Flight of a Starling by Lisa Heathfield
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Publication date: 29 June 2017
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.
I’m still fairly new to the YA genre and am still trying to pin down the type of book I like versus the ones that just don’t do it for me. I have recently loved a couple of contemporary YA books, so I decided to try Flight of a Starling by Lisa Heathfield. She’s a big name in the genre, so I had high hopes.
Rita and Lo, sisters and best friends, have spent their lives on the wing – flying through the air in their trapeze act, never staying in one place for long. Behind the greasepaint and the glitter, they know that the true magic is the family they travel with.
Until Lo meets a boy. Suddenly, she wants nothing more than to stay still. And as secrets start to tear apart the close-knit circus community, how far will Lo go to keep her feet on the ground?*
Unfortunately, this book just didn’t do it for me. I don’t believe in the idea that you age out of certain book genres – I’ve read and enjoyed middle grade fiction and often reread childhood favourites – however I just got fed up with these young girls. This book hits all the tropes I truly dislike: instalove, the ‘I’ve just met you but you’ve changed my life forever and am now going to give up my family and everything I’ve ever known’ plot device, and the style of writing that attempts to sound poetic but just falls so flat. I wasn’t feeling the circus plot, which should have made these girls so interesting, becaue it just didn’t do anything for them at all. Both Rita and Lo are so incredibly young, and I don’t think that I would have identified with them as characters when I was sixteen.
Just because Flight of a Starling didn’t work for me doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pick it up if you’re a fan of contemporary YA. I think there’s definitely an audience here – especially judging by the good reviews and reactions online – but Flight of a Starling just wasn’t for me. I ended up DNFing the book at 32% because I dreaded picking it up again. If you’re the kind of person who identifies more with King Triton than Ariel in The Little Mermaid (a movie I loved as a child but realised how incredibly silly she was acting after I hit about 15 years old), Flight of a Starling is probably not the book for you. If you love whimsical plots, poetic prose, or this author’s other books, you should consider giving this book a shot.
Have you read Flight of a Starling? Did you like it? Let me know!
*copy courtesy of Goodreads