From Marie Marquardt, the author of Dream Things True and The Radius of Us, comes a story of two teenagers learning what to hold on to, what to let go of, and that sometimes love gets in the way of our plans. Back when they were still strangers, TJ Carvalho witnessed the only moment in Vivi Flannigan’s life when she lost control entirely. Now, TJ can’t seem to erase that moment from his mind, no matter how hard he tries. Vivi doesn’t remember any of it, but she’s determined to leave it far behind. And she will. But when Vivi returns home from her first year away at college, her big plans and TJ’s ambition to become a nurse land them both on the heart ward of a university hospital, facing them with a long and painful summer together – three months of glorified babysitting for Ángel, the problem patient on the hall. Sure, Ángel may be suffering from a life-threatening heart infection, but that doesn’t make him any less of a pain. As it turns out, though, Ángel Solís has a thing or two to teach them about all those big plans, and the incredible moments when love gets in their way. Written in alternating first person from the perspectives of all three characters, Flight Season is a story about discovering what’s really worth holding onto, learning how to let go of the rest, and that one crazy summer that changes your life forever.
To be honest, I've always loved birds, but never took a lot of time to appreciate all the different types around me. My mother on the other hand, kept an Audubon Book and binoculars close at hand. She spent a lot of time on the front porch listening and looking at the birds. So when I saw excerpts of Vivi's bird journal I was instantly reminded of my mother's love of birds, drawing me even deeper into the story. To Vivi, birds are celestrial and are always there when she needs an answer to something important in her life. While she can't quiet explain it, they have always seemed to be there when she most needs it.
Marquardt weaves together three distinct POV flawlessly. It is easy to keep each story line separate since the voices are so clearly defined. Vivi’s chapters start with an entry in her birding journal. It is fun to learn about each bird trying to figure out what clue it might hold for the story. I did find myself googling each bird to get an image and more information just in case.
TJ voice is well written, and even his tough act is easily relatable. I enjoy his dialogue and the way he changes over the course of the novel. In many ways he is one of my favorite parts of the novel.
Ángel is a pleasant surprise. With Marquardt's writing it is easy to love Angel flaws and all. He has a unique perspective that isn't often seen in YA novels. Ángel adds depth to the story that pulls at your heartstrings.
This book deals with timely and important topics from Vivi's issues faces her father's death and college, to immigration. Everything is handled with grace and incredible storytelling. You can tell that Marquardt put care and respect into each character.
Final Thoughts: Flight Season is a captivating story of family, friendship, love, grief, and healing. It took me on an emotional rollercoaster for the entire day. (Yes, I couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting at a coffee shop). But while I had tears in my eyes while I read, it left me with hope in my heart and the sound of birds singing. It is a must read of 2018.