Friday 7 September 2018

Review: When Elephants Fly by Nancy Richardson Fischer

T. Lily Decker is a high school senior with a twelve-year plan: avoid stress, drugs, alcohol and boyfriends, and take regular psych quizzes administered by her best friend, Sawyer, to make sure she’s not developing schizophrenia.

Genetics are not on Lily’s side. When she was seven, her mother, who had paranoid schizophrenia, tried to kill her. And a secret has revealed that Lily’s odds are even worse than she thought. Still, there’s a chance to avoid triggering the mental health condition, if Lily can live a careful life from ages eighteen to thirty, when schizophrenia most commonly manifests.

But when a newspaper internship results in Lily witnessing a mother elephant try to kill her three-week-old calf, Swifty, Lily can’t abandon the story or the calf. With Swifty in danger of dying from grief, Lily must choose whether to risk everything, including her sanity and a first love, on a desperate road trip to save the calf’s life, perhaps finding her own version of freedom along the way.

Review: Oh my goodnes I was blown away by this book! This was a fabulous coming of age novel with the honesty and directness of a John Green book alongside dealing with mental health issues, the debate over zoos and circuses and a wonderful male/female relationship that doesn't end in romance-everybody cheer! This book had me thinking and crying and just loving every page!

Lily is a great main character and I fell in love with her right away because of her passion for journalism, I found this not only interesting but admirable as well, I would love to have such a passion and drive for an upcoming career! She ha some issues as well, her past is not exactly rosey and she is facing a future with a mental illness. But she is incredibly strong and incredible determined and I loved that!

Another character I fell in love with was Swift Jone, or Swifty, a cheeky baby elephant. I am not kidding you that I am still thinking about this cutie today and wondering what became of her. She was the key to a lot of the issues discussed in the book, even if it wasn't overtly and what a wonderful lynch pin she was. I loved watching her life story take place across the pages and I learned so much about the life of elephants and their acre. 

As I mentioned, the issues of zoos is also discussed in this book, as is the issues of circuses but the wonderful thing was that the author didn't show any bias towards one or the other. There are issues with both and also benefits to endangered animals with both and they are fully explored in this novel. There is no dumbing down or sugar-coating going on, I learned a lot without ever once thinking I was being talked down to. 

Then there's that ending. This book doesn't wrap everything up in a nice bow for you but I really don't think there was any other way this book could end! I really need someone to write a fan fiction ending for this one please? This book has it all, it references other favourite novels, it tackles living with mental illness head on, it shows what it is like to start out in journalism and is a great coming of age story, my only complaint? I want more! Highly recommend!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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