Book review: 'Bird Box' by Josh Malerman
I know there are a lot of people out there that will question, Bird Box is a book? The answer is yes, and, as a completely proud book nerd, I almost always prefer the book to any movie. With that being said, I have not seen the film adapation. Considering the amount of language in the movie versus the book, I'll stick with the book. I was a bit skeptical at the size of Bird Box, wondering if much could be accomplished story-wise in such a short novel. Those doubts were swiftly erased.
Bird Box's author Josh Malerman does a fabulous job of weaving in and out of the present without confusing the reader where they are in the story. From the first page, I was hooked. Chapter One finds the story well into the action. The reader does not yet know what has happened, but, quickly and suddenly, you want to keep reading. Take, for example, this excerpt: "The children have never seen the world outside their home. Not even through the windows. And Malorie hasn't looked in more than four years." While this story, at first glance, may seem eerily similar to others such as The Quiet Place, it is nothing of the sort. While certainly it does have elements of an unknown phenomena which quashes one of humanity's basic senses, there it diverts from other stories.
I found myself immediately empathizing with the main character, Malorie. The story begins with Malorie and her children, a boy and a girl, alone. Her children are very young and you are forced into imagining how difficult it would be to have two young children not use their eyes. We don't know why they can't use their sight until later in the story; we only know that doing so will cause great harm to themselves and, in turn, those around them. Malerman does a fabulous job of building the story while giving us important details bit by bit.
One of the peculiar things in this book is the fact that the children are simply called Boy and Girl. It seems that in a world that has fallen apart, names have become somewhat less important – at least to Malorie. Her focus is soley on keeping herself and her children alive. The risks she must take to ensure their longevity will have you biting your nails and hiding behind your book.
I truly enjoyed Bird Box and was so pleased upon finishing to find that there is a sequel to the story. I can't wait to dive into it and see how the story progresses. Bird Box will certainly have you pondering the "what ifs." Check it out, then find a cozy spot to read – and don't stop until it's finished!