I received this from Netgalley. Thanks to them and the publisher for inviting me to read this book!! This was such an emotional, realistic read. Most books for middle school and even YA have a unrealistic story or ending. This book was completely real. It's something that many children and families have had to deal with. The moment I started this book, I was pulled into the story. I got about half way last night and thought it was just such a cute story. Then this morning, I finished the book and realized how sad it actually is. Ehrlich, didn't just touch on one families difficulties, she touched on a few of them.
Naomi, is the main character and it's her kind of coming of age story. Her life is pretty great, until it all changes. I wasn't sure how the bird obsession would pan out, but it was actually one of her saving graces. I learned a lot about birds that I didn't know! She builds a nest as a sanctuary, when her real life nest has fallen apart. Her mom becomes clinically depressed and Naomi and her sister have a tough time reaching their mother.
Not only is that a tough situation, Joey, is dealing with child abuse. The two of them are neighbors and end up befriending one another. You never know what to expect from Joey since he's from a "troubled" family. His brothers are pretty mean and rough but he somehow is different. He helps Naomi, like no one else could. When she is lost and is unreachable, he reaches her. When they run off together, you could just feel how he is terrified of being caught. He's terrified of having to go home but yet, he does it for her. These two kids are in a dark place but they help each other deal.
There's a part that really hits you, emotionally, when Naomi calls her father. She's finally coming to terms with what has happened and she's a mess. Joey has her call her father and it's just so great to see how she could depend on her father. You could feel his worry and her sadness. He was there for her when she needed him. On the other hand, Joey, didn't have that. I remember thinking, this poor boy. He sees right in front of him, what he wishes he could have.
This was a great book and I'm surprised that it's a middle grade book with all the tough subjects. I would recommend this to anyone. It's a sad story but at the end you feel satisfied with Naomi's story. Thanks again to Netgalley for the invitation to read this! So glad I had the opportunity to read a great book!