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Just Fly Away

July 10, 2017  
 
4.2 (1)
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Just Fly Away

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272pp
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Overview

A debut novel about one girl’s discovery of family secrets, first love, the limits of forgiveness, and finding one’s way in the world, written with wisdom and sympathy by the bestselling memoirist, actor, and director. 

When fifteen-year-old Lucy Willows discovers that her father has a child from a brief affair, an eight-year-old boy named Thomas who lives in her own suburban New Jersey town, she begins to question everything she thinks she knows about her family and her life. Lucy can’t believe her father betrayed the whole family, or that her mother forgave him, or that her sister isn’t rocked by the news the way Lucy is. Worse, Lucy’s father’s secret is now her own, one that isolates her from her friends, family, and even her boyfriend, Simon, the one person she expected would truly understand. When Lucy escapes to Maine, the home of her mysteriously estranged grandfather, she finally begins to get to the bottom of her family’s secrets and lies. 

Fans of the rebels and antiheroes in the novels of Rainbow Rowell, A. S. King, and Meg Wolitzer will welcome this sharp, observant new voice in young adult fiction.

User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.2
Story held my interest 
 
4.0  (1)
Writing style 
 
4.5  (1)
Characters 
 
4.0  (1)
Ratings (the higher the better)
Story held my interest
Writing style
Characters
User Review
Discuss the setting and the role it played. Describe when and where the story takes place.
Who are the main characters? What problems or conflicts does each character face in the book? Briefly describe each character.
What are the good points of this book? What did the author do well? Tell why you liked the book.
What, if any, were the bad points in the book? What did you feel the author did poorly? Tell why you didn't like the book.
This is where you give a brief summary of the book. Tell about at least two events that took place in the story. Don't give away the ending but give a 20 second synopsis that describes the story.
Without giving away the ending tell whether or not the ending was satisfying. Did the end fit the story?
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Story held my interest 
 
4.0
Writing style 
 
4.5
Characters 
 
4.0

User Review

Setting
The setting of Just Fly Away changes quite a bit throughout the story. It starts in a suburban New Jersey town, where Lucy’s family has a nice little homey house and they like to go to the nearby boardwalk that has lots of fun things to do and memories. In a way, the setting changes before it actually changes to a different place. When Lucy finds out she has a half-brother, who happens to live right there her hometown, home doesn’t feel like home anymore. The news ultimately turns her whole world upside down and nothing looks the same. She has lived in the same place with this half-brother for eight years, blissfully naive. Now, her eyes are opened to everything that makes up the not-as-happy-and-perfect-family home she did not know as much as she thought she did. This affects all her relationships, and she escapes to Maine to get to the bottom of her family’s secrets and lies. When her grandfather dies, her whole family and her boyfriend come up to the funeral, and after she goes home with them. The story goes full circle, and when she realizes that she can forgive her dad and all the secrets and lies, her home becomes home again.
Characters
I read some other reviews online before I read the book, to get the perspective of people other that the McCarthy or whoever wrote the preview on the inside cover of the book. One of the most frequent comments was that the critics did not like how McCarthy wrote Lucy. They said that she was not easy to relate to. But I thought that she was very well written, being just out of fifteen myself. Throughout the book she basically went through depression with this new shocking news that came to light. She distanced herself from everyone and had to rediscover who she was basically. And I thought she was written in a way that showed that well. The reviews did not touch on any of the other characters other than her grandfather, who was estranged until she went up to Maine trying to figure things out. And while she was there she built a bond with him.
Good Points
I liked McCarthy’s writing style. He wrote it as Lucy telling the story sometime later on, so the whole book is in past tense. He starts off with Lucy talking about how life was normally, the family going to the boardwalk, and the things that get said and stories that get told on every trip. That transitions into the trip that happened right before she found out about her half-brother. Most chapters have thoughts about other things, like Romeo and Juliet or how if Lucy had thought about it she would have known something bad was going to happen, that lead into what happens in that chapter. Maybe it is because that is kind of like the writing style I have, but I love it.
Plot Summary
Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy is new, just came out this year, realistic fiction book. The story follows a fifteen-year-old girl, Lucy, on her journey of putting her life back into perspective after she finds out her dad had a brief affair and has an eight-year-old son.When she finds out, the fact that her mom knew and is okay with the whole situation makes things worse for Lucy. It is a huge shock to her, and makes her start to rethink her life. It makes her grow distant. In trying to figure it all out, she leaves her hometown and goes to Maine, where her estranged grandfather lives to try to better figure out everything. She starts to figure out all the secrets and lies, and also builds a bond with that grandfather.The book goes through and gives Lucy her growing up moment, putting life into perspective, because it is not always fine and dandy, and the limits to forgiveness that gives to that.
Ending
The ending was very satisfying, it showed how everything played out with the whole situation. The last few lines showed that she is still a teenager, even after this event of growing up.
Do you recommend this book?
Yes
Language
PG
Sexual Content
G
Violence
PG
Drug and Alcohol Use
G
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