The Alex Crow

Featured
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
1928 1
The Alex Crow
Author(s)
Age Range
13+
Release Date
March 10, 2015
ISBN
9780525426530
Buy This Book
      

Skillfully blending multiple story strands that transcend time and place, award-winning Grasshopper Jungle author Andrew Smith chronicles the story of Ariel, a refugee who is the sole survivor of an attack on his small village. Now living with an adoptive family in Sunday, West Virginia, Ariel's story is juxtaposed against those of a schizophrenic bomber and the diaries of a failed arctic expedition from the late nineteenth century . . . and a depressed, bionic reincarnated crow.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Another unbelievably weird story from award-winning author Andrew Smith.
(Updated: March 16, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Ariel is a refugee, a fifteen year-old boy who can't seem to find his place in the world, no matter how many lives he lives. When his village in the Middle East is bombed, Ariel is collected by soldiers who take care of him - until their convoy is bombed. Then Ariel tags along with a family escaping the wreckage of their town. They part ways at a UN refugee camp - the tent city where Ariel goes through the hardest nine months of his life. And from there, he comes out on the other side reborn, like a phoenix, taken to America to live with a foster family. There Ariel meets his new brother, Max, who is only sixteen days older than Ariel.

And that's where things gets weird.

Max's parents, and now Ariel's too, are part of the Alex Division of the Merrie-Seymour Research Group, where a lot of unbelievable things happen. It's where the family got their previously extinct pet crow, named Alex. The MSRG funds a camp for boys, where Ariel and Max are sent to stay for 6 weeks, supposedly to bond and become better brothers. The Merrie-Seymour Camp for Boys is basically a completely crazy place where introverted boys are tortured in a variety of interesting ways and examined thoroughly, in the name of (secret) research. There they meet Cobie, who is the only other somewhat sane kid at the camp.

Meanwhile, a man named Lenny, who may or may not have a chip in his head and a truck full of mercury and bombs, drives across the south on a collision course for the Merrie-Seymour Camp for Boys.

Will Max, Ariel, and Cobie survive their time at the Camp? Well, you'll have to read to find out.

What I loved: The way humanity is never in control of anything. Smith really makes the reader take a good, hard look at the world and just how little control people have over it.

We try and try to be in control - of ourselves, our families, war and peace, the environment, our health - but ultimately the universe is it's own force and we will succumb to it. Smith's stories are often about boys who are thrown into an uncontrollable (or unstoppable) situation. Then they have to cope with it, they have to survive and come out on the other side, hopefully stronger than before.

The boys make it out of this story stronger because they form connections and bond over their time at the Camp. They go through a lot of tough things together, and I liked seeing Max, Ariel, and Cobie let their walls down a little in order to let each other in.

What I wanted more of: Character development and depth. I was a little disappointed by my lack of attachment to the boys. I felt for Ariel, I laughed at Max, and I was curious about Cobie - but that's it. They weren't complex characters, and they didn't make me feel very much. I didn't connect to them in the way I normally to the characters in Smith's books.

