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Warping people’s futures into some new and terrible shapes, just by stealing these smallest linchpins from the present.

The mystery behind the appearance of the seagulls in this story is very apparent, yet it is not the focal point. Russell continues to change the point of the story as it moves along. At first she has us believing that the story is about a teen that is always outshone by his older brother, then it’s about a family struggling through their mother’s unemployment. From there it moves to focusing on the fact that these giant seagulls are stealing pieces of people’s futures, in most cases this seems to be detrimental but in the case of Nal it actually helps him. The giant seagulls are definitely a fantastical part of this story, but no one at Strong Beach seems to mind that they are there. The only reaction to them is that they are covering everything in their droppings. The choice to maintain these birds as a subplot is very interesting in the fact that it keep the reader drawn in. We want to know what brought the seagulls to this place and how are they getting pieces of the future. It is a drastic difference from the first two stories in “Vampires in the Lemon Grove and Other Stories” because in those she makes the deliberate choice to have the fantastic as the main plot. There are so many questions that accompany this story and very few are answered. The biggest question I had was the one I posed earlier. How are these seagulls gaining items from the future? What is the purpose of stealing a penny that will be minted in a years time? Were the seagulls sent to harm Nal’s family? All of these questions go unanswered and are almost forgotten as Russell pulls the readers into a story of adolescent love.

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