Review: Chicken Girl by Heather Smith

Review: Chicken Girl by Heather Smith

Chicken Girl by Heather Smith is a book that will tug at your heart strings. There are quite a few issues the novel explores, most importantly the effects of online bullying. This contemporary is also one that has quite a few interesting characters that are enjoyable to read about.

Review: Chicken Girl by Heather SmithTitle: Chicken Girl
Author: Heather Smith
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Rating: three-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

Everybody has a story that will break your heart; a poignant coming-of-age YA for fans of David Arnold, from the author of the acclaimed The Agony of Bun O'Keefe, a Kirkus Best of the Year selection.

Poppy used to be an optimist. But after a photo of her dressed as Rosie the Riveter is mocked online, she's having trouble seeing the good in the world. As a result, Poppy trades her beloved vintage clothes for a feathered chicken costume and accepts a job as an anonymous sign waver outside a restaurant. There, Poppy meets six-year-old girl Miracle, who helps Poppy see beyond her own pain, opening her eyes to the people around her: Cam, her twin brother, who is adjusting to life as an openly gay teen; Buck, a charming photographer with a cute British accent and a not-so-cute mean-streak; and Lewis a teen caring for an ailing parent, while struggling to reach the final stages of his gender transition. As the summer unfolds, Poppy stops glorifying the past and starts focusing on the present. But just as she comes to terms with the fact that there is good and bad in everyone, she is tested by a deep betrayal.

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: Chicken Girl by Heather Smith

❀ A Great Message

This is the first novel that I have read by Heather Smith and I am really blown away by her ability to write about human emotion. Poppy is such a fantastic character that really seems to grow from her experiences and interactions with her new friends. It is heartbreaking to think that a negative online experience can have such a profound effect on someone’s life. Also, there is a great message here about respect, both online and in the real world.

❀ Entertaining Characters

There are quite a few side characters in the novel that are entertaining to read about. The eclectic cast gives a lot of spice to the novel. I fell in love with Lewis right away and I wish that the book was a bit longer so that more of his story could have been explored. At just over 200 pages, it doesn’t leave a lot of room to dive into the many subplots of the novel.

❀ A Short Contemporary Read

Chicken Girl by Heather Smith is a short contemporary read that discusses some important issues in today’s society. It has some wonderful messages and interesting characters. Also, I wish that the book had been a bit longer to read. Perhaps Heather Smith will write a sequel that looks at some of the other issues addressed in greater detail.

About Heather Smith

Image of Heather Smith

Originally from Newfoundland, Heather Smith now lives in Waterloo, Ontario, with her husband and three children. Her Newfoundland roots inspire much of her writing. Her latest YA novel, The Agony of Bun O'Keefe, is available now.


About Lori

Avid reader. Contributor to The Candid Cover. Educator.

23 thoughts on “Review: Chicken Girl by Heather Smith

  1. Barrie says:

    What a wonderful sounding story about stuggles of kids in this day and age. I know of several teens who would enjoy this book!

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