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3.37  ·  Rating details ·  226 ratings  ·  72 reviews
My name is Alex. I am fifteen years old, and I don't know where my sister is. Or if she will ever come back.

On New Year's Eve 5,000 blackbirds dropped dead. The same day Olivia McCarthy went missing from a small coastal village in Orkney.

Now Her younger sister Alex is on a mission to find out just what happened to Olivia. But does she really want to know all the answers?
Paperback, 287 pages
Published November 16th 2017 by Harlequin (Australia), TEEN / MIRA
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Average rating 3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  226 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
Addictive! Easy and fast to read and captivating from the first page.

3.5 stars

Blackbird was a book I had heard very little about until I was lucky enough to pick up a proof during YALC back in July. The premise sounded really interesting and the book itself looked gorgeous so how could I say no?

I have to start by saying that what the blurb of this book promises is very different to the story held within. The thing that most intrigued me from the synopsis was this idea that 5,000 blackbirds had dropped dead on the same night this girl had disappeared. My mind was
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
Wow, this book actually broke me and my heart.

On 31st December 2015, two things happen. Firstly, 5000 blackbirds dropped dead. And then Olivia McCarthy disappears. But this book is only about one of those things. We follow Olivia's sister Alex as she tries to come to terms with her sister's disappearance, and then tries to find out what really happened to her, along with the help from DI Birkins.

This book is part mystery thriller, part emotional comtemporary YA about family, and loss and
Alessandra Crivelli
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: page-turners, arc
This is the perfect book for #OWBookClub of this month: "RAINY DAYS READS"

I picked up this book from my YALC pile and I was so addicted.

Blackbird is about a murder in a little isle and you won't put it down until you will reach the very last page.
I have found out who the murderer was the second he/she walked in those pages but it was still so addictive to read the entire story. N.D Gomes writing is so captivating.

I will definitely pick up 'Dear Charlie' that is currently in my TBR list.
Zoe Hall
Dec 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
Let me begin by saying that I loved the beginning of this book. I fell in love with YA all over again. I even purchased Dear Charlie off the back of how much I was enjoying it. But by around the three quarters mark, Id kind of lost interest. I skipped a chapter here and there and wasnt very enthralled by the ending. Having said that though, the journey itself was interesting and I liked the characterisation.

A tragic story, told with an enchanting heart. A pretty decent read to be honest. 3.5
Charlotte Burns
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Blackbird begins with one of the most evocative sentences I've ever read: "That was the night that five thousand blackbirds dropped dead from the sky just before midnight" Then we learn it is also the night that Alex's sister Olivia was killed. Alex is feeling lost, alone and inferior to her sister. She feels like everyone wishes she had died instead. Her parents are wrapped up in their own grief. One thing I loved about this novel was the portrayal of a family's grief: each member is grieving ...more
Originally posted to I Should Read That

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.

First things first, if youre expecting a supernatural link between the blackbirds falling from the sky and the missing Olivia, forget about it now.  Nothing in this book is supernatural, nothing in this book is fantasy.  I find it weird that it seems to be marketed that way because I think people will be disappointed when they are drawn in by that aspect of the plot
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Bentley
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Blackbird by N D Gomes is a book that will leave you physically shaken. It plays on your insecurities of safety and is a perfect Young Adult thriller.

The story I told from the perspective of Alex. Her older sister has gone missing and she is determined to find her. However, it is only when looking closely that she realises that there were things she didnt know about her sister at all.

Her relationships start to fall apart in her dogged need to uncover the truth. Her family are falling apart and
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy read, in a couple of hours or less. I quickly knew who was the killer and I never understood the relevance of the blackbird event on that day which is confusing and makes me try to find the connection, but otherwise it was an enjoyable read of a murder mystery.
(I read a Proof copy of this book, final copy may be different).
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, arc
2,5/5. i just felt too detached from the characters and i didn't like them very much.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
*** Note: I received an uncorrected proof of this book from Goodreads. ***

I really wanted to like this book, having read the blurb and seeing it was being compared to 13 Reasons Why (which I loved) and All the Bright Places (which I liked), I thought this would be something I'd really enjoyed.

