Cover Image: Postcards for a Songbird

Postcards for a Songbird

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I wasn't a huge fan of this book. I love the premise of it and the idea of the story, which is why I requested it, but I had a hard time getting into the writing and getting really hooked into the story like I need to to fall in love with a book.

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I wanted to love this book. Rebekah's writing style was lovely. But there were several problematic issues for me, including the vilification of depression medication. I enjoyed the characters, but I never quite felt like the romantic relationship was believable. Mostly, my enjoyment of the story was dampened by the ending. Too many things were confusing, and I wanted a better explanation of everything and a more satisfying conclusion. Though I didn't love this book, I will likely pick up other books by Rebekah Crane in the future.

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The second book I read from this writer and with high expectations, but unfortunately, almost nothing worked for me. At first, it took me a long time to understand what had really happened to Wren and to get into the story. I spent most of my reading confused and discouraged with the scenes in which her sister appears. Then came the dismay of Wilder's entry and exit of the plot without much explanation and no major emotion. The only detail that made me not give up on everything was cute Luca and yet he couldn't make up for the bad parts. The writer had everything to create a wonderful story and unfortunately ruined everything for me.

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Right out of the gate, I give this book a 3.5. You could probably make a push for a 4 star rating with the final, corrected and polished text, but I’m not a re-reader and this is what I was given. While I love the prose – even the moments where it felt just this side of too flowery – and this book was full of lines that left me with a happy sigh, ultimately the suffered some due to the confusion of the timeline. While I do enjoy books that switch between the past and the present, the moments when we find ourselves in Wren’s memories of Lizzie are not denoted well enough to differentiate them from Wren’s present state as she’s going through those memories. They could have been separated by use of italics to indicate that we’re in a memory, or section breaks to signal a switch between past and present. Those moments – as well as spending the whole book wondering what Wilder’s purpose was as a character – took me out of the book enough that it made it a little less of an enjoyable reading experience. Having said that, this is my first foray into the writing of Rebekah Crane, and I don’t think it will be my last.

I like that this book deals with a number of issues, primarily those of abandonment, depression, teenage love, memory, and identity. When we first meet Wren, she’s clearly depressed, having been abandoned by a second family member, this time her sister, Lizzie. We learn as we read through the novel that Wren has basically lived her life for Lizzie, in service of Lizzie’s happiness and, though Wren may not see it, at the expense of her own, not because Lizzie asked her to, but because Wren is afraid that Lizzie will leave like their mom did when they were young if she doesn’t give Lizzie a reason to stay. When Lizzie ultimately does leave, Wren is left without a purpose, and wallows in the white blankness of her room when she’s not making sure that Chief, her father, has his six nightly beers.

Though Lizzie and their mother physically abandoned Wren, you could argue that Chief has also abandoned her. While he is at least somewhat physically present in her life, he’s not actually there for her. In some ways she actually lives in service of him, too, fetching him his nightly (daily?) beers and following his exact grocery list when she goes to the store, never deviating from the routine. He knows so little about her, and she about him, that there’s a gaping chasm between them that leaves them little more than acquaintances at times. Theirs is a deeply flawed relationship, one whose distance relied on what we later find out are lies her father has told her since she was little. The effort they put into healing their relationship by the end of the novel was lovely.

When Wren meets Luca, Leia’s brother, things start to change. Resistant at first, she becomes more and more open to the freedom that new experiences provide her, and she starts to realize that so far she hasn’t lived her life for herself, and has instead let the past dictate her present and her lack of expectations for a future. As they get to know each other while stuck in the same driver’s education class, she and Luca discover that they have more in common than they ever could have thought, and she’s immediately taken in by him. Luca is the first person to see her for who she is in so long, to see her potential and help her out of the pit she’s fallen into as she reconciles with the loss of her sister’s presence. Theirs is a very sweet relationship grounded in a shared fear of the unknown, a newfound desire to discover who they are as people, and the experience of learning to share even the darkest shades of yourself with another person in the hope that they may bring you into their light.

