Black Helicopters - YA Review by AJ G

Reader: AJ G.
Age: 17
Title: Black Helicopters
Author: Blythe Woolston
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pub Date: 03/26/13
Galley: Yes
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book: I really liked this book. I read it in one sitting, in fact. I really loved the way it was told, with flashbacks to gradually give you the whole story. It's reminiscent of the "bigger game" talked about in the story itself. The character was absolutely fascinating, and I loved her voice. It was so original and inspired, as was the plot. I've read plenty of books with terrorists or anarchists in them, but never from their perspective. It's almost like reading the diary of a murderer.
Memorable or Forgettable: I think most people would characterize the bombers as bad guys, but when you look from their perspective at their life, it makes you think about it. Perhaps they had a reason for it. This book did a good job of making me feel sympathetic for the people I would normally call the bad guys, and I can't help but love that, and congratulate the author for accomplishing so difficult a task.
Cover: The cover could use some work, unfortunately. It's really the only thing I dislike about this book. It makes me think its going to be an historical fiction story, or something of the sort. Some short, action-packed story for thirteen-year-old boys. But I think it has broader appeal than that, which the cover should reflect. I'm also not sure how much shelf appeal it has.
Age Range: 12 through 17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Annotation: How often do you get both sides of any story? Usually you only get to read the version the Man produces. Blythe Woolston's Black Helicopters tells the other side of the story for once. The bomber's side.

tags:  suicide bomber / mystery / thriller / BYFA nominee / ya lit

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