There seemed to be something about the protagonist that I found really hard to connect with, I don't know if it was the the tone that was used to portray her points of view or something else but I really
Issues I had with this book:
-Loose ends
-Forced connections between characters
-Perfect people
-Not like Dear Charlie
-Did not tug on heart strings
-Did not explore interesting sibling dynamics
-Didn't really explore parent/child relationships
-Didn't explore friendship
-Didn't grab my interest
-Didn't seem aimed at right age group
-Title was misleading; blackbirds have nothing to do with this tale.

My biggest issue with this book was how PREDICTABLE this was.
I called everything. Every twist.
Reuben Thomas
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I read N.D. Gomes Dear Charlie before YALC this year, and was blown away by how good it was, so when I saw proofs of her new novel up for grabs I was very eager to get stuck into one. Blackbird follows 15-year-old Alex, whose older sister Olivia has gone missing, on her search to find out what happened to her. Its billed as a YA mystery/thriller, but unlike most others in the genre, it deals more with the familys grief and the emotions attached to the incident than the mystery itself.

Set on the
Originally published on Once Upon a Bookcase.

Blackbird by N. D. Gomes sounded so interesting, and I've been in a bit of a mystery phase lately, so I was so eager to read it. However, I'm sorry to say it was a huge disappointment.

Blackbird is billed as a murder mystery, and that's true in the fact that Alex's sister Olivia is murdered, and no-one knows who did it. But when it comes to genre, this book is not a mystery. There are no twists and turns. There aren't lots of suspects and numerous
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: waste-of-time
ARC kindly provided by HQ in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: 2/5 stars
The first thing that came into mind when I read this novels title was Its just like To Kill a Mockingbird! and then when I read the blurb, that thought further engraved itself into my mind. This twisted alikeness of the two books made me super excited to read this novel, because I absolutely loved Harper Lees writing. Unfortunately however, I was greatly disappointed when I realised that this book, as a
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interview with N.D. Gomes about BLACKBIRD:

This story follows Alex through the aftermath of her older sister, Olivia, disappearing. Desperate to find answers, she works with the soon to be retired detective assigned to her case, Birkins. On the tiny island of Orkney, Alex struggles to figure out what happened to her sister, and to come to terms with how her life has changed.

One of the things that really stood out to me in this story was the honest way in
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was another really enjoyable YA thriller that read super quickly and kept me hooked until the very end. There's not much I can say about the synopsis that isn't detailed above without spoiling the book but we follow Alex as she strives to find out what happened to her sister on the night she disappeared. With the help of an unlikely friend, the lead detective on the case, she begins to discover more than she bargains for.

Laura Russell
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
When Alexs sister Olivia goes missing on Hogmanay night on the tiny island of Orkney the close-knit community is shaken to its core. Determined to find out what has happened to her sister, Alex throws herself into the investigation alongside the island police force. What she discovers will lead her to learn a great deal about Olivia, and also about herself.


It was the rather enigmatic title of this novel that initially drew me to it, and the blurb sounded intriguing, and like just the sort of
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Blackbird is a young-adult thriller/mystery novel by ND Gomes which tells a story of the search for missing girl Olivia McCarthy.

Olivia, a teenage girl desperate to move away from her small coastal town of Orkney is last seen the night the blackbirds dropped dead, the birds often used as a symbol for freedom. Did this disappearance have something to do with the birds, or her desire to move away?

Gomes setting for the book, the small town of Orkney, makes the novel very interesting and it helps to
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
I received this ARC for NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. A big thank you to ND Gomes and Harlequin Australia!
This review is based on an uncorrected proof and therefore quotes may not reflect the published book.

This book was beautifully written. It had a flow that was so easy to engage and from the start, I was anticipating a great little thriller. That, however, was about everything this book gave me.