The theme I enjoyed the most, however, was that of identity. So many of these characters have defined themselves by their circumstances or their past actions. As I said earlier, much of Wren’s life has been defined by the loss of her mother and her efforts to prevent the loss of her sister. Baby Girl, who was never truly given a name after she was born, tries on identities as though she’s shopping for them. At one point, she’s quite literally doing just that. Luca very much buys into the idea that he’s a disappointment, even a failure, which becomes evident when he reveals to Wren why he left their date in a panic. Chloe is a genuinely terrible person and I hate her. I still don’t understand the point of Wilder, especially when his circumstances are revealed toward the end of the book. Leia, however, acts as the perfect foil for these characters, as she is fairly certain of who she is as a person, and is more than happy to dispense advice while assuring those around her that it’s okay to not have it all figured out right now. While it seems like she has it together, there are still a number of aspects of her own life that she’s yet to explore and allow to shape her.

I also loved the discussion around memory as a thing that both keeps people or places or events alive to the person trying to remember them, but also as a roadblock to the future. Wren becomes so deeply mired in her memories that, in many ways, they become her present. As is evident in this book, it is far too easy to become beholden to what we used to be instead of moving forward and accepting the future. We all have to move forward. Some of us, like Wren, are just a little behind the curve.

In sum, there were a lot of things to enjoy about Postcards for a Songbird, and I look forward to exploring Crane’s other works.

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**eARC provided by NetGalley and Skyscape**
Postcards for a Songbird is a beautifully written story following Wren as she discovers who she is after her sister disappears and breaking free of the monotonous mold she’s been living in. It’s a story of moving away from sorrow and allowing the sun to come in. I enjoyed reading it.
The reason I was drawn to this book is because I read Rebekah Crane’s previous work and remembered loving it. I love the way she writes, her characters, and the overall message. Postcards for a Songbird is no exception. It’s beautifully written, the characters are unique with realistic voices, and the overall theme is an important one.
The plot is very much character driven. It’s Wren and the people around her who pull the story together and drag it throughout the novel. It really is about Wren and her finding who she is. What I love about that, though, is we see a side character named Baby Girl who goes through her own journey of finding herself. I thought the addition of that small detail was interesting. We also see Luca and how he deals with his family issues. As a character driven story, it was nice reading the different issues the people around Wren are going through and how they cope because they’re issues most people experience throughout their life.
The writing in this book is beautiful. The way Crane crafts in bird and color metaphors throughout the story is very poetic and it paints a gorgeous setting. You can read the emotions Wren goes through and that of her friends which I thought was a nice touch. And the way Crane writes teenagers and how they interact is very genuine. I loved reading the conversations between everyone! It was a mix of humor with real issues and touching moments that made the book a little more enjoyable.
I also loved the way Crane writes Wren and her depression and she’s pulled out of it. There is a love interest, but he doesn’t fall in love with her because he wants to fix her. He falls for her because he’s intrigued, and Wren allows him to be a part of his life. She also makes a friend and starts a friendship with someone unexpected in her life. Together, they help bring her out of the dullness after her sister’s disappearance, and she learns to bring in the color without needing her sister. It’s a beautiful to read.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It had humor, serious moments, and touched on topics that I feel are important to talk about in the YA world. I would recommend this book to teens who are dealing with depression and need a pick-me-up or anyone who just needs a read full of sunshine and hope.

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This book was really big surprise, and I can't really understand the bad reviews I found on Goodreads.

The writing style is absolutely unique and made me fall in love with the whole story instantly. Its full of metaphors, poetry like and absolutely colorful, which gives the story a completely different shade of feelings while reading it! I felt like I fell into a poem.

The Story is about becoming. Becoming yourself, becoming something more. Its about finding out who you are, who you want to be, and what you were. Its about love and friendship, about adventure and anxiety, about loving and losing and so much more. The characters feel so deeply and are absolutely funny and unique and I loved how some of them never where real, while others were life incarnate. I loved the energy surrounding this book and also the message it carries around - be unapologetically yourself - and love yourself for it. Also I liked the completely different ideas like seeing auras, and the world in pictures the author had, it made the story a bit abstract, like some art is abstract, but still beautiful, and I loved it.

After finishing this book I immediately put all other books by this author on my "to be read"-list. I can't wait to fall into a world with her unique writing again!

