It’s not exactly a secret around here, but I’ll go ahead and confess anyway: I have a real issue with Bird Books.
What exactly is the huge connection between birds and books? Why do so many books have birds in the title, on the cover, masquerading as hybrids of people? Okay fine that last one was just like, one book, but I won’t pretend I am okay with it.
- Birds in books are usually assholes. Look, none of these birds are some kind of pretty pet parrot or something. Did you see what those ridiculous Jabberjays did to Katniss and Finnick!?! Tip of the iceberg, friends. Okay, maybe the Mockingjays weren’t terrible, and we’ll get to that. But as a rule, these birds are garbage. Absolute trash.
- They’re basically a harbinger of death, yeah? You see those creepyass ones, ravens and vultures and junk, and it does not mean that your main character is due for a spa day or a nice vacation. It means shit’s hitting the fan.
- They’re just not fun, okay? Look, think about all the animals in books you’ve loved. It’s the dog, the cat, the panda for all I know, but I promise, it’s never the bird. No one’s sobbing and sending threatening tweets at your (former) favorite author because they offed the bird. No one’s cuddling the bird, no one calls the bird their trusted companion. He’s just not man’s best friend, and I’m sorry but I didn’t make the rules.
- Bird-people hybrids give me the heebie-jeebies. We aren’t even the same classification of animal. I mean, I guess you can throw mermaids at me here, but I feel like it’s different. Because I said so, mostly. Mermaids at least could have derived from an aquatic mammalian species, yeah? With birds, there’s no argument. There’s just a beak with legs.
- I just find them kind of boring and unappealing, frankly. I mean, no one chooses which animals they like, right? The animals choose you! Or… something. But for whatever reason, I just have less than no interest in birds. I can’t help it, and I guess deep down I don’t really want to.
Bird Books I Ought Have Avoided
But here’s the problem. Like the aforementioned Mockingjays…. I often fall completely in love with books with birds integrated into them. And I think I may know why, after a lot of introspection.
- The birds aren’t really the focus of most bird-titled or bird-covered books. Mockingjay wasn’t about the mockingjays, and most of the other books I’ve read aren’t either.
- No bird people. I have honestly only found one book where I haven’t screamed in bird-person-related rage. If there’s bird people, I am likely getting stabby.
- The birds are just like… used either symbolically, or as actual animals. In one book I read, birds dying off were symbols of a larger problem, and yeah, I’m here for it! (Also, I will be reviewing this book soon and I loved it, yay!)
- It’s really a cool parrot-type. I don’t think I’ve read about this, but the point is, I would.
- The book is good enough that I overlook the bird stuff. That speaks for itself, like the book is great so birds-schmirds 🤷♀️