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