Just Fly Away
Book Review - Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy
If you're signed up to receive my monthly newsletter, you know that this book has been on my to-read list for several months. Back in April, I had the opportunity to meet the author, Andrew McCarthy, who is best known for his roles in Pretty in Pink, Weekend at Bernies, St. Elmo's Fire, and Mannequin. But in addition to being a 1980s heartthrob, Andrew McCarthy is also an author. His first book, The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down was a well-received travel memoir.
Just Fly Away is Andrew McCarthy's debut into fiction writing. It is a young adult novel about Lucy, a 15-year-old who discovers her father has another child, the result of a brief affair with another woman. Her half-brother, Thomas, is eight and lives in her hometown. Lucy struggles to accept this new information that is rocking her otherwise perfectly happy and idyllic world. In the midst of her grief and confusion, Lucy runs away to the home of her estranged grandfather where she begins to understand her family's secrets.
I have a love/hate relationship with young adult novels - there are some I love (think The Fault in Our Stars, The Book Thief, and Eleanor and Park) - and there are some that I just find cute (in a shoulder-shrug that-was-kinda-cute - kind of way.) This one was on the cuter side. The thing that threw it off was Lucy's vocabulary which seemed quite advanced for a 15-year-old. I think this came, in part, from the fact that Andrew McCarthy is very eloquent and perhaps he wasn't very successful in shrugging off his own voice to really capture that of a teenage girl. I think he did a good job of depicting the teenage mindset but this only enhanced the problem with her vocabulary. Lucy was a typical teenager who didn't think through consequences until it was almost too late but had a sophisticated vocabulary and inner dialogue. There was something about it that didn't jive. With that being said, I did enjoy reading it! I just didn't love it.
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