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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

From the editor-in-chief of, a stunning novel about the end of the world--and the beginning of our future Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn't expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to al…

All the Birds in the Sky

by Charlie Jane Anders

Overall Book Review:

I didn’t know what I was getting into when I began reading this book. Something of a mix between Harry Potter and a dystopian teen novel, All the Birds in the Sky is something quite unique in the science fiction genre. I’ve never read anything quite like it. The beginning pages didn’t feel quite as promising as I had hoped, but once I was a few chapters in, I was hooked. 

I was a little disappointed that the hidden magical school that reminded me so much of Hogwarts wasn’t written about in much detail. I think there were maybe two pages dedicated to the topic of how Eltisley Maze trained its students in the art of useful magic. I think my favorite parts of this book included the history behind the house of one of the main characters, Patricia, and how she found out hot sauce gave her special powers. Yes, hot sauce. 

There was an undercurrent of good vs. evil throughout this book, which was nice. I like it when a book has a deeper meaning than just a story. All the Birds in the Sky is a story of two friends, but also so much more. It is funny at times–smart and fresh. I can’t wait to read more from this author.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  6 Religious exclamations; 4 mild obscenities; 2 religious profanities; 5 derogatory names; 9 scatological terms; 12 F-word derivatives. 

Violence/Gore:  A young girl finds an injured bird and tries to help it; a cat chases a girl who is carrying a bird; a character suspects he is being watched and poisoneda character discovers he has been poisoned; a mention is made of someone being run over by a truck and killed; a threat is written on a wall in what appears to be blood; a minor finds an article of clothing in her bag that has blood on it; a dead animal is mentioned to be seen; a boy is beat up and bruised by his peers at school; a character is described to be attacked by someone with a knife in a brief scene; two women are mentioned to be injured by a man; a superstorm occurs and causes extensive destruction.

Sex/Nudity:  A minor jokes about taking a girl’s shirt off; making out is mentioned; a girl is described to be nude in a non-sexual way; a brief mention of sex is made; a man fantasizes about what a woman might look like nude; a man wonders if sex with a woman might be magical; a sex scene spanning one page occurs with some brief description of touching and kissing (unmarried couple); a woman kisses a man and touches him in a sexual way.

Mature Subject Matter:

Personal and environmental crises, magic, witches, murder, cancer;, bullying, satanic rituals.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Minors smoke clove cigarettes; a smoking bong smell is noted; adults drink beer and whiskey; marijuana is mentioned; various drugs are mentioned to be in use; recreational drug use is referred to.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.