Black Helicopters - YA Review by Elise S

Reader: Elise S.
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: If you want a creepy point of view book, run to your nearest store for Black Helicopters. The highest recommendation I can give is that reading this book gave me insight into a mind that before was completely incomprehensible. I mean, she's a survivalist terrorist with a bomb strapped to her chest, for God's sake. How can I, a normal high schooler, relate to somebody who thinks the way to change the government is by blowing things up? And yet, I did. At their best, books connect people. Simply put, this one does.
Memorable or Forgettable: The stakes were raised on the first page. The book was broken up between the confusingly terrifying present of her going to blow something up, and flashbacks to Valkyrie's crazy intense past raised in secrecy  and paranoia by a conspiracy theorist. I was given just enough information to need to keep reading. While the logic presented is scary and out of control, the author wrote Valkyrie's character well enough that it made just enough sense. I finished the book wondering if there wasn't some grain of truth to what she was thinking. I got how she and her father arrived at black helicopters and bombs.
Cover: The intensity of the cover matched the intensity of the book very well. The explosive eye, with vibrant, attractive colors, followed the continual thread of the bomb, and stood out from the black background. All in all, the cover was well designed to stand out on the shelf.
Age Range: 14 through 18 and up
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal
Annotation: One teen girl, one bomb, and a car trip riddled with flashbacks to a survivalist past. Throughout the journey Valkyrie shares her memories and conspiracy logic.

tags: suicide bomber / mystery / thriller / conspiracy theory / BFYA nominee / ya lit

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