Book Review: The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith

The Alex Crow by Andrew SmithAuthor:  Andrew Smith

Genre: young adult, sci-fi, contemporary

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 10, 2015

336 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

The Alex Crow was my first Andrew Smith book, and I was pretty blown away. This book is nuts, you guys. It’s remarkably strange and different and weird, and I loved it. I’m not even really sure how to review it because of how weird it was, but I’ll try.

Andrew Smith expertly weaves together three seemingly separate story lines about a melting man who was told by Joseph Stalin to build a bomb and travel hundreds of miles to set it off, an exploratory ship from the 1880s (called The Alex Crow) on its way to the North Pole, and a Middle Eastern boy named Ariel (AH-riel, get it straight) who is the lone survivor of his village being murdered by a terrorist group and is now living in the US. It’s surprisingly hard to go into much detail about the plot of this book without giving anything away, but I was completely enthralled and shocked with how it all came together.

I loved the focus on friendship in this book. Ariel, his adoptive brother Max (aka he of the innumerable euphemisms for masturbation), and Cobie, the only other sane kid at the camp where the three of them are sent, bond over the uncontrollable situation they’ve been thrown into. They go through a lot of crazy stuff, and it brings them closer.

This is a layered, complicated story that actually goes a lot deeper than what meets the eye. It brings up a lot of hard issues like morality, race, gender, friendship, and kindness. It’s not always the easiest book to read nor is it like anything else you’ve ever read (or at least anything I’ve ever read). This book is messy and complicated and just so so good.

The bottom line: I honestly cannot wait to read another of Andrew Smith’s books. The Alex Crow was disturbing, weird, awkward, hilarious, and absolutely wonderful.

Rating: 8 – freaking fantastic

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR List

Instead of doing books that haven’t been released yet or books I haven’t bought, I’m going to make a list of the ten books I already own that I would like to read this spring. It’ll hopefully work as a way to keep me on track and make me feel a little obligation to get through it before summer. So let’s see. Ten of the books I would like to read this spring (all titles linked to Goodreads):

Mosquitoland by David Arnold    Echo Boy by Matt Haig     Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid     Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell     All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Echo Boy by Matt Haig

Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid

Eleanor & Park Rainbow Rowell

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas     The Distance Between Us by Kasie West     Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater     The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith     Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

This was a little easier than trying to list all the amazing books coming out this spring that I want to buy! What books are on your spring TBR?