Friday, February 17, 2017

Review: Snowbirds by Crissa-Jean Chappell

Rating: PG
Genre: Fiction
Score: 4.5 stars
Page Count: 280
Stand Alone
Publisher: Merit Press
Published: January 18th, 2017

Secrets Were a Way of Life.
But Secrets Have Gone Too Far …

Every year, Lucy waits eagerly for the arrival of the “snowbirds,” the Old Order Amish who come trundling into Florida on buses from the north, bringing Lucy’s best friend Alice, with whom she’s spent every winter she can remember. This winter is different. At sixteen, Alice is in the middle of “Rumspringa,” a season in which Amish teens try out forbidden temptations, in order to get them out of their system. Lucy is part of a different sect, in which teens aren’t allowed such bold experimentation, and she’s fighting to keep up as Alice races from one wild party to the next. Then, one night after just such a party, Alice vanishes. Wracked by guilt, Lucy knows that she should have been watching out for Alice, but instead, she was kissing Faron, an Older Order boy shunned by his society. Now, Lucy plunges into a search for her best friend—while also hiding her own secret, which could put her in even more danger.

1. Special thanks to Merit Press for sending me a physical copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! When they contacted me about possibly reviewing the book, I was actually really excited to read it! I've never read a book that follows an Amish or Mennonite character before, let alone read any books that so much as mentioned it. I don't know much about their way of living but I have seen movies and shows that featured such a topic. I was even more interested when I read that it was a mystery and since I'm a sucker for mysteries, I just had to read it. Here's the review: 

2. I adored our main character Lucy. She's the type of girl who doesn't like letting people down, especially her father. At first, we see that Lucy is very obedient and is constantly making sure she's not breaking any 'rules' that she's assigned herself. But as the story goes on and Lucy realizes there's a lot more about the world that she wants to discover and her passion for wanting to go to college to study the ocean continues to burn bright, Lucy quickly gets caught up in a personal war. She has to choose whether to stay and do as her father expects of her or risk losing everything in order to go after her dreams. Not only that, but the disappearance of her friend Alice only has Lucy asking more questions about where her friend disappeared to, who she really was, and who should she trust.

3. The writing was really great. It was almost poetic at times when Lucy explains the emotions she's feeling, often comparing them to the ocean, snow, trees, rivers, and other surrounding nature. Lucy goes through a great deal of character development and she slowly starts to become more determined to find her missing friend, begins to question what she truly wants for her life, and if going after what she truly wants is worth losing everything she's ever known. The atmosphere was almost crisp like winter air and at times, you could almost feel the chill of the autumn/winter season as Lucy searches for Alice as the days grow cold. 

4. Overall, I just really enjoyed this novel. The mystery of Alice's disappearance and my love for the characters kept me hooked from the very first page. I was so dedicated to the story and as the search for Alice continues, I found myself really cheering for Lucy more and more. She really impressed me as a main character and her strength, passion, and loyalty was truly admirable. It's been a while since I've really loved a book as much as I did this one and I think it's a great read for anyone who wants a fresh and original mystery that also deals with a diverse subject. I'm honestly a little sad that the book is only 280 pages. Like, seriously. 

You Can Purchase The Book Here:

About The Author:

Crissa-Jean ChappellCrissa-Jean Chappell was born in Miami and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her debut young adult novel, TOTAL CONSTANT ORDER (HarperTeen) is a NYPL Book For The Teen Age and a VOYA Perfect Ten. Chappell’s second novel, NARC (Flux Books) is currently optioned for film. MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH (Flux Books) is a Florida Book Awards medalist, which Kirkus calls, "compelling and emotionally nuanced." Chappell's newest YA novel is SNOWBIRDS (Merit Press, F+W Media, winter 2017). She holds a PhD and MFA from the University of Miami and has taught creative writing and cinema studies for over ten years. When she misses South Florida, she talks to the parrots in Prospect Park.

Author Links:


  1. Sounds like an interesting mystery. I like to have characters that you can relate to.
    Too bad this book was on the short side for you.:)

  2. I have to admit I don't know much about this way of life either, so it might be enlightening to read this book. But it does sound like the character is going through a pretty big dilemma. It's hard to choose between those two! I am glad you were able to enjoy this one so much.

    1. That's the biggest reason why I decided to read it, I thought it could be very enlightening and even educational and give me a new perspective on the way some people live their lives. I highly recommend it!