Author: Helen Landalf
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Published: December 19, 2011
Rating: 5 Birds
Fifteen-year-old Stevie Calhoun is used to taking care of herself. But one night, her mom, who works as an exotic dancer in a downtown Seattle nightclub, never comes home.
That’s the night Stevie’s life turns upside down.
It’s the night that kicks off an extraordinary summer: the summer Stevie has to stay with her annoyingly perfect Aunt Mindy; the summer she learns to care for injured and abandoned birds; the summer she gets to know Alan, the meanest guy in high school.
But most of all, it’s the summer she finds out the truth about Mom.
FLYAWAY is the story of a teen girl’s struggle to hold on to what she’s always believed, even as her world spins out of control.
My take: Okay so I knew from the synopsis that this was one I absolutely HAD to read. Why? Because first of all the girl in the story is named Stevie, second, her mom has major problems (well at least from how I read the synopsis) and third? Stevie’s forced to stay with her Aunt Mindy – who I didn’t really think could be all bad because what person is really that horrible in a book when described from the POV of a 15 year old?
The book started right in really, which was fantastic in my eyes. It gave this sense of knowing Stevie’s life was far from perfect, and it only goes further from being perfect the more the first couple of chapters wind down. Not only did I get to meet this girl who honestly, reminded me of my obnoxious self at that age, but this girl who’s had to learn to basically be on her own over a few years.
I think the most surprising aspects throughout the story were the people that Stevie typically surrounded herself with. They were so like her mother’s friends that she was blind to it because she thought they were better. Coming upon being with her Aunt Mindy, she still doesn’t see it and thinks her Aunt is just looking down on her. What kid doesn’t feel that some adult is out to get them though…to make them feel like they’re nothing.
The greatest thing I felt from the book came from the ending. What happens is such a release, and a rebirth in so many ways that I was smiling (and admittedly slightly crying from happiness) that it was extremely moving. The book is an incredibly quick read, and a great read to learning to understand the life of a teenager with a druggie mother.
Don’t forget, you can win a copy of Flyaway HERE – the contest is open to US residents and will close on 12/29.
Find more on Helen Landalf and Flyaway: