The Family Fortuna

The Family Fortuna
Age Range
Release Date
March 07, 2023
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Lindsay Eagar’s dazzling YA debut welcomes us backstage at the Family Fortuna circus, where wonders lie in wait to steal your breath away. You won’t believe your eyes!

Beaked. Feathered. Monstrous. Avita was born to be a star. Her tent sells out nightly, and every performance incites bloodcurdling screams. She’s the most lucrative circus act from Texas to Tacoma, the crown jewel of the Family Fortuna, and Avita feeds on the shrieks, the gasps, the fear. But when a handsome young artist arrives to create posters of the performers, she’s appalled by his rendering of Bird Girl. Is that all he sees? A hideous monster—all sharp beak and razor teeth, obsidian eyes and ruffled feathers? Determined to be more, Avita devises a plan to snatch freedom out from under the greased mustache of her charismatic father, the domineering proprietor and ringmaster. But will their fragile circus family survive the showdown she has in mind? By turns delightful and disturbing, bawdy and breathtaking, horrific and heartfelt, this electric and exquisitely crafted story about a family like no other challenges our every notion of what it means to be different—subject to an earful of screams—and to step out of the shadows and shine anyway.

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A Monstrous Circus
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A monstrous girl living with amongst the circus world. Sign me up.

The Family Fortuna by Lindsay Eagar is YA fantasy novel that follows the tumultuous life of Avita, a monstrous bird woman living within the cage that is the circus scene of The Family Fortuna. But her world is turned upside down when a 'fresh off the block' comes and makes portraits of her. Which is nothing short of a vivid rendition of how monstrous she truly is. But wanting to be more, Avita makes a plan to escape the circus and live her own life. If she can survive that long.

What I liked most about this book is created a 'rose colored lens' of horror atop the fantastical scene of a circus. As from the summary alone, I was expecting something along the likes of The Night Circus or Caraval. But was pleasantly surprised to be wrong. The horror element really drove home the idea that Avita wasn't like other girls (literally) and was a spectacle in herself.

Though I will, say some of the wording was a bit peculiar. I'm looking at you 'peepers'. But I chalked that up to just the way the perspective, considering an author's word choice is supposed to draw a reader into the character's world and mind.

I think was a solid debut, even with the plot a bit lacking until the end. I just wish we had a little more insight into other character's mindsets. But I would call this a solid start into my 2023 reading adventure.
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