I can’t really begin to convey my disappointment for “Crow Girl.” Let me start off by saying, yes, I understand this is a book oriented towards reluctant readers, and given the reading level of the book, I was actually fine with that. I was also fine in that ultimately, this is a story about a young lady named Lily who isn’t very confident in herself and faces against a group of girl bullies who pick, prod, and tease her to no end. Her only comfort lies in keeping company with a group of crows that she feeds and trains. Ultimately, for Halloween (her favorite holiday) she gets an idea to establish herself in a new light as “Crow Girl”, and the story, from there on is how she overcomes her fears and bullies with her respective identity.
This is quite firmly a young adult novel considering the language and content themes. I was surprised at the blunt use of language and drinking here. While the character is a teenager, she seems much younger in voice than even I think would be noted for a reluctant reader. Sure, I could identify with the themes of self-worth and standing up in the face of fear, but Lily’s story feels very fabricated and unrealistic, even to the point where it feels more silly than resonant. The story’s static tone prevents it from being more than what it could’ve been, I think.
Overall, I can’t really recommend “Crow Girl” as a memorable read for reluctant readers of young adult – there are far better titles out there that not only provide better narrative, but also more resonating focus in an overarching story.
Overall score: 1/5
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley from the publisher Stoke Books/Lerner.