Hey guys! I just finished the contemporary YA novel “Flight Season”, by Marie Marquardt, and wow, I am blown away. This book was absolutely beautiful. The novel follows three main characters: Vivi Flannigan, a college sophomore who is struggling in school after the death of her father, TJ Carvalho, a nursing student working at his huge family’s restaurant, and Ángel Solís, an orphaned immigrant from Guatemala who has a life-threatening heart condition. These three characters are thrown together when Vivi gets a summer internship at a hospital- the same hospital where TJ cares for Ángel. What follows is a beautiful story about grief, loss, heartbreak, and healing.
This book was amazing. It deals with some extremely tough topics with grace and beauty, putting words to the grief that many people must face every day. Vivi’s father’s death changes her and her family forever. She goes from being the girl who does it all- volunteering, sports, perfect grades- to not being able to go to class because she is so depressed. Her mother falls apart, neglecting her responsibilities and their financial situation. But somehow, in spite of all of the heartbreak, this isn’t a story about sadness. It is a story about healing, about letting yourself hurt and then finding the strength to move on. It struck the balance perfectly between being realistic about the pain and loss that the characters were experiencing and not letting the book itself be depressing. For every moment of pain, there was a moment of joy.
The relationships in this book were also incredible. As TJ and Vivi work together they grow closer, their feelings growing into something more. I’m a sucker for a well-written falling in love, and this totally did it for me. It was complicated, with Vivi’s grief and their histories. But the writing came through and gave us a butterfly-inducing story. But the romance wasn’t the only great relationship in the story. The friendship between Ángel and Vivi and TJ was also incredible. It was one of those really true friendships, the bare your soul and love each other flaws and all kind. This is the kind of friendship that I LOVE to see in books. I like books where the friendship feels as real as the romance, not just thrown in for convenience or as a prop. In this story, the friendship was beautifully and painfully real.
I also have a total weakness for any book set by the beach. I love books where the setting feels real and connected to the reader, and somehow beach books always do it the best. The constant backdrop of the sea and all the birds in this story was really powerful, connecting it to the overall story of life and rebirth.
I highly recommend this book to all of you. It has gorgeous prose and such honest characters. I laughed and cried right along with them through the summer, and watched as they battled their demons and came out stronger on the other side. You can get it here Flight Season: A Novel
My final rating- 5/5
Thanks for reading my review, and until next time, happy reading 🙂