Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bookanista Review: Flyaway, by Lucy Christopher--AND A SIGNED ARC GIVEAWAY!!!!

Phew--it was down to the wire this week (been a busy week) but I managed to find time for a Bookanista Review. And today I'm featuring a book you might not have heard of yet--though you should have! FLYAWAY, by Lucy Christopher. 

Here's how the publisher describes it:

If they saved the swan together, could she then save her friend?

In a heartbeat, in a wingbeat, it happens. Isla's father falls. They're racing across the fields, following the swans flying in to winter at the lake like they do every year, when something goes wrong. And before she can even catch her breath, they're in the back of an ambulance, she's holding his hand.

At the hospital, upset and scared, Isla meets Harry. Unlike the boys at school, he doesn't laugh when she tells him about her love of birds. He listens. But what is he doing there?

As Isla struggles with her father's frailty and the new feelings she has for Harry, she's determined to help the only way she knows how. Outside the hospital windows, Isla watches a lone whooper swan struggling to fly. If only she could save the lost bird, would that somehow heal her dad, and cure Harry, and make everything good again?

By the author of the Printz Honor Book STOLEN, an uplifting story about "the thing with feathers" - hope.

I'll start out by admitting this isn't the kind of book I generally read. It's quieter. More serious. A tiny bit slower. But I was intrigued by the acknowledgements (yes, I read those first most of the time), where the author explains how she spent years trying to figure out how to tell this story and went through ten dramatically different drafts. I wanted to know what it was that kept her going that to get to this point. So I gave the book a try. And was instantly swept away with the beautiful story.

Don't let my calling it quiet, serious, or slow make you think it's not page turning. It's VERY page turning. And there is definitely enough plot to carry the reader through. What I mean by that is, this is the kind of book you read more to savor. To drink in the words and appreciate the voice and let the story sort of sink in around you. You're not racing to the end because you have to know what will happen. Instead you're slowly soaking up every detail on the page, eager to get to the end and know how the characters fare, but not in a rush either, because you want to enjoy the journey. It's powerful and real and refreshingly different from so many other stories out there. And it's beautifully, elegantly written. 

Obviously I loved it, or I wouldn't be talking about it here. And I really hope some of you will give it a chance when it releases in October. But in the meantime, I've decided to share my lovely signed ARC with one of you.

To enter, make sure you follow my blog and leave a comment by 11:59 pm PDT on Sunday, September 4th (going to be a quick contest this time, so I can get the prize out to one of you nice and quick.) I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Monday, September 5th. International entries welcome.

For more fabulous book recommendations, check out what my fellow Bookanistas are talking about:

Scott Tracey is overwhelmed by A Vast Field of Ordinary
LiLa Roecker travels to The Day Before
Jessi Kirby wonders at What Happened to Goodbye
Shana Silver is mesmerized by Possess
Corrine Jackson’s Blogiversary celebration continues with more YA Authors on Lessons Learned
Stasia Ward Kehoe ponders the issue of plot spoilers in book reviews – with giveaway
Veronica Rossi says bravo to Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Elana Johnson succumbs to The Eleventh Plague


  1. Oh, this book sounds really good :D Thank you for being so kind to share it. <3 I would love to win an ARC of it :)
    GFC Follower: Carina Olsen
    Love, Carina ~

  2. Wow! This story sounds very intriguing. Thanks so much featuring it and for the giveaway.

  3. I absolutely ADORED Stolen, so this book is on my TBR list too! Thank you for the chance to win it. :)

    I'm a GFC follower as Angel C!
    angelidgcruz at gmail dot com

  4. This book sounds lovely. Throw my name in the hat.

    piedmontwriter at gmail dot com

  5. This is the type of book I love.
    "to savor... To drink in the words and appreciate the voice and let the story sort of sink in around you"
    Well said!

  6. My daughter would love this book! The cover says it all! Thanks!


  7. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  8. I'd love to play please.

    GFC follower.


  9. Sounds like a good read. Thanks for sharing.

  10. sounds good :)
    thanks for the giveaway!

  11. Ooooo, I haven't seen this one yet. It sounds delightful! :-)

  12. Great contest! I read STOLEN by Lucy Christopher, and I'd love to read another book by her. STOLEN was amazing!

  13. the cover looks awesome! Would love to win this :) Thanks for sharing! :D

  14. This book sounds good, so please enter me!
    I'm a GFC follower! at gmail dot com

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. I'll be looking for this one. The first line grabbed me. Thanks, Shannon!

  16. This also doesn't sound like my type of book, but your review makes me wanna check it out for sure!

  17. This book was written by the same person who wrote Stolen. I have go to check it out!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ajiehuang1997 (at) gmail (dot) com

  18. Thanks for another great book!
    GFC follower

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  19. This so sounds like my kind of book! Fingers crossed. I'd love to win! Thanks for an inspiring review.

  20. Thanks for the contest. I would love to win a copy. Clar

  21. Sounds like an absolutely lovely book. Thanks for the tip! :)

  22. This sounds brilliant, exactly like something I'd like to read. I don't mind "slower" if I'm feeling something.

  23. Sounds like a book I'd like to read out loud to my kidlets. THANKS for the review and giveaway!


  24. Thanks for the giveaway. I follow your blog


  25. Oh, this book looks right up my alley! Thank you for posting it! *runs to add it to GoodReads list* *crosses fingers* Shannon, I think I either agree with or add every book you talk about! :)

  26. Sounds really good, and I'd love to win the book. Please enter me. Thanks!

    Follow on GFC!
    Subscribe via Email


  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. This book sounds amazing!

  29. Hi Shannon! I hadn't heard of this book, but it sounds GREAT! Thanks so much for sharing your review about it. It's going om my TBR book list.

  30. This sounds like something I'd love! Thanks for introducing me. :] And thanks for the giveaway.


  31. I love the font that the title is written in!

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    I'm a follower!

    thecozyreader @

  32. I met Lucy Christopher and chatted with her at the Scholastic dinner at ALA and she is absolutely adorable and lovely. I recently read her Printz book,STOLEN. Staggering! Chilling. She is such a great writer. Can't wait for this new book next month. :-)

  33. I really enjoyed reading Stolen. It was such a different book that grabbed hold of my emotions and even left me crying. The hints of romance was perfect the plot was so interesting, I could not put it down. Although I do have to say that the ending was a bit disappointing for my because of the situation that went down. Not giving anything away! But overall, it was a very amazing book that I will surely read again.


Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Any arguing or intense debate--on any subject will be removed. Let's keep this a safe, fun space.