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Postcards for a Songbird is a beautifully and poetically written book about a girl named Wren who has lost so much in her life that the fear of losing everything has taken over and put her in a constant state of worry. After her mother left at a young age she clung to her sister while their father worked night shift as a police officer. Not seeing much of their dad, the girls rely on each other as support and grow up in their own world of imagination with a painted forest in a bedroom for an escape. Knowing that her sister had the same flighty tendencies as their mother was said to have, Wren knew that she must hold on tight for fear of her sister disappearing one day as well. So its no surprise that when Lizzie does leave, Wren must learn how to live life for herself. And in the process find the truth that has been hidden from her throughout her entire life.

This book was one powerful gut wrenching sentence after the next. I had to frequently stop and just take in the words written on the page because my gosh were they beautiful. The author does an amazing job putting us in the mind of a young girl who has had a traumatic life, yet still wants to find herself among the rubble left behind. I found that I couldn't put down the book because you honestly just want things to turn around for Wren, and for her life to finally start happening.

This is definitely a slower paced book and I think that is because its not really action packed, but more of a slow process of growing up and learning what life has to offer. Its the day to day actions of a teenage girl and sometimes that's not as exciting as you might think it would be. So because of the context of the story being told, this is one that you just take your time and try and understand the inner workings of a troubled girl's mind. Leading to a bit of a slower read, but I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing, especially with the beautiful way it is written..

The reason I rated this in the mid range on the rating scale would be because as beautiful as it is, its a very very sad and slightly depressing book. It puts you in a mindset of a very troubled and sad girl and she is very hard on herself throughout the book up until the very end. And while living life through her eyes is poetic, its also hard to read because you just want things to turn around and be happy for a change. But thats not the case for poor Wren. She hits one struggle after the next and it really does start to bring you down after a while. And then its also a little confusing at times wondering if some of the things she experiences are even real. I had a feeling that a certain character wasn't really there, but you don't really know until the very end what is actually going on.

All in all I think that this wasn't a bad read, but it also wasn't one I would go around suggesting to others because of the sad and down trodden vibe it gives the reader. I tend to want to recommend more uplifting and happy reads. But that doesn't mean that this is a bad book by any means. I think that sometimes we need to have the sad in order for the happy to mean anything, and in this case, this beautiful book was perfect for what it was meant to be. It told a strong and brave story that needed to be told and in the end I don't regret reading it. I actually really enjoyed it. Just make sure to prepare yourself for some heavy feelings when reading this book.

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In trying to layer subplots and subtexts into her story, Crane missed the mark for me. Wren is a quiet character who seems often acted upon rather than choosing to act. Though the story had potential, it was WAY too slow a pace with characters that felt very underdeveloped.

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I absolutely adored and enjoyed reading this book. What a profound and moving story. Postcards to a Songbird is the kind of book that got me into reading contemporary YA in the first place. I loved how eccentric and off-beat it was. Wren was such a strong character who did not know her strength. She lived in her sister’s shadow all her life and tried to make sure her sister never left, that she never found out who she was. She never found out what she wanted in life and was content to just let life flow around her. But when her older sister leaves, Wren starts to discover who she is and what she wants out of life.
I liked Leia and Luca from the beginning. Leia did not beat around the bush and I loved how she was so open from the start. She felt a certain way about things and she made sure to let everyone know. I liked Luca because his personality was so great and infections. He was happy and he too did not beat around the bush. He liked Wren from the moment they met and he made sure to let Wren know that. He was persistent and talkative in a way that sad Wren wasn’t. He slowly but surely helped pull Wren out of the shadows. Baby Girl was a great character too and I loved seeing her finding herself alongside Wren. These three new friends helped Wren when she needed it the most and so did Wilder in his own way.
The secret that surrounded Wren’s mother leaving and Lizzie leaving fourteen years later were also amazing to find out. I didn’t see it turning out the way it did. But finding that out made me understand Chief—Wren’s father—more. He only wanted to protect his girls from the horrors of the world but by holding on so tight, he was the reason they wanted to escape so much. I enjoyed this book as much as I thought I would and I am so glad I agreed to read and review an early copy of it. I can't wait to try more of Rebekah Crane's books!

