Melissa Souza's Reviews > Black Bird of the Gallows

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
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bookshelves: ya, paranormal, romance, magic, dark-atmosphere, death

3 stars!!!

When I first read the blurb for this book, I was pretty excited I have to say. But, unfortunately, this turned out to be a very average read for me. I guess it's because I found the story to have a usual YA elements. There wasn't enough of unique elements to push me to give it 4 or 5 stars. To get a clearer picture of why this was, let me unpack my reasons.

Firstly, I thought the book had potential to be awesome. I liked the concept of a world where there are these otherworldly beings that took on animal spirits but could morph into humans. The idea of harbingers and beekeepers was interesting enough. I liked the backstory and history of how these beings came about and the curse that seems to be affecting them. The book has enough of a dark atmosphere to keep it engaging and the worldbuilding was mediocre at best.

Secondly, the MC Angie is your average cliched YA girl. She has a passion for music, but can't seem to find herself. She doesn't really fit in and there's a mean girl whose on her case at school. I tend to find these kinds of MCs too boring, to be honest. There's no real depth of character. Yes, she's trying to be unique and she doesn't make overly stupid decisions but she's just meh. Add to this, she has some tragic past that she seems to be overcoming. I've read this character is scores of other YA books. However, I did like her relationship with her friends, her Dad and she seems like a level-headed girl. So, I couldn't necessarily dislike her. I just wanted more.

Thirdly, the so-called "epic" romance was another cliche. She meets this handsome guy, Reece, and falls in love with him instantly because she feels a zing towards him. What? She barely even knows him. No one falls in love so instantly. Plus, she seems way too accepting when she finds out what he is. She doesn't even freak out once. I thought this was way too farfetched. Although, their romance is sweet. It lacks flaws and realness. Plus, it had no real feels. It was way too perfect. The author does add a touch of messiness to it but I felt it wasn't raw enough.

Lastly, the overall plot had enough reveals to keep it interesting but the ending was very predictable and loose ends were tied in a neat bow. I was happy with it but it wasn't remarkable. There was plenty of action in the storyline which I appreciated. But as I said, everything fell into place way too perfect for my taste. The novel was structured really well and the facing was fast. There wasn't too much of irrelevant material which prevented it from being too tedious. That being said, I could see this book being darker with a more immersive world. I think it was too narrow and the overly sweet romance shadowed the grimmer elements. Maybe the author was going for a more hopeful approach. Either way, this novel is good for a one-time read and if you are looking for something to pass the afternoon.
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Reading Progress

July 4, 2016 – Shelved
July 4, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
September 12, 2017 – Started Reading
September 21, 2017 – Shelved as: ya
September 21, 2017 – Shelved as: paranormal
September 21, 2017 – Shelved as: romance
September 21, 2017 – Shelved as: magic
September 21, 2017 – Shelved as: dark-atmosphere
September 21, 2017 – Shelved as: death
September 21, 2017 – Finished Reading

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