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If Birds Fly Back

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  693 ratings  ·  155 reviews
Linny has been living life in black and white since her sister Grace ran away, and she's scared that Grace might never come back. When Linny witnesses the return to Miami of a cult movie star long presumed dead, she is certain it's a sign. Surely Álvaro Herrera, of all people, can tell her why people come back - and how to bring her sister home?

Sebastian has come to Miami
Paperback, 344 pages
Published June 29th 2017 by Macmillan Children's Books (first published June 27th 2017)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  693 ratings  ·  155 reviews

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Pre-reading review:
Tag line: “Love is what happens when you’re looking for something else.”

And because I’m feeling single AF these days (blaming The Kiss Quotient), I thought this could get me out of my funk.

Still feeling single as hell, but damn was that book imperfectly perfect. The author has poured her heart and soul into this book.

It's a story about two characters who are dealing with some kind of loss in their own way. Linny's sister disappeared without a trace. Sebastian h
C.G. Drews
This was pretty entirely super cute! I did struggle a small squidge with feeling entirely invested in the story, but it featured a bunch of nerds and an adorakble friendship-turned-romance with plenty of fun dialogue -- SO I CAN GET BEHIND THIS. I also literally got behind it when I was reading and dropped it on my face. Thank you to all the universe, stars, and pebbles upon the shores that I read a paperback and didn't die or lose my eyes. Life can be kind.

It's dual narrated by Linny and Sebast
Carlie Sorosiak
Jun 28, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Dannii Elle
My full review can be found at United by Pop.

This story chronicled an adorable blossoming romance that made this the perfect read, for this time of year. Their growing attraction was obvious to the reader but I still enjoyed reading of their emerging emotions and tentative struggles to restrain them. Scenes of an absolute adorable nature followed their accepted summer romance and I now know that no more perfect date can exist if it doesn’t involve a ball pit and a horde of energised twelve-year-
Cale Dietrich
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: swanky-17s
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
Anna Priemaza
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 ...more
Cam (justabookeater)
A copy was provided by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

I don’t consider myself a big fan of summer contemporaries simply because I live on an island where it's practically summer every single day. I always find them cliche and predictable, especially with the whole tourist aspect which I hate.

If Birds Fly Back is the complete and total opposite of what I just described. In this novel, we are presented with a mystery. Linny’s older sister, Grace has disappeared to
Jilly Gagnon
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lauren James
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is so raw and real and wonderful. You're all going to love this to pieces. And wait until you meet SEBASTIAN. ...more
Jennifer Walker
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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"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 bo
Emily Murphy
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Kate (GirlReading)
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
If Birds Fly Back was a lovely story of love, loss, family and self discovery. I warmed to both Linny and Sebastian as characters and Carlie Sorosiak’s writing style made for a perfect, easy summer read.
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
“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 di
Karen Fortunati
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Kate Watson
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
3.5 stars.
This review also appears on my blog, Reading with Jenna.

I received a review copy from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

If Birds Fly Back is a summer contemporary about missing people and those who are left behind. The book follows Linny and Sebastian and is told from dual perspectives. Linny’s sister, Grace, ran away from their stifling home environment and Linny has been trying to understand what happened ever since. When she shows up to her volunteering job at a nu
Chayse Sundt
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Samantha (WLABB)
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
Amber  ~ The Reading Addict
"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
Jago T.K.
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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.
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If Birds Fly Back is a gorgeous debut from author Carlie Sorosiak. Filled with emotion and feeling, this book is a beautifully written story of love, loss and finding yourself. From the first few pages I knew this book was going to be special.

I loved the dual narrative of this book and thought it was so well written. I really got to know both of our main characters and felt invested in both of their stories. First up we meet Linny who is struggling to come to terms with the disappearance of her
CC the Great is Not Okay
Mar 27, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
I read almost 150 pages and still nothing important has happened. It's not that it's completely boring but it is way, way slow considering it's supposed to be somewhat of a mystery. ...more
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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! ...more
Another well written story about a girl who comes out of her sister's light to find her own place. I like that Linnie isn't searching for love, and yet...

Some geeky moments, especially with Sebastian's passion for astrophysics.

Danielle (Love at First Page)
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. :/ ...more
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Young Adult Conte...: #37 If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosik 1 7 Sep 17, 2017 05:30PM  

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Carlie Sorosiak is the bestselling author of I, COSMO, as well as two novels for young adults, IF BIRDS FLY BACK and WILD BLUE WONDER. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @carliesorosiak.

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