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A contemporary Young Adult story, Postcards for a Songbird is the story of Wren, a young girl trying to deal with feelings of abandonment when her older sister Lizzie runs away from home. Since their mother left when Wren was just a baby , Wren has often wondered about her, and along with Lizzie has imagined hundreds of different scenarios about where her mother might be now, but without Lizzie she is really struggling. When a chance meeting with Luca, a young skateboarder, at the grocery store finally sparks some interest, she starts to build a life for herself and make friends .
This was a really strange book, there were things about it that I liked for example the use of colour, but overall the story was confusing, the book lacked clarity in too many places. While some of the secondary characters like Leia and Baby Girlwere fun, Wren's Dad , Chief, and even Lizzie at times felt more like a sketch than a fully realised character. The writing felt a little stiff at times and the pacing was definitely on the slower side and the I can't say I was a fan of the way the book ended.
I read and reviewed a copy courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.

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Postcards for a songbird deals with wren who is 16 years old who's sister just up and leaves when she turns 18. Not only that her mother left the picture when she was on a young child. Chief Wren's father worries about her and wants to send her to Utah to live with her aunt but Wren doesn't want to leave she wants to stay with her dad and wait for her sister to come back.

I loved the characters in this story. I loved the writing. I loved the issues that it dealt with. Like families, abandonedment, friendship, depression, etc. Some of the quotes I highlighted were so beautiful. I just devoured this story and I didnt want it to end. First book I have read from this author. Will definitely be picking up her other books.

I want to thank Netgalley for providing me an arc of this book for an honest review.

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Wren believes that anyone she gets close to in her life leaves her: first her mother, and now her sister. Her police officer father is the only constant in her life and when he pushes her to start getting out more, including getting her driver's license, neither of then thought how far she would go.  

Rebekah Crane is a beautiful writer and I found her prose very flowery, something that I liked—for the most part—but definitely not for everyone. There were times where I really enjoyed it and then sometimes the writing could feel a little cliche and predictable.  

I felt the plot moved very slow. Any time Wren mentioned her sister, Lizzie, the plot seemed to halt. I know she’s struggling with not having Lizzie there, but I wanted her to live her life more, which she did as the story progressed. It just took a long time to get there. I almost DNFed the book at about 30%, but it started to pick up a little. Then once Wren started to live her life on her terms, Wren went from 0 to 100—it didn't feel believable.  The side story of her neighbor Wilder was a waste. There was nothing there that added to the over arching story. 

Even thinking back to the story now, there really wasn't anything about it that was memorable.

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Disclaimer: I was given an advance reading copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Skyscape for the opportunity.

Before picking this book up, I've had the feeling that it's going to be a sad book, and when I finished it, it confirmed my prediction. But don't get me wrong. It might spark emotions, but this is still good book --it just wasn't for me.

The plot was encouraging and really hits you. Its dealing with filling the void of someone you're used to be with. but the pacing started slow, and it was an ongoing theme throughout the book. I'm not huge fan of slow-paced books, so I could really say that this is a it's-not-the-book-it's-me situation.

I'd be happy to read another book by the author, but I'm sure that others will enjoy this book. I'm still giving this a fair rating of 3.5 STARS.

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Until a month ago, Wren lived in her own little bubble with her sister, Lizzie. But, like everyone else, Lizzie left her. Determined not to make any new attachments, Wren shut herself up in her house, watching Wheel of Fortune with her dad. She soon began to make some connections and reconnections, but would she choose the safety of her loneliness or take a chance on these new friendships?

My love affair with Crane's books continues. I was immediately swept up into Wren's world via the beautiful and lyrical prose. I found her struggle with abandonment and loneliness very relatable, and thought Crane did a wonderful job illustrating those feelings.

There was a bit of mystery in this story, which somewhat intrigued me. What happened in Idaho? Where did Lizzie go? What's Wilder's story? And, Crane addressed each and everyone of these questions for me, but what really kept me reading were the complex and well developed characters, who inhabited Wren's world.

Leia was such a force. Her rants about hormones and artificial colors amused me, and I love that she was able to light a fire under Wren and get her to spread her wings a little. Baby Girl was a link for Wren to her sister, but she ended up being a fantastic friend. My favorite, though, was Luca. If I were younger, he would be my newest book boyfriend, because his charm, wit, persistence, affection, kindness, and generosity were a thing of beauty. That kid brought a smile to my face every time he came on page, and I definitely basked in his yellow aura.

Then, there was Wren. Her pain was palpable. Her loss, so profound. She was a shell without her sister, and I really wanted her to grab onto these opportunities, to connect with other people, and open herself up to possibilities. I wanted her to discover the truth, and free herself from the blame and guilt she carried about the demise of her family. I wanted her to shake her father awake from the sleepwalking life he had been living, because she needed a parent, who was both physically and emotionally present. I wanted so many things for her, and I was elated to make this healing journey with her, because it was important for me to see all these things happen.

