Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: December 2012
Fifteen-year-old Stevie Calhoun is used to taking care of herself. But one night, her mom, who works as an exotic dancer in a downtown Seattle nightclub, never comes home.
That’s the night Stevie’s life turns upside down.
It’s the night that kicks off an extraordinary summer: the summer Stevie has to stay with her annoyingly perfect Aunt Mindy; the summer she learns to care for injured and abandoned birds; the summer she gets to know Alan, the meanest guy in high school.
But most of all, it’s the summer she finds out the truth about Mom.
FLYAWAY is the story of a teen girl’s struggle to hold on to what she’s always believed, even as her world spins out of control.(from Goodreads)
Flyway is a dramatic contemporary story that I pretty much read in one sitting. It was very easy to get sucked into Stevie's life and story and it was very hard to push her to the side, even for a short time. She's a pretty demanding character. Full of issues and really not sure of herself at all, I found myself liking her, even though I really didn't want to.
Stevie has a life that nobody would want. Her mother is a drug addict and Stevie worships her. She would do anything for her mother and at times this was frustrating. She made excuses and she covered things up because all she wanted was to have her mother home. I wanted her to get mad, but she never did. I wanted her mother to have to pay for actions but that doesn't really happen either.
When it comes down to it, Flyway is about a young girl's struggle with addiction - even though it isn't her own. There is no real redemption for Stevie's mother but this isn't her story - it's Stevie's. We view everything through her eyes and even thought she fillers a lot of her life, it's hard not to feel for her in the end. I wanted to scream at her for her tolerance of her mother's behavior but at the same time, I wanted someone to be there to take care of her.
A really good read for me. I can't say I loved every character (Stevie's aunt got on my nerves) but I very much enjoyed the story as a whole. I'm not at all familiar with drug addiction and how it affects families so I can't speak to the accuracy of the scenarios but I can say that the depth of feeling that these characters experiences felt real to me.
4 / 5 Stars
Houghton Mifflin / Harcourt Children's