The Meaning of Birds by Jaye Robin Brown is probably a wonderfully amazing contemporary story about loss and healing. Unfortunately, for that very reason, it’s definitely not for me. I’ve said in the past that I’m really not the biggest fan of contemporary novels, especially contemporary romance as I make very few exceptions for the books I’ll read. And when it comes to these kinds of books, those that deal with grief aren’t in my repertoire of books that I have a good time reading. And that’s largely for personal reasons, but the fact that those kinds of emotions are not ones I really deal well with definitely plays a large role in my desire to avoid this book. But, you know, if you really are interested in reading a book about a character who is working through her grief and eventually comes to heal, I’d definitely say that The Meaning of Birds is worth checking out. Another plus is that it features LGBTQ main characters. The book also seems to touch base on anger issues within a teenager and though I will admit that I’m not well versed on the subject of anger management, it is an interesting addition to the story, especially as the anger issues came before the trauma and grief.
Before, Jessica has always struggled with anger issues, but come sophomore year that all changes when Vivi crashes into her life. As their relationship blossoms, Vivi not only helps Jess deal with her pain, she also encourages her to embrace her talent as an artist. And for the first time, it feels like the future is filled with possibilities. After In the midst of senior year, Jess’s perfect world is erased when Vivi suddenly passes away. Reeling from the devastating loss, Jess pushes everyone away, and throws out her plans to go to art school. Because art is Vivi and Vivi is gone forever.
Desperate for an escape, Jess gets consumed in her work-study program, letting all of her dreams die. Until she makes an unexpected new friend who shows her a new way to channel her anger, passion, and creativity. Although Jess may never draw again, if she can find a way to heal and room in her heart, she just might be able to forge a new path for herself without Vivi.
How do you feel about The Meaning of Birds? Is this a book you think that you’d be interested in reading? Is it one you’d rather not pick up? What do you think about the inclusion of anger issues and death? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments! Happy reading, everyone!