Overall: A gorgeously written story of healing and gaining freedom from the past, in order to make connections and move towards the future.

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If you love music type reads this is for you. I love stories like this especially when it involves my favorite pastime. Will read more from this author in the future. Highly recommend.

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Postcards for a Songbird by Rebekah Crane a four-star read that will take you on a journey. This did take a long time to get into, so don’t give up as you will enjoy it in the end. As soon as I read the blurb, I was desperate to read this one, it just seemed to have a mild level darkness and a drama that I thought I would enjoy. The dialogues of the story were well written, and they made the story for me, the flashbacks let it down as on a couple I was left so confused wondering what it was about. There was a great balance to most of the characters and you may not feel compelled to know more about all, but some will compel you to read their story’s.

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The concept of this book seemed very sad and it WAS. I wasn't expecting things to be so dark (sometimes). my heart was hurting for wren.

this book was SO SLOW. i had to force myself to finish it. one of the only things that made it bearable was luca. i'm so glad wren finally found people that "saw" her.

the flashbacks to the conversations wren had with lizzie were so confusing i still have questions. also the moments with wilder were also so confusing i still don't understand what that's as all about.

gotta love relatable books that make you cry!! wren's constant worries and thoughts about being "unwanted" and "unnoticeable" made me so sad because i can relate to those feelings so much.

i'm sure other people will enjoy this book, but personally it just wasn't for me. 6/10 the cover is so pretty.

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You know how sometimes you get lucky & a book comes along that just resonates with you in a way you weren't prepared for? A book whose words linger long after the cover has been closed?

That's what this book, #PostcardsForASongbird, was for me. I love the writer's writing style. I'm so grateful to have received an advanced copy from #NetGalley.

The book is about a girl who is dealing with her sister being missing and the space that left behind.

The ending had 2 large components -- one I saw coming shortly beforehand and another that made me want to reread the book to check for consistencies! Rare is is that I'm surprised by a twist anymore.

The characters were beautifully drawn out and you felt like you knew them. Beautiful little weirdos in a beautiful little weird book. I have already picked up other work by the author to see if she always writes so eloquently.

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I received an eARC for this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley. When I saw this title and read for the description, I was really looking forward to the story. It took me awhile to get to it, but it was interesting once it was started. I loved the concept of the story. It did feel slow a few moments and at some points I did get a little confused/felt lost. Overall though, I did enjoy this story!

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Disclaimer: I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wren was two when her mother left. Then she lost her best friend. Her friend didn’t die but decided that Wren wasn’t worth it. Then her sister Lizzie left when Wren was 16. And that’s where we begin, just over a month after Lizzie has left.

Wren’s father also known as Chief forces Wren back into the land of the living by signing Wren up for driver’s education class. There she meets Luca who seems to like her, and Wren doesn’t understand how anyone could possibly like her. She finds herself hesitant to get to know him because if she does, she fears that he’ll leave her too just like everyone else has.

While this is happening, a mysterious boy named Wilder moves in next door. Wren and Wilder communicate at first by staring at each other from their windows, but when they exchange numbers, they begin texting with each other. Wilder has some sort of mysterious illness that makes him unable to leave his house.

Wren begins receiving postcards from her sister, and she realizes that she must confront reasons why her mother and her sister left, 14 years apart. She also must decide if it’s worth letting other people in.

I was drawn to the story initially by the publisher’s description because it is an extremely compelling description. However, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. The first 30 pages or so leave the reader more confused than not, and a lot of the language is especially flowery at first. This is in contrast to how old Wren actually is. Wren is written as 16, but she feels younger–around 13 or 14.

Additionally, issues of mental health are danced around, and Wren hears a rant from Leia, a girl about her age that she meets at the grocery store, about how anti-depressants are evil. This is not contradicted at all within the rest of the story which I was frustrated by.

The pacing does pick up after the first 30-40 pages, but the ease of understanding the plot doesn’t. When there’s a couple of twists revealed, the reader is left with more questions than answers, and while there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, these are questions that make the plot as a whole difficult to understand.

Overall, I was disappointed by this book.

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