The Revolution of Birdie Randolph

The Revolution of Birdie Randolph

Perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Nicola Yoon comes a novel about first love and family secrets from Stonewall Book Award winner Brandy Colbert.Dove "Birdie" Randolph works hard to be the perfect daughter and follow the path her parents have laid out for her: She quit playing her beloved soccer, she keeps her nose buried in textbooks, and she's on track to finish high sc...

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Title:The Revolution of Birdie Randolph
Author:Brandy Colbert
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Revolution of Birdie Randolph Reviews

  • Camryn

    This is my second favorite Brandy Colbert book after Pointe! I didn’t expect to like this so much or to stay up reading the whole thing, but it was so readable and almost comforting in that way that I didn’t want to stop. I love that everyone was basically black and queer. The love interest reminded me of the love interest from my book, which is fun. I also saw myself and my family in a lot of this, like having an alcoholic family member/parent, a divorce that happens bc one parent is gay, being

    This is my second favorite Brandy Colbert book after Pointe! I didn’t expect to like this so much or to stay up reading the whole thing, but it was so readable and almost comforting in that way that I didn’t want to stop. I love that everyone was basically black and queer. The love interest reminded me of the love interest from my book, which is fun. I also saw myself and my family in a lot of this, like having an alcoholic family member/parent, a divorce that happens bc one parent is gay, being afraid to come out to your parents bc of that, etc. I’m really glad I got to see this Aunt struggling because this was sort of my dad... except he never got better.

    That was depressing. But the book isn’t!

    I was just thinking that Brandy writes “quiet” interior books for black girls about black girls having problems in their lives and hanging out and falling in love that aren’t necessarily high concept. I really love that.

    I did think Booker was sometimes flat (I was wondering why she was SO into him) but he proved his sweetness a lot of the time. There’s also one part with the cops that bothered me where the author seemed to imply that black men face police brutality and black women don’t.

    The plot twist is a well worn trope with a bit of a twist. It just made me... I was like “none of this would’ve happened if you just communicated.” And Dove was too forgiving. I would’ve been mad at everyone forever for being manipulative and annoying. I also thought her mom was ridiculous, but I sort of saw why she was like that.

    All in all, this was really good. I’m glad Brandy Colbert writes.

  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    This was so raw and real and nuanced and sex positive and I loved it so damn much. Brandy Colbert is a master when it comes to writing hard-hitting, realistic YA and I am forever in awe of her. Read this book!!!!

    TW: addiction

  • Katie B

    I finished this a few days ago and the more I think about this book, the more I appreciate all of the things the author managed to do with the story. At first it seems like a fairly simple story but in reality there's a lot going on here.

    Sixteen-year-old Dove "Birdie" Randolph has always tried to live up to her parents' expectations. She studies hard and gets good grades and follows the rules they have set in place for her. Well kinda. Even though her parents insist they meet any boy she wants

    I finished this a few days ago and the more I think about this book, the more I appreciate all of the things the author managed to do with the story. At first it seems like a fairly simple story but in reality there's a lot going on here.

    Sixteen-year-old Dove "Birdie" Randolph has always tried to live up to her parents' expectations. She studies hard and gets good grades and follows the rules they have set in place for her. Well kinda. Even though her parents insist they meet any boy she wants to date, Birdie so far has been keeping quiet about her new boyfriend, Booker. She knows her parents won't approve of his troubled past.

    Birdie's estranged aunt, Carlene, is staying with the family after just getting out of rehab. Even though there is some tension among Carlene and Birdie's parents, Birdie has been developing a close relationship with her aunt. Birdie wants to be in control of her life rather than her parents, and begins testing the waters and making choices she knows her parents won't approve of. But then a long held secret comes to light that is going to rock her world.

    I don't read YA fiction all that often when compared to other genres but I found the book cover for this so visually stunning, I knew I just had to make time for this one. And I'm so glad I did because it's a good reminder that stories about teenagers can be just as compelling and interesting as those about adults. This was a quick read and I wouldn't say the writing is overly descriptive, but it's well worth reading because it's a book with substance. I don't want to elaborate much further than that because I don't like giving spoilers in my reviews. Just trust me when I say the author did a good job exploring many issues that are relevant to not just teenagers but adults as well. And what I liked is there was a good combination of subjects explored in depth and some that were just briefly touched upon. It didn't feel like the author was trying to cram in so much stuff that it overwhelmed the story.

    There's a diverse cast of characters and even though Birdie is the star of the show, I thought her family and friends had depth and were intriguing characters as well. If the author ever wanted to do a spin off book featuring any of the teenage characters or Birdie's older sister, I would definitely be interested in reading it.

    Definitely recommend especially if you love YA fiction.

    I was sent an advance copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  • Kelsea

    4.5 stars!

