Have you ever fallen in love with a book from the moment you saw its cover? I spotted Brandy Colbert's The Revolution of Birdie Randolph on my Goodreads timeline and I immediately knew I had to read it. Even better? The book promised to deal with issues such as addiction, incarceration and growing up black or gay in Chicago.
The Revolution of Birdie Randolph absolutely lives up to its promises and is my first easy five-star read in what feels like an age.
Sixteen-year-old Dove "Birdie" Randolph is serious about her future and ready to toe the line her parents have drawn for her. She's given up football to focus on her grades and she has also fallen in love with Booker. The only problem? Birdie's parents definitely won't like Booker or his brush with the law.
The quiet and respectable Randolph household is turned upside-down when Birdie's recovering-addict aunt Carlene comes to stay with them. As Carlene does all she can to make this time count, Birdie can't help but notice the tension increasing in the household. What secrets are the adults all keeping?
I love books that are effortlessly diverse and where characters just are, as opposing to being poster children for their labels. The Revolution of Birdie Randolph is one of those books. Birdie's sister Mimi is gay, rocking a series of fades and haircuts that had me wanting to chop my own hair off. Birdie's best friend Laz is also gay, as was his father, and is working through his own set of issues in coming out to his family.
The more I think about it, the more taken I am by this rich, vibrant story. There is so much that happens in this book, so many issues faced, yet rather than feeling too full like some books might, it rather feels like I've spent two weeks in an immersive film. It is indeed rare that characters pop off the page for me like this but I'm especially eager to read more of Brandy Colbert's work now.
There is a great reveal in the book and moments of heartache but on the whole, The Revolution of Birdie Randolph is an uplifting, thoroughly enjoyable novel that I'd love to see on screen one day.
I give The Revolution of Birdie Randolph a superb five out of five stars and recommend to lovers of diverse, superior YA fiction.