Full Flight

 
4.5 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
498 0
Full Flight
Age Range
12+
Release Date
February 22, 2022
ISBN
978-1250779786
Buy This Book
      

Ashley Schumacher’s Full Flight is about how first love shapes us―even after it’s gone. Everyone else in the tiny town of Enfield, Texas, calls fall football season, but for the forty-three members of the Fighting Bearcat Marching Band, it’s contest season. And for new saxophonist Anna James, it’s her first chance to prove herself as the great musician she’s trying hard to be. When she’s assigned a duet with mellophone player Weston Ryan, the boy her small-minded town thinks of as nothing but trouble, she’s equal parts thrilled and intimidated. But as he helps her with the duet, and she sees the smile he seems to save just for her, she can’t help but feel like she’s helping him with something too. When her strict parents find out she’s been secretly seeing him and keep them apart, Anna and Weston learn what it truly means to fight for something they love. With the marching contest nearing and the two falling hard for one another, the unthinkable happens, and Anna is left grappling for a way forward without Weston.

Editor reviews

4 reviews
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot
 
4.0(2)
Characters
 
5.0(2)
Writing Style
 
4.5(2)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A(0)
Poignant and Heartbreaking
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
N/A
Characters
 
N/A
Writing Style
 
N/A
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
This is one of those stories that will stick with me for a long time. It left me utterly bereft and broken, and yet I can say that it is one of the best stories I’ve read in a long time. Full Flight by Ashley Schumacher is a story full of first loves, stolen moments, and the mood swings that come with being a teenager. Written with a distinct and unique voice, Schumacher transported me back in time to my own high school days, to the excitement surrounding a game day, to the band playing our fight song, and to the memories made. The story unfolds around Anna and Weston, two band members who know but don’t know each other, each struggling in their own ways, and finding that maybe together they won’t have to struggle so hard.

Anna and Weston couldn’t be more different. Anna has a bubbly personality, always smiling, always trying to find the good and always trying to be her best. Weston can be off-putting, quiet and reserved, haunted by his parents’ divorce a year earlier. And yet, they bring out the best in each other. They find a way to fill in the places that they feel are empty within themselves together. Anna sees Weston in a way that no one else does. She understands him and his shadows because she has her own. She pushes him out of his comfort zone and shows him that if he’d let others see him as she does, he wouldn’t be lonely.

I love how Schumacher handles mental illness in this book. It isn’t named as such (like as depression or anxiety), but instead described in terms that a teen would describe it. Anna describes hers as the shadows on the wall, creeping in on her and keeping her in the dark. Weston’s is a barren wildfire, consuming everything in its path. I related to these descriptions, remember the feeling of being lonely in a crowded room at their age, not fitting in but trying to.

I also love the duality of the band duet they practice together and the bird from an old school report. These two themes carry throughout the book. A call and a response. Anna’s first introduction to Weston in the story is her begging for his help with her part of their assigned duet, and he answers her call. She responds by helping with homework. A reluctant friendship forms into something more, and it is beautiful to read.

Overall, despite shattering my heart into a million pieces, I loved Full Flight. Anna and Weston are a beautiful representation of what it is like to be a teen in love for the first time. These characters are so true to life. Their joy and heartbreak become yours as the reader. And I personally feel like that is the mark of not just a good author, but a great one. I highly recommend it.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
compelling YA contemporary
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
N/A
Characters
 
N/A
Writing Style
 
N/A
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
FULL FLIGHT is a heartfelt, emotional, and lovely YA contemporary about love, loss, and the people who will always stay with us. Anna James was a latecomer to band, and she loves being a part of it all and playing her saxophone. A duet has come up for her as part of the marching band performance, but it will only be hers if she can nail it by the band director's deadline - state championships are on the line this year and she has to be perfect. She requests help in working on the duet with the other player, Weston.

Weston has always felt a bit on the outskirts of things, especially after his parents' divorce and attending private school for a year. He feels lonely and mostly ignored, a state which he is okay with, until Anna begins begging for his help with the duet. As he interacts with her, he becomes wrapped up in who she is and starts to help her in earnest, finding himself and a great love in the process.

With her parents' disapproval hanging over them as well as their own insecurities, their relationship is anything but easy. However, the connection they feel is one of soulmates, and they are not willing to let that go - at least until fate conspires against them.

What I loved: This was a really emotional and heartfelt read about the power of first loves and the way that people can remain with you after they are gone. The romance really sweeps the reader away into Anna and Weston's insecurities, hopes, and dreams, as well as their connection and love. This was a consuming romance, and it was easy to see where it wrapped them up - and also where it overwhelmed. They were each influenced by the other in positive and sometimes less positive ways, but this is certainly true of platonic and romantic relationships more generally.

This is definitely a tear-jerker with some beautiful lessons about the lasting impressions people will leave and the ways that they change us permanently. Other themes around snap judgments, friendship, divorce, loneliness, achievement, bullying, and family issues were also compelling and added to the overall story.

What left me wanting more: As a small thing, the beginning of the book moves slowly, and based on the synopsis, it feels a bit like something bad is looming over a lot of the story. I think I would have liked it split a bit more so show before and after in more equal measure with a quicker start.

Final verdict: A lovely and heartfelt story, FULL FLIGHT is a consuming YA contemporary romance that should be read with tissues handy. Recommend for fans of WHEN THE STARS LEAD TO YOU, THE TRAGEDY OF DANE RILEY, and COUNTING DOWN WITH YOU.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account