    I finished this book last night and I’m still a bit stunned! The Revolution of Birdie Randolph is such a quietly beautiful and powerful story, written with a level of finesse and nuance that is frankly quite enviable for those of us with writing aspirations.

    Birdie is an interesting, relatable character! She’s the kind of person you can see yourself as — or that you’d want to be friends with. And this is HER story. The title has it exactly right - this story is about a revolution, but i

    4.5 stars!

    I finished this book last night and I’m still a bit stunned! The Revolution of Birdie Randolph is such a quietly beautiful and powerful story, written with a level of finesse and nuance that is frankly quite enviable for those of us with writing aspirations.

    Birdie is an interesting, relatable character! She’s the kind of person you can see yourself as — or that you’d want to be friends with. And this is HER story. The title has it exactly right - this story is about a revolution, but it’s one that takes place internally. This is a story of identity, of teenage struggles, of family. It’s the story of a black girl in Chicago learning who she is, what she wants, and who she wants to be.

    There’s something refreshing about picking up a story like this — one that’s narrowly focused on one character and the people in her life. I zipped through it! I found myself so invested in Birdie - far more than I usually am in any character, and I wanted so badly for everything to go right for her. Her frustrations became mine and she felt so real to me that it’s still a bit hard to believe Birdie and everyone she knows exist only between the pages of a book!

    My only word of caution would be to anyone expecting the plot to blow them away. I enjoyed every moment of the story (there were no slow points) and I think the simpler plot fits the story wonderfully, but it wasn’t earth-shattering.

    I highly, highly recommend this book to anyone interested in diverse read with quiet intensity, own voices YA lit, character-driven stories that make you think, and second chances.

    Free advanced copy provided by TheNOVL in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  • Toya

    Have you ever read a book that immediately transports you back to your teenage, awkward self? This was that book for me, and what made it even better was the fact that this story was about black characters and black culture, which is something that I didn’t get to read a lot of when I was younger.

    16-year-old Dove ‘Birdie’ Randolph has always strived to live up to the expectations that her parents have set for her. With her big sister Mimi studying pre-med in college, Birdie is expected to follow

    Have you ever read a book that immediately transports you back to your teenage, awkward self? This was that book for me, and what made it even better was the fact that this story was about black characters and black culture, which is something that I didn’t get to read a lot of when I was younger.

    16-year-old Dove ‘Birdie’ Randolph has always strived to live up to the expectations that her parents have set for her. With her big sister Mimi studying pre-med in college, Birdie is expected to follow behind Mimi’s success. Therefore, Birdie puts her schoolwork first, has a perfect GPA, and adheres to the strict rules that her parents have set in place. Her parents insist on having a relationship with anyone that she decides to date, which up until now she has always abided by, but she knows that her parents won’t approve of Booker since he has a troubled past.

    Birdie’s estranged aunt Carlene shows up to stay with her family after a stint in rehab for substance abuse and addiction. Birdie immediately notices the tension between Carlene and her parents, but she is even more drawn to Carlene since she’s much more lax when it comes to household rules. As Birdie begins to open to Carlene, she begins to rebel against her parents’ strict rules by making choices that her parents would definitely NOT approve of.

    This is one of those YA books, that I think is incredibly important and relevant to teenagers because the book has substance and deals with real life topics. This book discusses important topics such as substance abuse and addiction, underage drinking, peer and societal pressure, and a host of others. I think the author does a fantastic job of having an honest conversation about these topics without glorifying anything.

    Overall, if you are looking for a real to life YA contemporary full of complex characters as well as a greater insight into black culture then you definitely need to pick this one up. Also, I really wish Carlene could come do my hair…just saying.

    Thank you to The NOVL for providing an ARC for review. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  • Lola

    This is a book that truly surprised me. First, Brandy Colbert completely improved upon her previous release—Finding Yvonne—a book I did not care to finish. I enjoyed Little & Lion from her, but this was twice as good and well developed. I dare say it’s a page turner from the start. Another reason why this book and author surprised me was Booker, Birdie’s love interest. The way he is presented in the beginning makes the reader think he is trouble. I mean, any guy who encourages a girl to snea

    This is a book that truly surprised me. First, Brandy Colbert completely improved upon her previous release—Finding Yvonne—a book I did not care to finish. I enjoyed Little & Lion from her, but this was twice as good and well developed. I dare say it’s a page turner from the start. Another reason why this book and author surprised me was Booker, Birdie’s love interest. The way he is presented in the beginning makes the reader think he is trouble. I mean, any guy who encourages a girl to sneak out of the house is a no-no for me. But then I got to know him better and saw how sweet he was to Birdie and began to like him quite a lot.

