Publisher: Little Prince Publishing (June 25, 2011)
There are defining moments in life when everything changes. For Dani Mays, it was the day she witnessed her father kill her brother. Now seventeen years-old, she still hasn’t put it behind her. After Jace’s death, she bounced between her alcoholic mother and foster homes, until she found a permanent place. And a reason to want to stay: Reece Tyler. He’s her best friend, yet Dani wants more from Reece. Faced with losing Reece, Dani struggles to define his place in her life and escape the influence her memories of her brother’s death have over her choices. Even as she weaves the pieces of her heart back together, the past becomes more than a memory when a former foster brother reappears and Dani begins receiving threatening phone calls.
Songbird is a sweet story that perfectly captures the quest for love, laced with moments of pain and suspense, and you end up being sucked in from the very first words. The first chapter is so horrific and gut-wrenching and helps readers instantly sympathize with poor Dani, as the then six-year-old witnesses her brother's murder by her father from a playground tube she's hiding in.
Now, at seventeen, Dani yearns to escape her past and find love in the eyes and arms of her best friend, Reece, but right when the bonds of her friendships with him are strained, her life gets chucked into further turmoil at the resurfacing of a former foster brother in her school and threatening phone calls she begins receiving. She must make peace with her past and self-reflect to discover if her heart's desire is really her true love or just a replacement for her brother. And by the time the haze clears and the caller mystery plays out, will it be too late to follow her heart?
Some YA authors use empty, bland first person narrators, but Fristoe's use of Dani's voice immediately strikes chords of confidence and surety. Aside from a couple of grammatical slip ups, there's no hesitance or clumsiness or amateurism anywhere in sight in this debut novel. It's rich in detail and characterization and is packed with plenty of showing actions.
Songbird is light on plot, but it's the perfect read if you're looking a story that will tug at your heart and stay with you long after you close the cover ... or turn off your eReader ... or whatever your word-addiction vice may be. :)
~ Signing off and sending out cyber hugs.