The verdict: An original and creative look at what happens to the ones we love when we can't help but try to control them, THE ALEX CROW is another weird, humorous, and slightly disturbing novel from groundbreaking YA author, Andrew Smith.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Strong Voices: Fifteen American Speeches Worth Knowing
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Strong Voices: Fifteen American Speeches Worth Knowing is a collection...
Bernard Makes a Splash
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A heartwarming story from textile designer and illustrator Lisa Stickley...
Wild Girl: How to Have Incredible Outdoor Adventures
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Calling wild girls everywhere! Helen Skelton – adventurer, world-record breaker...
Stanley's Paint Box
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
It’s another busy day with Stanley and friends! ...
The Unleashed
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the terrifying sequel to The Haunted, Hendricks discovers that...
Paint by Sticker Kids: Dinosaurs: Create 10 Pictures One Sticker at a Time!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Create pictures of 10 awesome dinosaurs... with stickers! ...
Tad
Tad
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
From Benji Davies, the award-winning creator of The Storm Whale...
Go Get 'Em, Tiger! (A Hello!Lucky Book)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The perfect picture book to celebrate every milestone from the...
A World of Opposites
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
From ALONE and TOGETHER to ABOVE and BELOW, Gray Malin’s...
The Voting Booth
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Stonewall Award-winning author Brandy Colbert comes an all-in-one-day love...
Now & When
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Jenny Han and Christine Riccio comes a...
Dating Makes Perfect
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because...
Now That I've Found You
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Now That I've Found You is a YA novel about...
Entwined
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sometimes love gets a bit twisted. ...
A Girl in Three Parts
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
I can split myself in two . . . something...
The Lost City (The Omte Origins, #1)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Amanda Hocking, the New York Times bestselling author of...

Latest Member Reviews

Sick Kids in Love
 
4.7
"This book is definitely not like The Fault in Our Stars nor Six Feet Apart, or any other book about..."
A Girl in Three Parts
 
4.0
"A GIRL IN THREE PARTS by Suzanne Daniel is a novel set in Sydney, Australia during the 1970’s. It follows..."
Goddess in the Machine (Goddess in the Machine, #1)
 
5.0
"Andra went into cryonic sleep for a hundred years for a trip across the universe to wake up as a..."
Honor Lost (The Honors, #3)
 
3.3
"HONORS LOST continues the Honors series as Zara, crew, and friends head out on a mission to stop the horrors..."
10 Things I Hate About Pinky
 
4.3
"10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY is a cute YA romance that features a fake-turned-real relationship and opposites-attract couple. Pinky..."
Not Another Love Song
 
5.0
"Different than I was expecting - and that’s a good thing! The story: All..."
Jo & Laurie
 
3.3
"Jo March is surprised at how well her novel LITTLE WOMEN has done. Now her publisher and readers want a..."
An Enchantment of Ravens
 
2.3
"I'm not very into reading fantasy (so I might not be the best person to review this). But I was..."
Cracked Up To Be
 
3.7
"Cracked up to be is an unsettling tale of a girl on the cusp of a mental breakdown for over..."
The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins, #2)
 
4.0
"THE MORNING FLOWER continues the OMTE ORIGINS story as Ulla continues to search for her heritage and for the missing..."
None of the Above
 
4.3
"This is one of those books that a reader can learn from. This is the first YA book that I..."
The Lost City (The Omte Origins, #1)
 
4.3
"THE LOST CITY is a highly engaging YA fantasy read about Ulla, a troll. Trolls are secretive creatures who live..."
Layoverland
 
5.0
"'Layoverland' by Gabby Noone, despite being about a teenager who has died, ironically creates a very inviting atmosphere for readers..."
Summer and July
 
5.0
"'Summer and July' by Paul Mosier is a beautifully written story perfect for summer reading. Readers will find themselves immersed..."
A Wicked Magic
 
4.0
"Friends Dan and Liss find a Black book of magic and try a spell. Only the spell goes terribly..."
Scarlet Odyssey
 
3.3
"SCARLET ODYSSEY is a high fantasy that takes place in a world at war. Men are often raised to be..."
Tigers, Not Daughters
 
5.0
"TIGERS, NOT DAUGHTERS is a lyrical book of sisterhood and grief. The Torres sisters had tried to escape their father..."
Tyler Johnson Was Here
 
4.0
"The fallout and protests following police choking George Floyd to death in Minnesota has consumed social media for the last..."
when you were everything
 
4.3
"WHEN YOU WERE EVERYTHING by Ashley Woodfolk is a YA Contemporary novel told in two timelines, “then” and “now.” The..."
Path of Night (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, #3)
 
5.0
"PATH OF NIGHT is another great installment of the books based on the Netflix show, CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA. This..."