My Reading Life

Excuse me, when did it become December? My November was a blur thanks to deadlines-a-go-go, so when my Golden Heart entry was finally in the mail, I could breathe.

And read.

Remember what that was like? The anticipation of time to savor a great new fantasy? The wonder of meeting Jo, Beth, Meg, and Amy for the first time and knowing that you could spend the entire winter break with them? Sigh. So, I decided it was time to rediscover that anticipation. I checked out every appealing book I encountered at the library and surround myself with them this weekend. The first did not disappoint, even though it did make me stay up way too late.

Girls Don’t Fly by Kristen Chandler is a contemporary YA novel about a high school senior, Myra, who is dumped by her boyfriend out of the blue. Right there, I was hooked. I mean, I get that. Turns out that Myra is also the glue that holds the struggling household together. Her hard working parents rely on her to help transport, feed, and care for her younger siblings. When Myra’s older sister gets pregnant and moves back home, even more weight falls on Myra’s shoulders.

Myra struggles with the aftermath of the breakup. She needs a job, but is constrained by her responsibilities at home. When she learns of a scholarship offering a trip to the Galapagos Islands, she sees a chance to get away from her life–if she can raise $1000 by the scholarship deadline. Myra’s is a story of potential. She has loads of it, but even she doesn’t realize it. Those around her are too wrapped up in their own lives to notice what she could do if given half a chance.

I loved the rhythm of Myra’s first person narrative. The scientific threads added terrific texture to the overall story. The adults in this story weren’t perfect, and they weren’t villains, either, which made the story that much more believable.

In the end, I kept reading into the night because I wanted to know what happened to Myra, her scholarship application, and her budding relationship with cute graduate student, Pete. A great, realistic read with good conflict and decisions without easy answers.

Are you anticipating any great reads this month?