Girls Don't Fly by Kristen Chandler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Young Adult novel (I listened to audio version) that is absolutely captivating with charming believable characters who don't have a perfect life. I especially enjoyed it because of the main character, an 18 yr. old girl who is dependent, self effacing, selfless doormat to her family, employer, and boyfriend but who realizes her own self worth and evolves into a strong, confident young woman realizing that she is in control of the direction her own life can take.
The setting is a small town called Linden, Utah, near Salt Lake City. She's the 2nd of 5 children in a loving family that struggles financially. Mother works night shift and father days. Her older married sister is out of the home, temporarily--until a situation develops in which she returns home bedridden, and everyone, especially the 3 younger children, including 2 preschoolers, are all very dependent on her for both their physical and emotional needs. Life is hard and the financial struggle is ongoing. In addition to caring for them & keeping everything running smoothly (e.g. laundry & meals, etc) while her mother sleeps and while father is at work, she holds down a demanding part time job & manages to find time to do her school homework (last quarter senior year). Highly responsible, loving, thoughtful, and completely selfless, she does all this without complaining but also without recognizing the importance of caring for herself. But that changes as choices become more difficult, and painful.
The book deals with the usual teenage angst in a realistic and humorous way as she begins to discover not only who her "friends" really are, but who she, herself, is. I highly recommend this novel to YA girls & to parents. She deals with difficult topics such as teen pregnancy in a tasteful manner without inappropriate scenes or preaching. There is no bad language or sex which always earns an extra star in my ratings.
The prose is beautiful. Really. Her use of metaphor is outstanding and there is rich symbolism in almost everything that happens in the story. An easy, highly enjoyable read.
The audio version was well done & I had a hard time putting it down.
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