*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: Chicken Girl
Author: Heather Smith
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Poppy used to be an optimist. But after a photo of her dressed as Rosie the Riveter is mocked online, she’s having trouble seeing the good in the world. As a result, Poppy trades her beloved vintage clothes for a feathered chicken costume and accepts a job as an anonymous sign waver outside a restaurant. There, Poppy meets six-year-old girl Miracle, who helps Poppy see beyond her own pain, opening her eyes to the people around her: Cam, her twin brother, who is adjusting to life as an openly gay teen; Buck, a charming photographer with a cute British accent and a not-so-cute mean-streak; and Lewis a teen caring for an ailing parent, while struggling to reach the final stages of his gender transition. As the summer unfolds, Poppy stops glorifying the past and starts focusing on the present. But just as she comes to terms with the fact that there is good and bad in everyone, she is tested by a deep betrayal.
Open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec. Giveaway rules are listed on Instagram. Like the image and tag 2 friends to be entered to win. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, February 26th, 2019.
Chicken Girl tells the story of sixteen-year-old Poppy who is struggling to find hope in her life after being the victim of cyberbullying and body-shaming online. Her world was once bright and full of life, but she’s now lost that happiness and can’t seem to pull herself from her slump. Even her twin brother, Cam, isn’t enough to bring her back up, though she desperately wants to be happy again. Through her summer job, Poppy meets a whole host of new people who change her life completely. She spends her summer undergoing a journey to regain her confidence and so see the world beyond her own perspectives and judgements, growing into the confident and lovely young woman she’d lost somewhere along the way.
I tore through this novel in a single morning. I loved it so much. This is one of the best YA books I’ve read in a long while. It’s full of a cast of inspiring characters, all misfits in their own lives, who support one another. They’ve all struggled with their own difficult journeys and they’ve been thrust together in this story to learn from one another and to grow for the better. Their paths all include anger, hatred, judgement, fear, loss, and change. However, with one another’s support, they find love, kindness, forgiveness, and acceptance. Some of these characters are homeless or face abuse, some have struggled with racism, some are exploring their sexuality or sexual orientation. What is true for them all is that none of them are perfect. They all have faults and they are all imperfect. They hurt one another and themselves, but in the end, forgiveness triumphs.
This is a story of love and of community. It’s about people coming together, despite their differences. All of these characters are on a quest for truth and acceptance. They all seek and are deserving of love, but they have all struggled in their own ways. They have lived very human existence and experiences. Smith’s story highlights that as humans, we should celebrate our differences and come together to support one another, even though we may face incredible adversity and challenge. What is important is to seek to understand others’ stories and backgrounds and to support one another with kindness and love.
I would highly recommend this book to young adults and adult readers alike. It was an incredibly moving story that I believe will have a profound impact on readers.