Just Fly Away: Book summary and reviews of Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy

Just Fly Away

by Andrew McCarthy

Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy X
Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2017
    272 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A debut novel about one girl's discovery of family secrets, first love, the limits of forgiveness, and finding one's way in the world, written with wisdom and sympathy by the bestselling memoirist, actor, and director.

When fifteen-year-old Lucy Willows discovers that her father has a child from a brief affair, an eight-year-old boy named Thomas who lives in her own suburban New Jersey town, she begins to question everything she thinks she knows about her family and her life. Lucy can't believe her father betrayed the whole family, or that her mother forgave him, or that her sister isn't rocked by the news the way Lucy is. Worse, Lucy's father's secret is now her own, one that isolates her from her friends, family, and even her boyfriend, Simon, the one person she expected would truly understand. When Lucy escapes to Maine, the home of her mysteriously estranged grandfather, she finally begins to get to the bottom of her family's secrets and lies.

Fans of the rebels and antiheroes in the novels of Rainbow Rowell, A. S. King, and Meg Wolitzer will welcome this sharp, observant new voice in young adult fiction.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A poignant, character-driven coming-of-age novel that, despite a too-tidy ending, will appeal broadly to teen readers." – Kirkus

"This YA debut suffers from an overload of story - a 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." - Booklist

"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." - School Library Journal

"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." - Publishers Weekly

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Author Information

Andrew McCarthy

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.

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