Saturday, October 6, 2012
MG Fantasy: Summer and Bird by Katherine Catmull
Date: October 2, 2012
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Read: for review (disclaimer: I received my copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)
Reading time: six days
From GoodReads: When their parents disappear in the middle of the night, young sisters Summer and Bird set off on a quest to find them. A cryptic picture message from their mother leads them to a familiar gate in the woods, but comfortable sights quickly give way to a new world entirely—Down—one inhabited by talking birds and the evil Puppeteer queen. Summer and Bird are quickly separated, and their divided hearts lead them each in a very different direction in the quest to find their parents, vanquish the Puppeteer, lead the birds back to their Green Home, and discover the identity of the true bird queen.
My review: I found it very difficult to get into Summer and Bird, and reading it continuously felt like a long uphill slog. The plot was slow and distant, so it seemed like it took me forever to read just a few pages in which nothing much happened. I found the characters mostly unrelatable, as, even for children, they seemed very petty and immature. Their mindsets and behaviors actually made this a fairly depressing read because there wasn't much optimism and healing, just emotional pain and anger. About the only thing that kept the novel interesting for me was the incorporation of the Swan Maiden motif and folksongs into the storyline; the author was quite creative in how she adapted the traditional tale to be told from two viewpoints largely neglected in the original.