    The third thing that surprised me was the big revelation, which I will not spoil for you of course. I did figure it out before the main character did but I was still pretty shocked when I put two and two together. But instead of coming out of the blue like some revelations do and making no sense whatsoever, it actually helped me figure out the puzzle that is Birdie’s family. Family is a very important theme in this story, one I loved to see being explored. I enjoyed reading about Aunt Carlene, who recently joined Birdie’s household, almost as must as I did about the heroine herself. Not only that but Aunt Carlene’s dark past helped clarify Birdie’s present and future funnily enough. I’m pretty pleased with how things turned out and curious to see if the author will give us another winner next.

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  • Kayla Brunson

    This was my first book by Brandy Colbert and I was excited to start it. This covers some serious topics and also has quite a bit of diversity. However, what kept me from really loving this book were the characters and the lack of plot.

    This book just follows along with Birdie’s everyday life while she manages love, family, and finding out about herself. For the most part, I did like Birdie. She came off as an average teenager. Really naïve, but still an average teenager.

    I can’t say that I connec

    This was my first book by Brandy Colbert and I was excited to start it. This covers some serious topics and also has quite a bit of diversity. However, what kept me from really loving this book were the characters and the lack of plot.

    This book just follows along with Birdie’s everyday life while she manages love, family, and finding out about herself. For the most part, I did like Birdie. She came off as an average teenager. Really naïve, but still an average teenager.

    I can’t say that I connected with any character here sadly. I didn’t grow up the same as Birdie so when I say I that I didn’t really like her family, you have to take that from a different point of view. My parents were never strict and never forced me to do things that I didn’t love. Also, I think the worst to me was her mother. She super judgmental and pushed her beliefs onto Birdie. I think that teenagers should get to form their own opinions about the world, not just what their parents want them to. The best character to me was her aunt Carlene. While she was NOWHERE near perfect, she didn’t let the bad days win and she really pushed herself to finally be on the recovery road that she wanted to be.

    We did get a bit of a romance here and I really enjoyed our love interest, Booker. He was sweet and someone that Birdie really paired well with. I would have loved to see more about the two of them.

    I think the best part of this novel was how much diversity we received. There were so many discussions of race, sexual orientation, and also dealing with alcoholism. It didn’t feel forced and was thrown into even regular conversation between characters.

    To wrap up my review, while I wasn’t wowed by my first Brandy Colbert read; I can see why her work is well loved in the book community. The characters and lack of plot are what held me back but I think that so many readers will enjoy this one.

    TW: Alcoholism; talk of drug use

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  • Dahlia

    Brandy Colbert stays very, very, very good at what she does.

  • Kelly

    I don't think Brandy Colbert needs a comparison to stand out, as she's proven herself a voice in YA. But the ARC compares her to Nicola Yoon and Nina LaCour and I'd absolutely agree: this is a quieter book (a la Nina LaCour) that takes on family and relationships in realistic teen ways (both LaCour and Yoon!). The romance in this one definitely has the Yoon effect to it.

    This is a book about following the rules and breaking them, but even more than that, it's a book about the family we're born i

    I don't think Brandy Colbert needs a comparison to stand out, as she's proven herself a voice in YA. But the ARC compares her to Nicola Yoon and Nina LaCour and I'd absolutely agree: this is a quieter book (a la Nina LaCour) that takes on family and relationships in realistic teen ways (both LaCour and Yoon!). The romance in this one definitely has the Yoon effect to it.

    This is a book about following the rules and breaking them, but even more than that, it's a book about the family we're born into and the families that we make along the way. Birdie's aunt shows up at their apartment right before the summer begins, and that's when everything changes; it's at this same time Birdie is secretly dating a boy she knows her very strict, proper parents wouldn't like. Despite never pushing boundaries before, these two new people in her life encourage her to take some chances and learn some lessons she never would have on her own.

    Colbert depicts Carlene's alcoholism with tenderness and offers up the whole range of emotions people experience both as those who are addicts and those who are friends and family of addicts. There is support, but there is also caution exercised around Carlene that showcase hope for her to find recovery but also experience in knowing that this is a disease that is challenging to manage.

    The Chicago setting is, no surprise, spot on. I started reading this in a hotel just a block from the Civic Opera House, which plays a tiny role in the story. Other Chicagonalia include Portillo's, Montrose Beach, the L (including above and below ground talk), the way Chicagoans live for those four perfect days a year, and more. It's vibrant and real, and isn't also afraid to highlight the racial challenges within the city, in terms of violence, racism, and bigotry, and the places and spaces where those do and don't overlap.

    Also handled really fabulously is anger and anger management, recovery from trauma and what that does and doesn't look like, and it offers such a refreshing perspective on teens, especially teens of color, who've been in the juvenile justice system.

    Birdie's best friend is half black and half Latinx, while her ex-boyfriend

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    I'm never sad when I read a Brandy Colbert book, except when I am finished and know I'll be waiting another year for her next.

  • Sarah ➖Goddess of Mischief➖

    Me: *sees cover* I think I should add to TBR

    Brain: why?

    Me: pretty cover

    Brain: good idea

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