I wasn’t exactly subtle when I put out the tweet that informed the world that I had finished the books I was reading and I wanted a new eARC (electronic advanced reader copy) to read.
I knew EXACTLY who I wanted to see that tweet, and, well, mission accomplished.
Em Shotwell, the author of Blackbird Summer asked me if I was serious about reading it.
She sent it to me and I couldn’t wait to dive in. I mean, it’s everything I love about a book… a crazy family, the South, a hot guy who is sweet to boot, and people with X-Men style powers.
Well, let me slow down a minute. I’m not a huge superhero fan. If I’m forced to choose which superhero I would willingly sit down and watch, it would be the X-Men, no question. (Not a fan of Tobey Maguire; Batman isn’t a superhero—he’s just deranged with too much time, money, and an awesome butler; AntMan—I love Paul Rudd, but REALLY?? … so X-Men are my only option, but I do love them… save for what they did to my favorite character, Rogue. Damn you Anna Paquin.) I’m totally on a tangent… reining it back in.
The story centers on Tallulah (Tully) Caibre, who is part of a magical family who lives together on what is, essentially, a commune, in the depth of the south in Brooklyn, Mississippi. Every member of their family has a special power, though Tallulah thinks she sort of got the short end of the stick when it came to hers, so she never really used it (not that she was really allowed to anyway).
The family keeps to itself, mainly because, well, it’s the South, so guess what, prejudice abounds. Gotta love those judgmental Southerners.
However, when Tully catches someone in the act of doing something illegal, it sets off a domino effect that ultimately threatens the Caibres’ existence in the world.
In romantic subplot news: Tully isn’t allowed to date, she’s set up with other “gifted” individuals, and she’s not really thrilled about that. Particularly when she meets Logan in the diner and she is instantly attracted to him (and vice versa). Her relationship with Logan ebbs and flows and ultimately gets tested, along with everything else Tully believes.
Let me just say, I adore Logan. First of all, I have always loved the name Logan anyway, so that was instant love for me. But then throw in the fact he’s part Haitian Creole and Native American, I mean, SWOON. I loved it, it was totally not your typical love interest (and I mean, I write them… blonde, blue-eyed, muscles everywhere… you know what I’m talking about) and I think that’s fantastic. He’s perfect for Tully.
WHICH is why at one point during reading, I actually tweeted my dissatisfaction with something the main character did. “GD it all, Tully! NO!!!!!!!!!!!” Yes, I did that. I’m not proud.
Overall, was the book good? Yep. Can’t wait for the next one in the series.
Were there times I wanted to put it down? Let’s just say, there were some times I was like, “all right, this is a good place to stop, I’ll put it down at the end of this chapter and go to bed.” I’d make it to the end of the chapter and say, “dammit” as I tapped my Kindle screen to open the next chapter and I’d finally put it down hours later when my eyes closed of their own accord way too late in the middle of the night.
Yes, this book was the reason for my book hangover this morning.
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About the Author:
Em Shotwell is the author of Blackbird Summer (City Owl Press, 2016). She lives in South Louisiana with a husband who spoils her and two mini-superheroes who call her mom. Em think the most interesting characters are the ones who live on the sidelines, and that small towns often hide the biggest secrets. She is inspired by tall tales and local legends.
When she’s not writing about misfits and oddballs, Em enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, and debating Doctor Who facts with her obsessed ten-year-old.