dear chicken girl,
contemporary novels. i don’t really like them. i feel like i’m usually weird because of this fact, but i’m not sure. it’s probably because i don’t want to read about real life (i have enough of that as it is) and prefer to immerse myself into fantasy.
but somehow, over the last few months, that has changed. i’ve been craving the real-life thrill of love stories set in high schools and rivalries set at work. i’ve been seeking out something genuine and heartfelt and worthy of my time.
cue, chicken girl! now, i’m not saying chicken girl cured my hate of contemporary novels, because that title definitely goes to adam silvera, but it definitely did help. i can’t say the book was perfect, because it definitely wasn’t. i found issues with some things. but at the end of the day, i really did enjoy it.
perhaps it was because i saw myself in every character, or because it was set in canada, or because Heather Smith has such a unique voice that i couldn’t help but devour the book. maybe it was because it was a story i needed to read write now, something i wasn’t sure i wanted until it was in my hands. but whatever the reason, i’m glad i did. because the story will stay with me for a long time to come.
so what’s it about, you ask? chicken girl is the story of poppy, who, after a photo of her is mocked online, begins working as a mascot in a chicken costume, waving a sign around to attract customers. it’s there that she meets miracle, a six-year-old girl who invited poppy to meet her friends, some seemingly homeless people, including buck, a photographer with a mean-streak, thumper, a man homeless by choice, and lewis, a transgender man almost finished his transition. the story also follows poppy’s relationship with her newly openly gay brother, cam.
sounds unique, right? it is! each character is quirky and different and odd and spectacular (except buck who i. really don’t like lol), and it’s fascinating to see just how well Smith wrote them all.
escapism, for me, is changing. and perhaps that change is happening with chicken girls. yes. i had problems with the book, mainly in poppy and buck’s characters. but my love for cam and lewis outweighed that. and even the best things come with some bad parts, right?
so thank you, chicken girl. you’ve helped make a contemporary lover out of me yet.
xo, chelsea.Chicken Girl by Heather Smith
Published by Penguin Teen on March 5, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT, Siblings, Social Themes, Young Adult
Amazon // The Book Depository
Everybody has a story that will break your heart; a poignant coming-of-age YA for fans of David Arnold, from the author of the acclaimed The Agony of Bun O'Keefe, a Kirkus Best of the Year selection.
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.
content warning: sexual assault, victim blaming, transphobia, fatphobia.
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