The Meaning of Birds || A Sorrowful Story

 The Meaning of Birds
Author: Jaye Robin Brown
Page Count: 384 pages
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: ★  ★  ★  
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 16, 2019
Buy It: Chapters Indigo


Before, Jessica has always struggled with anger issues, but come sophomore year that all changes when Vivi crashes into her life. As their relationship blossoms, Vivi not only helps Jess deal with her pain, she also encourages her to embrace her talent as an artist. And for the first time, it feels like the future is filled with possibilities. After In the midst of senior year, Jess’s perfect world is erased when Vivi suddenly passes away. Reeling from the devastating loss, Jess pushes everyone away, and throws out her plans to go to art school. Because art is Vivi and Vivi is gone forever.

Desperate for an escape, Jess gets consumed in her work-study program, letting all of her dreams die. Until she makes an unexpected new friend who shows her a new way to channel her anger, passion, and creativity. Although Jess may never draw again, if she can find a way to heal and room in her heart, she just might be able to forge a new path for herself without Vivi.


Oh my, what a sad book! This book was full of sorrow and very heavy, proceed with caution. Within the first couple chapters the main characters love interest passes away from asthma complications when she gets the flu and that was just so dang close to current COVID situations I jerked my head back involuntarily.

This is a bit macabre of me but I do enjoy reading YA contemporary that deals with grief. There’s something very raw about the subject and brings a new layer to the story and more complicated characters. The Meaning of Birds really delves into grief on a whole other level. You’ll feel the characters loss and pain on a deep level.

Jess loses her girlfriend and spirals into depression, grief and coping mechanisms. The death of her girlfriend brings back memories of her loss when she was younger, layers of grief are explored in this book. On top of all that Jess is dealing with all the challenges of being a teenager as well. Lots of diverse characters, deep character development, queer rep and mental health topics are explored.

Thank you Indigo Teen for sending me the advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

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