Is it really as good as they say?

Where the Crawdad’s Sing book review

A copy of where the crawdads sing sitting next to a cup of coffee and a plant.

Anisa Rachman

A copy of where the crawdads sing sitting next to a cup of coffee and a plant.

Anisa Rachman, Editor


Abandoned by her family and left to fend for herself in the marshes, the story follows young Kya through her adolescence as she learns the ups and downs of life on her own. The story flips back and forth between the present, where a murder has rattled the town, to Kya’s past and how her life leads up to that point. 

Where the Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens is a murder mystery, romance, and coming of age story all rolled into one. The book has been highly praised and rendered a must-read for bookworms by people of all ages; however, is it really as good as everyone deems it to be?

One of the most intriguing parts of this book is how Kya learns to cope after being abandoned by her family and society. Owens does an incredible job portraying loneliness and showing how Kya can find happiness and belonging in her own natural way. 

The way the townspeople were portrayed as being prejudiced against Kya is also done remarkably well by the author. Although on the surface, it seems everyone is unwilling to help her, there are a few people who show a little kindness that help her survive; even if Kya doesn’t notice it at first.

While the book does a great job at painting a very detailed and compelling coming-of-age story, there are some aspects of the book that could have been done better that most fans are overlooking.

One put-off that could have been done differently was the heavy focus on romance throughout the book. Yes, Kya is going through adolescence. However, other relationships are sought out during the age between ten and nineteen years old besides romantic interest. 

The author hinted briefly during the book that Kya wanted to form friendships with other girls in town; however, Owens never expanded upon that idea and instead added another romantic partner. The story seemed almost repetitive when being strung from one love interest to another. 

Adding romance in the book is fine; after all, it’s a coming-of-age story. But when it is added in a way where it feels forced and made into one of the main focuses in a person’s story, it almost feels like it is proposing the idea that a person is only truly happy when there’s a romantic partner involved, which is simply not true. 

Life is a lot more than finding a love interest. If the author had focused on Kya building other relationships besides romantic interest then the book would have stood out more compared to other coming of age novels. 

Another aspect of the book that could have been better was the faulty and inconsistent writing style. It was likely a personal choice by the author to keep the grammar mistakes and run-on sentences to make it obvious that it’s in Kya’s perspective. However, it was confusing at times when Owens also wrote in a different style of writing when talking about the nature element of the story, which made Kya seem like she was speaking right out of a textbook. 

There were also some instances in the book where some characters were present for only a few chapters and then later killed off, leaving no lasting impact or purpose. This kind of writing can be irritating and leave readers wondering “what was the point of introducing this character in the first place?”.

Where the Crawdads Sing has many great details and elements that prove it deserves the attention and praise it receives from all over the world. The story does a beautiful job at capturing what it means to be truly alone in the world and brings in multiple genres that keep the readers wanting more. 

Despite this, there are also parts of the book that should be pointed out as flaws that are often overlooked by fans. Forced romance, inconsistent writing style, and pointless character deaths that are only used for the plot are factors that are hard to ignore when reading this book. While it’s picture-perfect on the surface, a second read-through and a closer look at the plot will reveal that it isn’t as flawless as many fans claim it to be.