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Just Fly Away
Cover of Just Fly Away
Just Fly Away
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The debut novel from Andrew McCarthyactor, director, and bestselling author of Brat: An 80s Storyis a powerful story about family secrets, first love, the limits of forgiveness, and finding your way in the world.
When fifteen-year-old Lucy Willows discovers that her father has a secret child from a brief affair, she begins to question everything she thinks she knows about her family. How could her father have betrayed them like this? How could her mother forgive him? And why isn’t her sister rocked by the news the way Lucy is? Lucy can’t bring herself to tell her friends, and when she tries to confide in her boyfriend, he doesn’t understand. Fed up with everyone around her and desperate for answers, Lucy runs away to Maine—the home of her mysteriously estranged grandfather—to get to the bottom of her family’s secrets and lies.
The debut novel from Andrew McCarthyactor, director, and bestselling author of Brat: An 80s Storyis a powerful story about family secrets, first love, the limits of forgiveness, and finding your way in the world.
When fifteen-year-old Lucy Willows discovers that her father has a secret child from a brief affair, she begins to question everything she thinks she knows about her family. How could her father have betrayed them like this? How could her mother forgive him? And why isn’t her sister rocked by the news the way Lucy is? Lucy can’t bring herself to tell her friends, and when she tries to confide in her boyfriend, he doesn’t understand. Fed up with everyone around her and desperate for answers, Lucy runs away to Maine—the home of her mysteriously estranged grandfather—to get to the bottom of her family’s secrets and lies.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.0
  • Lexile:
    750
  • Interest Level:
    MG+
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

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About the Author-
  • Andrew McCarthy is the author of the New York Times bestselling travel memoir, The Longest Way Home. He is an editor at large at National Geographic Traveler magazine. He is also an actor and director. He lives in New York City with his wife, three children, two fish, and one dog. Just Fly Away is his first novel. You can find him online at andrewmccarthy.com or on Twitter: @AndrewTMcCarthy.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 13, 2017
    Fifteen-year-old Lucy Willows is blindsided when she learns that she has an eight-year-old half brother, Thomas, a product of her father’s infidelity. Overwhelmed by her father’s past actions and her mother’s calm acceptance of them, Lucy goes into a tailspin and begins thinking that every young boy she sees could be Thomas. When she tracks him down and her father finds out, she takes off, seeking refuge with her estranged grandfather. Welcomed by him, Lucy finds comfort and begins to accept the hard truth that parents are fallible. In his first book for teens, actor and author McCarthy (The Longest Way Home) sensitively explores the difficult process of learning to accept loved ones despite their shortcomings, although Lucy’s inner thoughts can feel restrained and overly mature at times. Through discussions with her grandfather, Lucy begins to see her father as a complicated individual with a history that includes joy, sadness, successes, and mistakes. Readers will appreciate the honest conversations between Lucy and her family, which underscore the importance of communication to foster connection and understanding. Ages 14–up. Agent: David Patterson, Stuart Krichevsky Agency.

  • Kirkus

    January 15, 2017
    Fifteen-year-old Lucy's world is rocked when her father confesses to her and her sister that they have a half brother, the result of a brief affair. Though their mother has been aware of the existence of Thomas, who's 8 and lives in their same New Jersey town, for many years and has made her peace with her husband's infidelity, Lucy reels when she learns about him. Her realistically described reaction of fury and indignation builds until she finally embarks on an impulsive road trip without telling her parents, ending up at her larger-than-life grandfather's house in Maine. This family drama is appealingly narrated in Lucy's wry, confessional voice, and a romance she stumbles into with her friend's stoner brother is sweetly fumbling and awkward. All the major characters seem to be white; musings about the ethnicities of various people Lucy encounters while on her clandestine trip, including a passage in which she wonders whether her own implicit bias might be at play in an interaction she has with a black man, underscore her new determination to seek out answers to questions that have gone unasked in her sheltered upbringing. A poignant, character-driven coming-of-age novel that, despite a too-tidy ending, will appeal broadly to teen readers. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2017

    Gr 7-10-Until now, Lucy's life has been happy. That changes when she discovers that she has a younger brother from a brief affair her father had eight years earlier. Suddenly, Lucy loses interest in school and patience with close friends and family. When school ends, she spends her summer with a new friend, Maxine, and develops a relationship with Maxine's brother, Simon. Meanwhile, Lucy gives her father the silent treatment. Her feelings finally overwhelm her, and she unexpectedly hops on a train to New York City and ends up on a bus to Maine to visit her grandfather, whom she has met only once before. During her visit with him, the protagonist learns a lot about the people around her and about herself. This is clearly a coming-of-age story, in which Lucy must realize that her parents (and grandfather) are human and can make mistakes. Her trip to Maine realistically highlights the dangers of traveling alone as a teenager, and her relationship with Simon shows age-appropriate sexual exploration. While the plot seems like it should be action-packed given its story line, the writing is slow and deliberate, which not all readers will enjoy. Save this novel for your most thoughtful readers. VERDICT A good selection for large YA collections.-Kelly Jo Lasher, Middle Township High School, Cape May Court House, NJ

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    December 15, 2016
    Grades 7-10 When Lucy learns about Thomas, her half brother, she feels betrayed by her dad's infidelity and her parents' secrecy. Lucy finds solace in a new relationship with her friend's older brother, Simon. Meanwhile, her curiosity about Thomaswho lives mere blocks away in her New Jersey townmotivates her to cross paths with him. She freaks out after meeting him, and takes an impromptu trip to visit her grandfather (who is estranged from Lucy's dad) in Maine. They enjoy several days together before he suffers a ministroke and Lucy's dad arrives. The first-person narration emphasizes Lucy's intense reaction to finding out about her father's other child. This YA debut suffers from an overload of storya family drama, a romance, a road trip, and a renewed intergenerational relationship. Other flaws include occasional awkward phrasing, a random musing about race that doesn't fit the overall tone, and a road trip that drags the pace. Strengths of the book include Lucy's realistic response to her dad's revelation, as well as other personal connections, and McCarthy's fame as an actor will add interest.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

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    Workman Publishing Company
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Just Fly Away
Just Fly Away
Andrew McCarthy
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