Received: Received a copy from the publisher through NetGalleyRelease Date: June 18, 2013
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A spectacularly original, vibrant, and spirited debut narrated by a shy, sensitive college student who, in her search for love and family, must flee everything she knows.
Margie Fitzgerald has always had a soft spot for helpless creatures. Her warm heart breaks, her left ovary twinges, and Margie finds herself smitten with sympathy. This is how Margie falls in love with her Latin professor, a lonely widower and single father who trembles visibly in class. This is how Margie joins a band of ragtag student activists called H.E.A.R.T. (Humans Encouraging Animal Rights Today) in liberating lovebirds from their pet-store cages. And this is how Margie becomes involved in a plan so dangerous, so reckless, and so illegal, that she must flee her California college town, cut off contact with her dear old dad, and start fresh in a place unlike anywhere she has ever been. Introducing one of the most unforgettable heroines in recent fiction, The Lovebird is a novel about a girl who can't abandon a lost cause, who loves animals, and who must travel to the loneliest place on earth to figure out where she really belongs.
I remember reading the synopsis of this when I first requested it off Netgalley, but to be honest by the time I got around to reading it I forgot what it was about... I knew I liked the colours of the cover and I knew there was something interesting about it or why would I have requested it, right? Well it definitely was a cute book, but at times I felt that I was reading two different stories (both were interesting, but there needed to be something more to connect them).
The first half of the book focuses on Margie while in college and on her romance with her Latin professor. Throughout the book, I really sympathized with Margie, she is lonely and a very homey kind of girl that is always on the outside, until her Latin professor brings her to the inside of something, and that changes her life. When Margie finally finds her place it all becomes so much, she changes everything because of this love she has for her professor, she becomes vegan and becomes heavily involved in this group of animal activists. When the relationship falls apart, you really see how this person affected Margie and slowly everything around her starts to unravel and she gets herself in trouble. From here, we come to the next part of the book where Maggie must flee to the most secluded place ever... Crow country, a native reserve.
I really felt that the first half and the second half were almost two different books, Margie is a completely different character in each section. I do understand that the setting really changes her, and helps her learn about herself and what she needs to do to change. I really loved the characters during this part of the book, they help Margie learn so much about her life and they become family to her. This time alone gives Margie the chance to reminisce of her past and realize her mistakes.
The one thing about this book that I didn't realize until it was mentioned was when this was all taking place. Something about the beginning made me feel that this was a book that took place more in the past, something like the 70's or 80's... but it actually all takes place in present time. It's great to read a book about someone who becomes so passionate about a cause that it really takes over their life, and seeing how it effects not only them but the people they spend time with too.
In the end, I did enjoy myself with this story. It was great to see Margie learn that to grow up she needs to choose her own path instead of letting other choose it for her. Margie is a character that really grows up over time and learns where home really is for her. Though I felt that there were two different stories, I still enjoyed Margie's story.