Just Fly AwayLucy is told about a family "secret" and it messes with her hard. Her father had an affair that produced a child-- a boy named Thomas, who is now 8 years old.
She never even suspected that her parents were having problems, so it messes with her sense of reality to think that she doesn't really know her dad as well as she thought she did. She feels betrayed and angry and she doesn't know how to deal with those emotions. She's lashing out at everybody, including the guy that she's falling for.
To get away from it all she takes an impromptu trip from New Jersey to Maine to see her estranged grandfather and clear her head.
I picked this up because I saw the name Andrew McCarthy and wondered if it was THAT Andrew McCarthy-- it is. It's the brat-packer from Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo's Fire (& most recently The Family-- RIP) and all that 80's goodness. So I thought why not?? Let's see what inspired him to write YA as a 50-something.
I started out really liking this book. I especially liked all the descriptions the author used to put me in the place where the character was. Descriptions aren't usually a big selling point with me, so I know these ones were top shelf if I was noticing and loving them.
I think I would have been all about this book if I liked Lucy better. Or if there was another character that was fully developed that I could like. As it was, Lucy is really the only character in this book, and I didn't get along with her. There was a boyfriend-type guy in this book that I almost got to know, but not really-- and I kind of wished the book was about him instead because he was a cool guy.
A weird thing: I really liked that she was immature. That's not something I can usually love in a character, but it was refreshing to read about a 15-year-old who doesn't have it all together. She was emotionally immature for sure-- super impulsive-- pretty much everything a teenager is, and it made me like her more than I wanted to.
Why I didn't like her: She was super selfish and kind of dense. I can get behind impulsive, but denseness is a whole other thing. Like okay, you're going to Maine on a whim-- but maybe don't accept rides from random dudes?? And you can be immature and still care about other people. Lucy only cared about how the big secret affected her. She didn't even try to talk to her sister or mom, she was just ME, ME, ME. And I got bored with that. Also, anyone who is okay with wearing the same underwear for multiple days, I don't trust :)
I think this was a good try for a first novel, but I think it needed MORE characters and MORE plot. Not a lot happened asides from hanging out and running away.
OVERALL: It's readable and interesting, but needed a few more developed characters for me to really like it. Lucy got on my last nerve and she was really the only person in this book, so for me it wasn't really a book I'd recommend.
Date Published: 3/28/2017
How I got this book: ALA-- thanks to Algonquin for providing me with this copy to read and honestly review
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Add it to your To-Read List!!
My Rating: 3/5
Character: Lucy Willows
Book: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
- McLean is going through a similar family problem and has a lot of resentment, just like Lucy.