CANARY CLUB - by Sherry D. Ficklin

CANARY CLUB - Sherry D. Ficklin
Published: 2017 - Clean Teen Publishing.
Genres: Young adult / historical fiction / romance
Pages: N.A.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Mild violence, sexual innuendo, mentions and incidents of sexual assault.
Format: eBook.
Source:  Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
"Bad Luck" Benny is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Recently released from jail, he has vowed to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But he also needs to care for his ailing sister and the rest of his struggling family, and he'll do anything to make that happen—even if it means taking a position with a notorious crime boss. He soon finds himself in over his head—and worse still—falling for the one dame on earth he should be staying away from. Masie is the daughter of a wealthy gangster with the voice of an angel and gun smoke in her veins. Strong-willed but trapped in a life she never wanted, she dreams of flying free from the politics and manipulation of her father. A pawn in her family's fight for control of the city, and with a killer hot on her heels, she turns to the one person who just might be able to spring her from her gilded cage. But Masie is no angel, and her own dark secrets may come back to burn them both. Two worlds collide in this compelling story of star-crossed lovers in gritty prohibition-era New York.

Guys this premise. It just screams atmosphere and sexy forbidden romance. I was so, so ready to fall in love with this book.
But instead I was extremely disappointed.

The writing isn't great. There's a lot of telling, and the dialogue is boring and uninspired. The story is also very rushed - a lot of scenes are skimmed when actually I needed more time to get involved in what was happening. As it is, the scenes don't allow for proper investment.
But the action scenes are well written and the descriptions are gorgeous. I love the slang and the historical facts that are thrown in, and the atmosphere is seductive and enchanting.

The story is, first and foremost, a romance. But I still wanted more depth to it. There are a lot of aspects I think the author could've dug into and examined more profoundly, but she doesn't and the story comes across very surface-level. This annoys me, because I can wholeheartedly see the potential for some of the subplots and even the potential symbolism for certain incidents, etc. I wish Ficklin had dove deeper.
The ending is weak. It's over before you know it, and with little real shock or excitement. I kept expecting something else to happen but nothing ever did. It's underwhelming.

I could not get immersed in this book. That's probably my biggest issue with it. I just could not get involved in the world, or feel for the characters. The story feels feels too shallow and too wishy-washy. I couldn't get immersed at all.

We always create the thing we fear most. 

Why do you think they came at me instead of JD or hell, even one of the trucks? Because that’s how these people operate. It’s how they send messages. You want to hurt a powerful man, an untouchable man, you do it through the women he cares about. See, they go after JD and it’s a declaration of war. They go after me, they hurt my father, they hurt the club, but no real harm done. I’m expendable to them.

It’s not like the police could do anything anyway; everyone saw them flirting, and it’d be his word against hers. And besides, a man like that probably has enough cops in his pocket to make any charge they might level vanish before breakfast. And even if JD did believe her, there’s only so much he can do without going to all-out war. He’d strike back at Lepke somehow, sure, but at the end of the day, she’s right. It wouldn’t matter. JD couldn’t take her back if this went public. She’d be damaged goods. Tainted. And all because that schmuck didn’t understand the meaning of the word no. Hell, dogs understand what no means.

The characters aren't strong. I struggled to get into their heads (the chapters alternate between Masie's first person perspective and Benny's) and everyone is too flat. No one is fleshed out properly.
On the positive side, I did like Benny's relationship with his family - particularly his siblings - but even that needed more punch.  Masie is also a cool heroine - and I love her stance on women's worth, etc - but she's wasted because she's never vivid or 'alive' enough. Her character doesn't make a strong enough impression.

The romance is basically insta-love. There's no real development for Masie and Benny's relationship and the scenes between them are dry, unoriginal, and lacking the fiery spark that forbidden romance deserves. Like the rest of the book, the romance needs more punch.

Canary Club is boring and uninspired, and the bland characters and shallow story waste its lush potential. I like the historically appropriate slang and facts that are beautifully laced into the book, but they aren't enough to redeem the entire tale.   


  1. Aw I'm sorry this one was a bust! You're right, from the synopsis it sounds like it would be cute and really fun and dramatic but alas. I hope you're next read is better!

    Thanks for sharing,
    ~Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. Thanks Brittany, me too :( Yeah I know right?

  2. I remember seeing this featured on one of your posts and instantly adding to my wish list. It did sound SO GOOD. I mean, forbidden romance?! That alone makes me want to read it. But after hearing your thoughts on it I think I'll be avoiding it. One of my biggest pet peeves lately is telling instead of just really grinds my gears. Also, insta-love rarely works for me. There are some cases I'll accept but I just get the feeling that this wouldn't be one of those cases. Thanks for the honest review, Amy! I'm sorry this one didn't live up to your expectations. :(

    1. I know, it really does! I was so excited!
      Yeah, insta-love and telling are so frustrating - *high five*.
      No problem Lauren, thanks for the comment! <3