In 40 Things I Want To Tell You, Bird (real name Amy) seems to have a perfect life, warm and caring parents, amazing grades at school, a loving boyfriend, and a bright future. Bird wants to go to Oxford, and she’s lined up her whole life so that she gets what she wants.
In her spare time, she writes an advice column for fellow teens, full of helpful tips and advice to ‘take control of your life’. But what Bird doesn’t know is that her parents’ marriage is falling apart, and when she gets tangled up with Pete, the town’s new bad boy, her whole life does too.
As Bird tries to gather the seams that were once her life, she’s faced with difficult decisions and a growing realisation that you can’t control everything. Sometimes you just have to let go.
Given the description, you probably might think this is a typical YA book: cute, innocent heroine who falls in love with the ‘bad boy’, even though he’s all wrong for her. I assumed the same, but I was wrong.
This book is about so much more than the relationship between the good girl and the bad boy, despite the description, and I just couldn’t put it down.
The cover is what drew me in first; its so beautiful and whimsical, exactly like the book.
The main reason I liked this book so much is because I could relate so much to Bird (aka Amy). She likes making lists and keeping on top of things. She exudes confidence and control. But underneath the surface, she’s losing it.
The plot of this book is what also kept me engaged. Like I mentioned, the story doesn’t follow the clichéd trajectory of boy meets girl, it goes further than that, and the story isn’t just about Bird’s failing relationship with Griffin, her loving but boring boyfriend, and her sudden realisation of her undying love for Pete.
Pete isn’t actual a main character, despite how the back cover describes it. He stands for something much more, for Bird’s ignorance of the people around her and of her projected opinions.
Something unexpected and big happens in the middle, something that you don’t really expect, something I don’t want to spoil. You don’t really think the story would go there, but it does and watching Bird grow during the process is really rewarding.
Its hard for me to describe this book, without spoiling it too much. Bird’s voice is real and honest, she’s not perfect and she the mistakes she makes are real and full of misunderstanding. The world from her eyes is a beautiful place, but full of ignorance and naivety. She tries her hardest to fix her mistakes, which only results in a bigger mess. Its only in the end, when she relinquishes her control, does she make amends.
So give this book a shot. You won’t be sorry you did.
Thanks for reading,