Review Detail

We'll Fly Away Featured
Young Adult Fiction 823
An Amazing Book
(Updated: May 11, 2018)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Bryan Bliss starts WE'LL FLY AWAY with a quote from the legendary anti-death penalty activist, Sister Helen Prejean. "It is easy to forgive the innocent. It is the guilty who test our morality. People are more than the worst thing they've ever done."

That quote sets the theme for this amazing heart-wrenching and beautifully written story. In it, Toby and Luke are seniors in high school, and they have been best of friends since the moment they discovered each other at a far younger age. We know that Luke is in prison--on Death Row--but we don't know why (beyond the obvious reason why someone is on Death Row). Luke and Toby's story is told in alternating third person narratives and through Luke's letters to Toby. Letters he's writing at the suggestion of the cowboy boot-wearing nun who tends to the inmates who have been found guilty of the most heinous of crimes.

Luke is one of those inmates, but beyond that information, the reader doesn't have any knowledge as to the why and how of his situation. And the story of Luke's senior year spent as a socially awkward young man who loves and cares for his little brothers, who loves and cares for his best friend, and who spends any excess energy pursuing his chance to escape North Carolina by way of a wrestling scholarship, is incongruent with his position as a Death Row inmate. The tension built by trying to guess what events led to Luke's incarceration left me flipping pages at a ridiculous rate, though that was made difficult because I also wanted to linger over Bryan Bliss's writing.

But WE'LL FLY AWAY isn't just a book about the death penalty--though it is that. It's also a story of friendship. It's a story of the far-reaching impact of abuse. It's a book about family and what it takes to be a family. And its narrative details how choices and the chain of events and decisions made can alter a person's life in unimaginable ways. It also asks that the reader consider whether a person's life is the sum of their worst moment.

I'm going to have a hard time shaking Luke and Toby's story. Bryan Bliss has written an amazing and powerful novel, and it's the rare instance where an open ending is just fine with me. I'd rather let my optimistic imagination take over where the book left off.

Many thanks to the author for writing this book and to the publisher and YA Books Central for providing me a copy in exchange for my unbiased review.
Good Points
A powerful book
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* From New York...
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns...
Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Warriors of Wing and Flame, the spellbinding sequel...
Corona Daze: Eva's time at home during Covid-19
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"Angel's artwork is an inspirational blend of photographic images and...
Fae's Prisoner (Crimes of the Fae)
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Griffin O’Shea is a traitor. It’s what those outside...
The Mirror: Broken Wish (The Mirror, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions and...
Swamp Thing: Twin Branches
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater (the...
Launch (Rise of the Anointed #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the biblical stories, Samson had great strength. The prophet...
How to Catch a Yeti
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling team...
Along Came a Fox
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The perfect story to encourage children to treat others as...
Rosa's Big Pizza Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Follow Rosa and her friends as they prepare pizzas! Each...
The Other Side of Midnight
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The sense of foreboding came out of nowhere. It was...
Light of Orion-Guardians of Orion Book 2
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Evil is gathering strength. When she learns the truth, it...
Mark of Orion-Guardians of Orion Book 1
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
If you like sinister demons, warrior angels, supernatural powers, ancient...
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Returning to the dark and glamorous 19th century world of...
Trouble Girls
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A queer YA reimagining of Thelma & Louise with the...

Latest Member Reviews

How to Catch a Yeti
 
5.0
"HOW TO CATCH A YETI is a delightful picture book about a group of children who, as the title implies,..."
Along Came a Fox
 
4.0
"ALONG CAME A FOX is the story of Bramble, who is excited to find some fireflies. Her friends tell her..."
Rosa's Big Pizza Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
5.0
"ROSA'S BIG PIZZA EXPERIMENT is a cute picture book about the process to make a pizza, beginning with the flour,..."
Rosa's Big Sunflower Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
4.0
"ROSA'S BIG SUNFLOWER EXPERIMENT is a cute picture book that brings science and plant facts to young children. Rosa and..."
That Dog!
 
4.5
"THAT DOG! is a silly fun picture book about animal similarities and light crime solving. Penny is a dognapper, and..."
I'm a Zcary Vampire
 
3.5
"I'M A ZCARY VAMPIRE is an overall cute picture book read that is great for the lead up to Halloween...."
Heroes Level Up (Homerooms & Hall Passes #2)
 
5.0
"Albiorix and his crew are having a great time being back in Bríandalör, successfully completing a lot of quests, but..."
Last: The Story of a White Rhino
 
4.5
"LAST: THE STORY OF A WHITE RHINO tells the story of the real rhino, Sudan, who is one of the..."
When Pumpkins Fly
 
3.5
"WHEN PUMPKINS FLY is about the arrival of pumpkins via plane that are then taken to the classroom where children..."
Owl Always Love You
 
5.0
"OWL ALWAYS LOVE YOU is a sweet board book that is made for bedtime. It is a sweet poem about..."
Twins
 
4.0
"Francine and Maureen feel differently about starting middle school; Francine is reinventing herself, going by "Fran"and rocking a hat an..."
Eleanor, Anna, and the Roosevelt Ghosts
 
5.0
"Eleanor Roosevelt has been living with her Grandmother Hall since her mother and father have both passed away. The older..."
When I Grow Up, I Want to Drive
 
4.5
"WHEN I GROW UP, I WANT TO DRIVE... is a cute lift-the-flap adventure of different work vehicles in action. On..."
Dragon Mountain
 
5.0
"Billy Chan has gotten an invitation to attend Camp Dragon, a cultural and language school in China, so his parents..."
Yara's Spring
 
5.0
"Yara and her younger brother Saad are in a refugee camp in Jordan in 2016, waiting to hear what their..."
Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes
 
5.0
"CHERRY BLOSSOM AND PAPER PLANES is a lovely picture book read about friendship that spans distance. Dina and Adin are..."
This is My Daddy!
 
4.5
"THIS IS MY DADDY! is an overall cute and simple concept that makes a great gift for fathers of young..."
Peep!
 
3.0
"PEEP! is a board book that relies on illustrations to tell a story. A duckling hatches and sees a boy..."
The Blue Giant
 
4.5
"THE BLUE GIANT is a picture book that discusses ocean pollution in easy to understand terms. Meera and her mother..."
Cleo Porter and the Body Electric
 
5.0
"It's 2096, Cleo Porter and her parents never leave their apartment. It has no doors, no windows, and only a..."