Blackbird: an Online Romance by Fran Seen

[I Blackbird_1was given a digital edition for free from the author, in exchange for an honest review]

 I am a little confused about this book. In was a very interesting read, very easy, with funny moments and lightly touched some interesting themes. However, I would have wanted more.

It opens with Dolly looking for her best friend Blackbird, whom she met online. The reader is then taken back to how their friendship started from a common passion for unique burial grounds. They start with casual conversations about their mutual interests but as time goes by, they start sharing personal information as well. A turning point in their relationship is when Dolly suggests a face-to-face meeting. He denies, motivating that because of his Native American origins people expect him to behave in a certain way and their worlds are different. Thus they should limit their friendship to online only. Soon after that his account is deleted.

From here on, the story becomes even catchier and even funny at times. There are certain aspects about Native Americans that I would have liked to read more about (like special days or occasions, more about tradition). Instead, the author describes their organization – which for me was a little too much in detail – and as well includes a legend about how fire was brought on Earth. This part is absolutely fabulous and is my favorite of the entire book.  Also, since Blackbird is so adamant against meeting her, I would have thought his family or the entire tribe was against mixing with Americans. I also think things between Dolly and her friend evolve quite fast, and their attraction is too obvious from the start. I liked however the inclusion of Blackbird’s language. They remind the reader that this is not just another romance story, but a relationship moving from friendship to more, between a Native American and an American.

Dolly lives in the shadow of her sister Minnie – a successful lawyer and partner at their father’s law firm. She tries hard to follow in their footsteps, even though both of them would want to pursue other careers. If in the beginning dolly gave the impression of a shy girl, hidden behind a screen name, when she meets Blackbird she all of a sudden becomes bold and does things she never thought of. I add this to the list of contradictions I cannot bring my head around.

Blackbird does not fall too far behind. He tries somehow to keep his father’s legacy, but the attraction he fells towards Dolly is an impediment to the idea of keeping the Native American bloodline pure. He is very formal in his conversations with her when surrounded by other people, but intimately he’s a different person. I see this as another contradiction: I got the feeling the author was not sure about how to approach thin angle – being a convinced Native American, dedicated to his family and people, or a passion driven man.

Even with all these issues, I still rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars, as I read it without a moment of boredom and I even had fun reading some of the scenes. The hot moments between the characters are well written but a little rushed. I would have been best to make the book a little longer and explore more of its aspects.

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