Saturday, July 7, 2018

REVIEW: We'll Fly Away by Bryan Bliss - Paige

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from KidLitExchange in return for a review. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Genre: YA Contemporary
Recommended Age: 15+ (abuse, abandonment, romance, death row)
Pages: 416

Uniquely told through letters from death row and third-person narrative, Bryan Bliss’s hard-hitting third novel expertly unravels the string of events that landed a teenager in jail. Luke feels like he’s been looking after Toby his entire life. He patches Toby up when Toby’s father, a drunk and a petty criminal, beats on him, he gives him a place to stay, and he diffuses the situation at school when wise-cracking Toby inevitably gets into fights. Someday, Luke and Toby will leave this small town, riding the tails of Luke’s wrestling scholarship, and never look back.

But during their senior year, they begin to drift apart. Luke is dealing with his unreliable mother and her new boyfriend. And Toby unwittingly begins to get drawn into his father’s world, and falls for an older woman. All their long-held dreams seem to be unraveling. Tense and emotional, this heartbreaking novel explores family, abuse, sex, love, friendship, and the lengths a person will go to protect the people they love. For fans of NPR’s Serial podcast, Jason Reynolds, and Matt de la Peña.

Could you classify a book as YA if some of the story takes place years after young adulthood? This book is really unique in that it’s told from alternating time lines, one taking place during the main characters senior year in high school and the other taking place in the form of letters from death row. The book does really good in that it’s an eerily inspirational read and I feel that it would be for any young child. I feel that the writing was well done and the characters were so well developed.

The only slight complaints I have about it is that the book is slightly confusing. You don’t really find out what happened until the end when everything wraps up and the plot keeps you guessing the entire time.

Verdict: A must read for teens today.


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