Sunday, December 2, 2012

Flyaway by Helen Landalf

Title: Flyaway
Author: Helen Landalf
Format: Paperback, 176 pages
Pub. Date: October 23rd 2012
Source: The Mod Podge Bookshelf and Helen Landalf


Five stars.

Stevie is used to being independent. Her mom, a dancer at a nightclub, often leaves her home alone. But Stevie doesn't mind. Her mom always does what's best for the two of them. After all, they're all the other has. That is, until her Aunt Mindy pokes her nose into their little family after Stevie's mom doesn't come home, accusing her mother of being a drug addict and threatening to call CPS. To avoid the services, Stevie angrily agrees to stay with Mindy for awhile. She sneaks out one night to try and find her mom, and finds her- with white powder and a straw. Her life spirals out of control, clinging to her sanity only by volunteering alongside her high school's bully at a bird sanctuary and getting tutored by her handsome new teacher. But can she truly let go of the mother and family that she clings to so dearly, and spread her own wings?


Wow. Just wow. I am very pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book.

+The characters are extremely well written. I ached for Stevie, I loathed Tonya and Professor. I started out against Aunt Mindy's prodding, but grew to love her in the end. The author was very damn clear about how I should feel, and I think that's a sign of good writing style.

+The text itself was very detailed. I could easily envision myself in the places that Stevie traveled, both good and bad alike.

+There was a romantic interest, but it took the backseat to the mother/daughter story. I cannot stress enough how much I appreciate that after the slew of YA books I've finished with insta-love romances.

-The book was a bit rushed and choppy at parts. I found myself wishing I had a longer, more thorough story.

-I understand that this book is YA, but the language irked me a bit. When you're reading a book about a meth whore stripper and a daughter who's far from innocent, it seems a bit unnecessary to me to use words like "dang" and "flippin'." I think they could have been amped up to "real" swears, or omitted entirely.

+The paperback cover is GORGEOUS. I wouldn't have picked up the hardback copy. But I think the new cover perfectly illustrates the darkness of this story, and I would have definitely picked this up in a store or a library.


Overall, this is a dark, gritty tale of the extent of a daughter's love through rough times, and just how hard it can be to let go of a past that meant everything, and a future that will never come to fruition. I could not put this book down, and I recommend it to YA fans and anyone interested in drug/addiction themes. If you liked books such as Cut, Speak, or Mosh Pit, I'd give Flyaway a try. If you want a happy, feel good read, this may not be for you.

Thank you to The Mod Podge Bookshelf and Helen Landalf for my pretty new copy.


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