Review: The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

The Bone SparrowThe Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Hachette Children’s Books in exchange for an honest review.


‘The Bone Sparrow’ was certainly politically charged! I wasn’t sure what to expect from it: would it strongly encourage for asylum seekers and refugees to be given citizenship in the country they’ve arrived, or would if explore some of the finer things, such as why Australia doesn’t have human rights laws which protect refugees and asylum seekers.
I was a little disappointed with what the novel explored as a whole. I thought it was too pro-refugee and sort of ignored and avoided exploring WHY countries place refugees into detention centers and not let them into the country. I really wished for ‘The Bone Sparrow’ to be such a novel but it wasn’t.
There was a good exploration of the emotions but I felt the novel was too sheltered in the fact that it didn’t really delve into the living conditions too much and didn’t provide a stark enough image of the inside of a detention centre. (Which I very much expected.) But then, the novel is a CHILDREN’S book, so overall, it was very well written for the target audience.
The writing style was beautiful. There was something inherently AUSSIE about it! I don’t know if that’s just me, but I thought it really captured that Australian essence and way of thinking and speaking.
I enjoyed the quiet, hopeful yet also suppressed atmosphere that it carried across, too. There was this lingering and constant strength and courage that was present at the very beginning and was there until the very end. It was both great and empowering!
The characters were really fascinating. The majority of them were refugees inside the detention center and I loved how the author maintained their uniqueness through their actions and speech, rather than appearances. I felt like each of them had their own hardships which you adopted and could bind with.
The novel was written in both first person narrative and third, with two different perspectives: that of Subhi’s and Jimmie’s. Subhi tells his story in first person and I really enjoyed how that instantly drew you inside instead of outside. It really was a way to look through Subhi’s eyes! Jimmie was interesting because she was instantly made as an outsider through third person; in the sense that we didn’t bond with her as easily or quickly. She was one I would have loved to know more about!
There was an effective plot, but most of the complications felt kind of like smooth bumps instead of hills. Strangely, it suited the story quite well.
Congratulations to Zana Fraillon on publishing her latest standalone!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that it’s 5 STAR!

View all my reviews


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