Like the particles of the universe that aligned to create the Big Bang, the circumstances of Birdie and Bash’s lives have made it so that they could only create a life-altering collision.  Even if it all begins with a meet/cute, worlds will be rocked.  Find out more about Birdie, Bash and their inevitable collision in this week’s installment of First Reads Friday!

From the book flap:

 Birdie never meant to be at the party. Bash should have been long gone. But when they meet, a collision course is set off they may never recover from.

Sebastian Alvaréz is just trying to hold the pieces together: to not flunk out, to keep his sort-of-best friend Wild Kyle from doing something really bad, and to see his beloved Ma through chemo. But when he meets Birdie Paxton, a near-Valedictorian who doesn’t realize she’s smoking hot in her science pun T-shirt, at a party, an undeniable attraction sparks. And suddenly he’s not worried about anything. But before they are able to exchange numbers, they are pulled apart. A horrifying tragedy soon links Birdie and Bash together—but neither knows it. When they finally reconnect, and are starting to fall—hard—the events of the tragedy unfold, changing both their lives in ways they can never undo. Told in alternating perspectives, The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash by Candace Ganger is a beautiful, complex, and ultimately hopeful teen novel that will move you to the very last page.

 

Overall: As the story begins, Birdie is rich in responsibility and has her whole life ahead of her.  She’s on her way to being valedictorian, she’s oldest sister to two younger siblings, an amateur photographer obsessed with roadkill pictures.  Bash is a bad-boy on the precipice of losing everything that doesn’t even seem to care.  His mother is dying of cancer and his best friend Kyle is an absolutely vile human being.  What these two seemingly lack in compatibility, they more than make up for when they meet and meet again. Their chemistry literally becomes about Birdie teaching Bash chemistry and these are some of the most ardent, sexiest science scenes I’ve ever read. All the while, I am gnashing my teeth internally screaming no while shipping the hell out of these two. That’s the power of Candace’s writing. She balances the conflict perfectly.

Aside fromBirdie and Bash, there were many things I loved about this novel, from the stark reality of Bash’s poverty, the differing shades of evil Brynn (Birdie’s sister) and Kyle (Bash’s best friend) occupied, Sarge’s wisdom, Bash’s Portuguese decent (seriously, I can not remember the last YA with a Portuguese main character).  The skating rink itself was its own character, coming to life through its patrons, owners and the time Birdie and Bash share there.  I wanted more, more, more of these carefully knit details and had a difficult time putting this book down.

If I could say there was one back-draw, it would be that there were moments where I wanted more descriptions, more details.  Because of certain circumstances of this book, there are pretty severe overarching push/pull dynamics that I would have liked to have seen play out a little slower. The conflict is real, the stakes are high and the scenes can be raw and tense. A few more pages here and there would have helped some scenes not feel so rushed. To me, this was a small thing and probably more of a personal preference than a critique of the book.

Obviously, this is a book that Candace poured her heart and soul into. You can feel the raw emotion of every nuance of this book bleeding onto every page. One part The Sky Is Everywhere with shades of I’ll Meet You There and The Sun Is Also a Star, this is a near-perfect contemporary that will be the perfect summer beach read.

 

Judge a Book by its Cover: We’ve had Birdie & Bash on our radar since we saw the original cover updated to the even more eye-catching white background. We love the retro look of this cover so much that it inspired us to go rollerskating and have a photo shoot.

Our pal Virginia (photo credit for the last photo to her!) didn’t have to rent the ugly brown skates because SHE OWNS HER OWN AND LOOK THEY JUST SO HAPPEN TO MATCH THE COVER!

We didn’t stop with a photo shoot, either.  Here’s a fashion set/book aesthetic fusion we came up with on Polyvore while reading.


Me Talk Pretty:  Since we received an ARC from the author, these may not be the final words, but you’ll get the idea of Candace’s beautiful prose from it.  Her words seamlessly ran the gamut from poetic philosophy to relatable teen slang.

 “If is such a sucky word. It implies a reaction can only happen after variables collide.”

“The heart breaks harder than bones.”

“Grief is a black hole. You’ve got to find a way to walk around it without falling in”

“Time, an unfeeling measure of our pain, is something I’ve lost track of.”

 

He Said/She Said:  Told in alternating points of view, both Birdie and Bash’s tumultuous lives are laid bare with brutal honesty by Candace’s gentle hand.  These two are total opposites. Birdie is this heart-breakingly brilliant girl whose soul is unmoored after the tragedy her family suffers. Bash is a modern day Jim Stark with nothing to lose until he finds everything he wants to keep. Candace never lingers too long in either of their chapters where you feel lost or unable to connect with either character. It’s a perfect balance that keeps the story well-paced and your heart racing.

 

Open tab/Last call: I’d like to welcome Candace to Florida and meet her for beach-side margaritas so that she can whisper in my ear the ONE note she said she missed in my annotated copy. Then, I want her to bring me everything she’s ever written, including her WIP. I need more from her. NOW.

Margarita

The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash by Candace Granger releases on July 25, 2017. 320 pages. St. Martin’s Press.

Pre-order links: Amazon // Book Depository // IndieBound

 

BONUS: AUTHOR GIVEAWAY

Check out Candace’s #BirdieAndBash giveaway going on through July 15th to enter to win a SIGNED FINISHED copy of The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash.

~Carmen

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