Friday, June 4, 2010

Review: Albatross by Josie Bloss

What's so cool about nice guys?

Everyone at Tess's new school warns her that Micah is bad news—a heartbreaker. But she can't ignore her attraction to this brooding, brilliant, friendless emo hottie who can turn on the charm—or heart-shredding scorn—at a moment's notice. Starting over in a new town after her parents' split isn't easy for Tess, and Micah feels like her first real connection. But what happens when their bond suddenly feels like shackles? And Micah starts to remind Tess of her freakishly controlling father?
Plot: 3/5
Creativity: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Impact: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

I love a good love story. I love reading books that make me feel tingly and warm. But those kinds of romances are only one kind- there's a much darker kind of love, the kind that can destroy people. Albatross is one of those.

Tess moves to a new town- the aftermath of her parents' divorce. She isn't angry, though. After years of watching her father treat her and her mother badly, she's happy that her mom finally decided to free herself. In her new town, though, she can hardly feel a connection with anyone. Then, she meets Micah. He's enigmatic, he's talented, and he's the one person in her new school that understands her. As she gets to know him more, their connection grows more and more intense she finds herself falling  for him. But then Micah starts saying hurtful things, doing things that push her  buttons, punishing her for the most miniscule mistakes, and she starts seeing her parents' relationship in theirs. Still, she can't seem to deny him. How could she let go of the one person who gets her?

Brutally honest, sometimes painful, Albatross explores the kind of relationship that isn't butterflies and warmth. There's just so much pain that Tess experiences, first from her father and then from Micah, and all that pain translates in the pages.

At times, I found it hard to read. It was depressing and dark, but then things would do a full 360 and I began to think they'd pick up again. It was a turbulent rollercoaster of happiness and sadness, of pain and liberation. It wasn't like anything I've ever read.

The development of the characters, especially Tess, was brilliant. I felt every bit of her sorrow, and I found myself rooting for her the whole time. Micah was another great character- he was charming, yet every bit a villain the whole time. It was unreal how I went from loving him to hating him and back in just a matter of pages. I was torn between wanting to kill him and wanting Tess to end up with him. His character was exceptional.

Albatross is not something everyone would enjoy- it's cynical, occasionally painful, and some may not be a fan of that. It's not as much a love story as it is a coming-of-age novel, but I really enjoyed its liberating take on a girl finally finding freedom. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting, but it was a pleasant surprise- it was a nice deviation from the usual books I read. Josie Bloss strung together a tough but relevant story that readers surely won't forget.


  1. EXCELLENT review, Erika! I've been wanting to read this book ever since it came out months ago, but I could never find it at my library or bookstore, and I was hesitant to purchase it online. But your review makes it sounds as though Albatross is everything I was hoping it to be. I'll have to read it for sure now!

  2. I have this weird feeling that this might be my "type" of book, i'm a sucker for raw, emotionally difficult books. thank you for the awesome review!! its going on my wishlist

  3. I have been wanting to read and now I want to even more :)