Crow Girl (2005) by Kate Cann
Lily is a shy girl with low self esteem that gets harassed by the popular girls at school and is ignored by everyone else. After discovering that her local woodland harbours some hungry crows, she gets into a routine of feeding them everyday. She teaches the crows to come to her on command and hatches a plan to scare her classmates at the Halloween party and reinvent herself as Crow Girl.
I picked this up in a bargain bin somewhere as the cover caught my eye and the story outline on the back seemed interesting. Crow Girl is a short (very short) novel that explores themes of self image, bullying, and revenge.
The novel is published by Barrington Stoke, which mainly deals in books for dyslexic and reluctant readers, so the writing style is more terse and simplistic than most young adult/teen novels.
The novel feels like it’s torn between wanting to be seriously dark and keeping to a teen rating. There are hints of a much darker story buried within but they are never explored and the story seems to just trudge along with no real rhyme or reason. Its otherwise interesting premise is hindered by a generic smattering of events and characters, Lily being the only with any real presence.
Overall, Crow Girl is a quick, unremarkable read that I could recommend if you’re looking for a short fix of gothic teen drama, just don’t expect much more than novelty from the story.
~Giuseppe Gillespie April 2023