My sister is always talking about the flower that blooms just once at midnight
Maria Sinclair
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a beautifully written, heartbreaking story of how a teenage girl copes in the aftermath of her adored older sisters disappearance. Whilst the mystery of what happened to Olivia is a theme throughout the book, it is not the most important one for me. Instead, it is a story about how a family claws their way slowly back from the brink of self-destruction, and how a younger sister who worshipped her sibling adjusts to becoming the only child. As all of Alexs relationships break down ...more
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
This was a pretty quick and enjoyable read. A fairly fast paced mystery that follows a girl in the days that follow her sisters disappearance.

Alex was a realistic fifteen-year-old who idolised her big sister and struggles hard with her disappearance. I found the synopsis for this book a little misleading. Firstly, because I dont understand the significance of the 5,000 blackbirds that dropped dead it was mentioned once or twice at the beginning and then seemed to have little to no meaning for
Rebecca Phaedra
Oct 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Blackbird is described as an electrifyingly dark and contemporary novel, bringing the psychological suspense genre to YA. [ I received this book at YALC 2017 when one of the stands were giving out free proofs ]

The story is written from the point of view of fifteen year old Alex and the whole novel takes place over the month of January, starting the night of the 31st of December. When her sister, Olivia, goes missing on the evening that 5,000 blackbirds fall from the sky, Alex spends every day
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
You gotta love ND Gomes because of this book. The characters are developed and likable, the plot has twists, and I did not guessed who the killer was or how the ending would play out. It was so intoxicating. I love every single of it. I did not see it coming. It was unexpected but executed so well. The entire time I felt like I knew who it was and then, Boom! It wasn't who I expected and I love books like that. I love the elements of surprise in a novel and this one pulled out all the stops. It ...more
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Well colour me disappointed - I thought this sounded really interesting and was intrigued how all the dead blackbirds was going to tie into the story, turns out they dont. Never really mentioned again after the young victim is discovered, they were just used as symbolism for a loss of innocence and life (I think!?) but theres not much depth or meaning put into it.
I loved that the first chapter was from the victims POV, I wish thered been more of those thrown in throughout the book because it
Kat (from Minas Morgul)
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wasnt really sure what I had to expect before I picked up this book. But it was not this. And since Im normally not reading crime/mystery thingy stories, this was fairly new territory for me. But I have to say, I liked what I read there.
The book starts on January 1st, 2016. The following chapters each tell of the days that follow. From the beginning it is clear, that something is off and that Olivias disappearance is not normal. I dont want to say too much but pretty soon in the book, her body
Lord have mercy I wept at the end I mean honest to goodness cried my eyes out.

Even though the main plot in the book is a missing persons/murder case that wasn't what I felt the book was actually about, to me it was about the tender nuanced relationship between sister. The very complicated lines between love, admiration and envy that they have to traverse (as someone with two elder sisters so much of this book trickery close to the heart). Just as importantly its about accepting loss, moving on
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
to be quite honest...i LOVED the book it was full of mystery and adventure,
I think this novel is right in my genre, I have also seen the other reviews some are negative and some are positive and I can completely understand why the negativity is coming from and I can also see where the positivity is coming from.....
but personally I loved the book it can see some areas of context where it's just too predictable and I can see some parts that are a bit plan but I can also see parts where there are
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
The story follows Alex, a 15-year-old, whose sister has gone missing. The story is very much Alex struggling with the loss of her sister and she becomes heavily involved with trying to find out what has happened. There's not much to say about the plot, as it would be spoiling!

This book was very intriguing from the start, had me addicted from page 1.
It was an easy and fast read.
Even though I enjoyed reading this book, I have to say I'm kind of disappointed that the blackbirds dying had
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ND Gomes is originally from Scotland, but spent ten years living in America working as an educator in the public school districts.

She has an M.Ed. in Education and is working towards an MLitt. in Scottish Literature and Creative Writing.

She loves to read a variety of YA and adult fiction in all genres, and is always on the lookout for a new book recommendation. ND Gomes has an enthusiasm for

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