Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Solitude of a Birdcage

21524962Maxie Shannen and Savannah Trimmel are more than best friends. They're sisters, bound by a tragic past and an unbreakable bond. When Isaac, Savannah's boyfriend, falls victim to an act of violence that leaves him with no recollection of the prior eighteen months, both women tend to his recovery. For Savannah, it's simply an attempt to care for the man she loves.

For Maxie, it's a chance at redemption.

She tells Isaac nothing of the passionate secrets they'd been keeping from Savannah, nor of the unyielding feelings that nearly consumed them both.

But as the fragile wall obstructing Isaac's memory begins to crack, hidden truths slip through the fissures, and Maxie will once again be faced with an impossible choice-- her loyalty, or her heart.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Brielle Skye shares the story of three young adults living in New York, struggling to discover who they are, when tragedy strikes, sending their lives into an uproar of chaos and confusion. Though Maxie is the main character, Isaac and Van (Savannah) play major roles in the plot. 

Maxie is very secretive but she's trustworthy to the reader. If the story were told from Van's point of view, she would be the antagonist. She's the "other woman" which is often times the disliked character. Skye writes a strong case for Maxie, allowing readers to like her even though she's the character committing the unmoral act. 

Isaac, however, is difficult to trust. He continues dating Van in order to be closer to Maxie, which doesn't make a lot of sense. At certain points, he even uses Van to hurt Maxie's feelings. On the opposite side of the spectrum, he opens up to Maxie, revealing intimate details of his life, while also protecting her. He's a character that readers can't quite figure out. He appears to be in love with Maxie and wishes to come clean to Van so they can begin their life together, but he and Van seem to have secrets of their own. 

Van is written as a character to be disliked. She's a working model who only talks about herself. She is selfish, dependent, and egotistical. Though, she does have her loyal, caring moments. Van openly discusses her feelings, worries, and dreams. In her version of this book, she would be the protagonist: the girl readers want to see end up happily-ever-after. 

When Isaac is first introduced to the two friends, he's interested in Maxie, but soon begins dating Van. With a broken heart, Maxie watches as the man she has fallen in love with spends his days with her best friend. When she learns he's also developing feelings for Maxie, they begin a secret affair. Then Isaac is the victim of a break-in, leaving him with a head injury and no memory of the past year and a half. At this point, the story really begins as readers watch Maxie struggle between the desire to have her Isaac back and the option of moving forward to become a better person and friend.

Both Maxie and Isaac have haunted pasts which immediately forms a bond with the readers through empathy and sympathy. Maxie's mother committed suicide and her dad left shortly after, leaving her abandoned and alone at age fifteen. Isaac's father was abusive and murdered his mother before shooting himself when she tried to leave him. These are horrendous situations to experience, and I couldn't even imagine it, but this background information combined with other tragedies that strike the two characters quickly become too overwhelming. Suicide, murder, burglary, violence, attempted rape, molestation, and drug use. That's a lot of horror for one character's plate.

As the first book in the Forget Me Not series, Solitude of a Birdcage creates a soap opera like situation for the three characters. With so much going on, the novel struggles to be believable. Though the high amount of drama reels the reader in. The entertainment and intrigue that this book generates will leave readers wanting more even though the characters have definitely been put through the ringer time and time again. 

Rating: 3.5 /5 Cups

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