Sunday, January 5, 2014

Review: Canary - Rachele Alpine

AuthorRachele Alpine 
PublisherMedallion Press
Release Date: August 1st 2013
Source: Publisher (Thank You!)

Staying quiet will destroy her, but speaking up will destroy everyone.

Kate Franklin’s life changes for the better when her dad lands a job at Beacon Prep, an elite private school with one of the best basketball teams in the state. She begins to date a player on the team and quickly gets caught up in a world of idolatry and entitlement, learning that there are perks to being an athlete. 

But those perks also come with a price. Another player takes his power too far and Kate is assaulted at a party. Although she knows she should speak out, her dad’s vehemently against it and so, like a canary sent into a mine to test toxicity levels and protect miners, Kate alone breathes the poisonous secrets to protect her dad and the team. The world that Kate was once welcomed into is now her worst enemy, and she must decide whether to stay silent or expose the corruption, destroying her father’s career and bringing down a town’s heroes.

Canary is told in a mix of prose and verse.

My Thoughts

Canary was one of the book at the very top of my wish list and I was eagerly anticipating it's release. And Rachele Alphine does not disappoint.  

Meet the Frankins-A father who's crippled by the loss of his wife to a point that he's no longer emotionally present with his family. His new job as a basketball coach at the prestigious Beacon Prep may be nudge they needed to finally move forward. Or maybe not.
Brett, Kate's older brother is grieving in his own way and trying to come to terms with his mother's death and the fact that his family's only way of communication is through post-it notes. The father-son relationship is definitely suffering. Kate Franklin, the protagonist is looking forward to a fresh start. Kate is adjusting relatively better to the changes than her brother thanks to all her new friends, her boyfriend on the basketball team and her new found popularity.
“We're not his family, his team is.” 
Written in prose and verse and narrated by Kate Franklin, Canary tells you a story of  love, loss, family, popularity and friendship. But most importantly, it's a story of a girl's battle against herself to become strong enough to make the right choice.

The writing is simply compelling so the reader is left with no choice but to feel every emotion that Kate experiences. I absolutely loved the way Rachele incorporated blog posts along with first person narration because it gave so much insight into Kate's thoughts.
“How loud do you have to yell until they hear you.”
Kate, the protagonist wasn't particularly like-able but what makes Canary such a riveting read is that she was human-Completely and utterly human in her thoughts and actions. The 3-dimensional characters along with the realistic portrayal of Beacon Prep makes Canary a captivating read.
At first, it’s as if I have two faces.  
One I wear to school, around Jack, my friends, Dad, and one I have when I go home and am alone. 
One of my favorite aspects of the book was Kate's relationship with her brother-Brett was a little more wary of Beacon Prep so he was very protective of his sister. Their sibling relationship added some great value to the story.

Rachele's ability to tackle a heavy subject such as sexual assault is truly commendable. Kate's struggles convey a strong message and thanks to the Rachele's captivating writing the reader gets a  poignant tale that leaves a mark.
My Rating
 This gut-wrenching story of one girl's story struggle to accept and tell the truth is an unique and thought-provoking read for fans of Ellen Hopkins, Sarah Dessen and Laurie Halse Anderson. I cannot recommend this amazing debut enough.

So tell me,does Canary sound like a book that you'd enjoy? 
If you have read it, what are your thoughts on it? 
Are there any similar books that YOU think I'd enjoy?

Don't forget to check out the book trailer that convinced that I simply had to read Canary. Also see for a peek at Kate Franklin's blog posts.


  1. I still haven't read this one even though I own it! Fail! And I knew you loved it but so many books, so little know the story! I will get to it soon, your review has me all hyped up for it. I loved characters that seem real and I love feeling all the feels so this book sounds perfect for me :)

    1. Oh trust me, Canary will give you all the feels-Hope you get the chance to pick it up soon, Trish! :)

  2. I'm so glad you liked CANARY!!! Thanks so much for the great review! : )

    1. Thank YOU for sharing this story with us, Rachele! :)

  3. Sounds like an emotionally powerful read. Glad to see you enjoyed it so much Nuzaifa! Great review! :)

    1. It was definitely an intense read, Rachel! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  4. Whoa! Was not aware of this books existence but I definitely am now. This looks amazing. I must get my hands on it! I like the protective brother being there for his sister and you're right - that trailer convinced me even more that I should read Canary. Very much like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

    1. Canary hasn't been getting the attention it should but trust me, you will not regret picking it up! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it, Adriana. :)

  5. Wonderful Review Nuzaifa! This book sounds very similar to The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney. I haven't read that one, but the premise seems similar minus the story being told in prose and verse. I love it when YA books focus on sibling relationships. I guess because I have an older brother I'm always interested in stories that focus on relationships between brothers and sisters. I'd love to pick this one up sometime. Is this an ebook?


  6. Awesome review! I'm so excited to read this, I remember hearing about this months ago and it slipped my mind to pick it up so delighted to get a reminder! This sounds wonderful and stirring and right up my alley :)

  7. I got this book for free on Amazon a while back, but still haven't read it!
    Sounds like a very powerful read- I'm going to have to read it at some point in the future (although who knows when that will be lol)

  8. This book sounds like such an emotional read! I have hesitated over it because I don't love verse novels, but maybe the combination of prose and verse would work for me. I'm glad you connected with it, and that the main character sounds appropriately nuanced. Thanks for the review.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden


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