rated it it was amazing
I don't usually take the time to write reviews but this gorgeous book made quite an impression. For one thing, the prose is so beautiful, at times breathtakingly so, that I recommend reading it for that reason alone. The story is also engaging and I found myself falling in love with not just the main character, but many of the other characters, including a very free-spirited friend the protagonist makes in the first part of the book, along with many of the people she meets in the second part of ...more
Doubleday  Books
Jun 05, 2013 Doubleday Books rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
In vibrant, colorful language that leaps off the page, Brown paints her winsome heroine’s coming-of-age with compassion and affection in this lush, compelling tale. –Booklist

The Lovebird is a compassionate and inviting novel about loneliness and heartbreak, finding a place to belong, and what we will do to protect the things we love. Brown evokes great emotion with her small and perfect details. The image of the lovebird—confused and lost—touched me to the core, and stayed with me long after I s
Aug 29, 2013 Marie rated it it was ok
While I liked the overall story, I felt the author was remiss in giving the main character, Margie, any depth. We read (above) and on the inside cover that Margie has "always had a soft spot for helpless creatures"...really? The only mention of a pet (before she jumps on her crush's animal rights train) is the poor bird she left behind when she went to college, who "mysteriously" disappeared under her father's neglectful care. She wore leather shoes on her first date with the Latin professor. Ho ...more
Nov 18, 2013 Jill rated it did not like it
Shelves: could-not-finish
Manic Pixie Dream Girl Margie wanders through life in her home-sewn sundresses with her left ovary twinging at the sight of pitiable animals and people. She is simultaneously naive and wise beyond her years for an 18 year old, and apparently eschews all forms of modern technology. Instead, she writes letters--yes, the kind sent through the USPS--to communicate with her bourbon-addled, distant father. Her creepy relationship with her much older Latin professor (Daddy issues, anyone?) leads to her ...more
Apr 06, 2013 Colleen rated it liked it
I liked this book but I didn't love it. I received it as a free give away and wanted to like it more. It was a nice story and it reads easily enough. As I was reading it I felt as if it was taking place in the 1960's or 1970's, then something would come up and bring me into the modern day. The story took me back to my own teenage years in the 1970's in Southern California. It had a really hippie feel to it and I remember the whole Indian/Billy Jack thing being so popular back then. Even the whol ...more
Sep 11, 2013 Val rated it it was ok
There were more than a few points in this novel when I really felt like chucking it. But I don't do that lightly or often so I persevered. I'm not a huge fan of "new-age" type philosophies, which this author heavily pushes so that certainly affects my "like" factor. As an Evangelical Christian I have to admit to bristling when I hear Mother Earth compared equally to the Virgin Mary. As if they are one in the same. So for the vegan/hippie/new-age lifestyle propaganda I strongly disliked the book. ...more
Mar 08, 2013 Tonya rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
Bleeding hearts unite! First of all, I LOVE the cover!!! I am a cover snob and this one spoke to me so I had to get it. Now, I love animals. But it almost seemed as if the same people that were advocates for the animals were the same ones willing to break all kinds of rules and border on things that they shouldn't.

I really liked the Latin animal word at the beginning of the chapter! That is really unique and definitely won points in my book. With so many books I read, I look for the unique.

Jan 21, 2014 Connie rated it liked it
This is the tale of a young woman in California who commits crimes in conjunction with her involvement in an animal rights movement. Fleeing from prosecution, she ends up living in Montana on a Native American Reservation.

Various relationships that involve the young woman are included: father, lover, friends, and the family that shelters her in Montana.

I found it very interesting to learn about the traditions of the Native America family.

However, overall, I found this book to be very dated and s
Mar 28, 2014 Gabrielle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received a copy of this book Free from the Good-Reads First-Reads program. Margie loves animals, so much so that by persuasion from her Latin Professor she joins an animal rights activist group called H.E.A.R.T. Margie believes fully that this is her mission in life she begins making reckless decisions that force her to leave her family and practically her life behind. With only her H.E.A.R.T. group to keep her company she finds things out about herself that she never thought she knew. This bo ...more
Aug 14, 2013 Jill rated it liked it
I would rate the first half a two star, but the second half a four star.

If the author is successful here, it is in that the first half has a crazy, frenetic pace, and the second half, slows as the narrator leaves one life for another. It was also interesting to me that the character that is hard to like in the beginning becomes more likable.

The narrator did not feel like an 18 year old to me.

And, I thought that the last several pages were tacked on, not really in line with the rest (or necess
Sep 21, 2013 Amber rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful book! I loved every moment of it although the second half was my favorite, a good representation of true love, the struggles we all have in finding the place we belong, and how being part of a family can make you feel complete. Most books try to make everything large and overblown in order to make it romantic. This book was the opposite, showing us that true romance can be found in the small everyday things.
Nov 03, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing! When I picked it up, I thought I was going to be turned off by this animal-rights activist (I'm not a huge fan of swinging so far to one side or another on almost all subjects), but I immediately loved the colorful language and vivid descriptions of this story. Moreover, the character development is incredible, you really get to know Margie. I found my heart beating with hers, at times. Her growth throughout the story is so beautiful! I highly recommend this book... !
Pamela Hickey
Oct 16, 2013 Pamela Hickey rated it really liked it
Sometimes one just needs a comforting, loving read. Lovebird came along just the right moment for me. Usually flowery descriptions and romance are not of interest, but, this week, Margie's search for love, care of the earth, ability to know where she belonged, was just the right touch for me. If you need an escape from your world and want to be surrounded by characters who know how to care for one another, spend a few days with The Lovebird.
Dec 20, 2013 Beth rated it it was amazing
this delightful book is about Margie - a girl with a soft heart for animals - who joins up with an animal right group (Humans Encouraging Animal Rights Today - HEART), a PETA type group. they are activists who commit small acts of sabotage to free animals. Margie gets in over her head and becomes too reckless. She has to go into hiding due to a potential arson charge.

Margie is a wonderful character and the book offers an interesting perspective on animal rights.
Oct 02, 2013 Deb rated it it was amazing
Loved loved loved The Lovebird. Different type of love story, Brown does not hit you over the head with cliche or trite love expressions. Her style is restrained, yet she is able to deliver the personalities with an expert touch. Her treatment of Granma is classic. When I finished this book I just closed it and sighed, and ruminated on the story for days. Thank you Natalie Brown, can't wait for your next offering.
Jun 11, 2016 Rhonda rated it really liked it
The tale plays out with the heroine Margie, in what turns out to be 2 halves of her life story; the first being in California in a relationship that is "iffy" at best and the second taking place in Montana on a reservation where she unwittingly goes Tribal. A sweet ending to the story, it is a book worth keeping for a 2nd or 3rd reading...The poor little broken-hearted lovebird is what I am wondering about...
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Q&A with Natalie ...: Your Questions 1 6 Jul 11, 2013 08:39AM  
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Natalie Brown grew up in Orange County, California. She earned a BA in Literature from the University of California at San Diego, and MA degrees in English and Native American Studies from Montana State University. She lives in Montana. "The Lovebird" is her first novel.
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