Flip the Bird
Author: Kym Brunner
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, ebook
Synopsis: Mercer Buddie wants two things in this world: a girlfriend and the chance to prove to his master falconer father that he’s not a flake. With hunting season fast approaching, fourteen-year-old Mercer has only a short time to work with Flip, a red-tailed hawk he irreverently named to show his dad that falconers don’t have to be so serious all the time.
When Mercer meets Lucy, he falls hard for her gorgeous looks and bubbly personality. He thinks his love life is about to take flight, until he discovers that Lucy and her family belong to a fanatical animal-rights organization called HALT—a group that believes imposing any sort of restrictions on animals is a form of cruelty. Mercer soon realizes that if he wants to keep seeing Lucy, he’ll need to keep his love of falconry and his family’s raptor rehabilitation center a secret from her, and Lucy’s involvement with HALT from his family.
With humor and honesty, Mercer’s story shows how growing up means making difficult choices…and sometimes, being rewarded in unexpected ways.
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Flip the Bird seemed like a really awesome book as far as realistic contemporary fiction goes – a while back I read a middle grade book about owls and found it really fascinating, so I thought I might feel the same about this. This book is definitely more young adult, so I did enjoy it quite a bit for different reasons.
Instead of owls, this book focuses on a red-tailed hawk. And fourteen year old Mercer Buddie. Mercer just wants to feel normal…and of course, show his dad, who is a falconer, that he knows what he is doing and that he should be proud of Mercer. With a hunting season coming, Mercer will be working with a red-tailed hawk by the name of Flip, to help keep him safe.
However, when Mercer meets this super pretty girl named Lucy, he thinks that everything might just be looking up for him. However, he hears that this girl he has fallen for might be a member of a super animal rights group – and that she and the group she belongs to might believe that putting any restrictions on animals is animal cruelty. So he has to keep his family’s work a secret from her so she doesn’t find out and have everything go south.
Flip the Bird has a whole bunch of hilarious elements coupled with sweet “awe” worthy moments that will make you smile. I loved the whole relationship between Mercer and Lucy – it had that cute feel to it, and although it was kind of rough that Mercer felt the need to lie to Lucy, you can sympathize with him as to why he did it.
This is the kind of book that keeps your interest so you keep turning the pages until you’ve finished reading. It’s a story line that hasn’t really been done before, and the characters are easily likeable.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Kym Brunner dreams entire novels in her head, but needs about a year to write it all down. She wishes there was an app for this. She’s addicted to chai tea, going to the movies, and reality TV. When she’s not reading or writing, Kym teaches 7th grade full time. Her article, Cracking Down on Multiple POVs: Surrender and Nobody Gets Hurt, appeared in Writer’s Digest online (July, 2014). She is the author of the three YA novels listed below. She lives in the Chicago area with her family and her two trusty writing companions, a pair of Shih Tzus named Sophie and Kahlua. Keep in touch by following her on Facebook (Author Kym Brunner), Twitter (@KymBrunner), or at her website, http://www.kymbrunner.com.
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3 winners will receive a finished copy of FLIP THE BIRD, US Only.