Flight Season – Marie Marquardt – St Martin’s Press: Wednesday Books – Published 20 February 2018
Back when they were still strangers, TJ Carvalho witnessed the only moment in Vivi Flannigan’s life when she lost control entirely. Now, TJ can’t seem to erase that moment from his mind, no matter how hard he tries. Vivi doesn’t remember any of it, but she’s determined to leave it far behind. And she will.
But when Vivi returns home from her first year away at college, her big plans and TJ’s ambition to become a nurse land them both on the heart ward of a university hospital, facing them with a long and painful summer together – three months of glorified babysitting for Ángel, the problem patient on the hall. Sure, Ángel may be suffering from a life-threatening heart infection, but that doesn’t make him any less of a pain.
As it turns out, though, Ángel Solís has a thing or two to teach them about all those big plans, and the incredible moments when love gets in their way.
Flight Season is a beautiful, heartbreaking book that had me smiling and laughing and crying, both despairing and rejoicing in humanity, and so happy just to spend a little time with these amazing characters.
Vivi Flannigan has returned home from college for the summer to pull her life together. If she can stick it out at her hospital internship she might have a slim hope of passing her semester’s courses. If she can help her mother get back on track, she might be able to save their home. And if she can avoid Old Town, she might have a slim chance of forgetting that one night she lost total control. TJ Carvalho has one last clinical placement to pass before he is done with his nursing studies. So when Vivi turns up in his ward, the girl who he witnessed have a complete meltdown, he does his best to avoid her. But when TJ and Vivi are forced to work together to care for heart patient Ángel, the three of them form a beautiful, if challenged, friendship, which just might change their lives in ways they could never have expected.
I think less is more when it comes to reviewing this beautiful, beautiful book. If you are the sort of reader who likes to take a chance on characters, who enjoys simple details that pull together to make a powerful whole, and who loves a bit of everyday magic, then Flight Season is the book for you. I underestimated this book. I underestimated the depth of the story, the power behind its truths, and the way the characters would so quickly worm their way into my heart. Flight Season surprised and delighted me.
Really, I could go on forever about all the things I loved about this story. The way it is told through alternating chapters from the perspectives of the three main characters. How the messages of family, grief, belonging, and home drive the story. How the romance (including some amazing chemistry, an enemies-to-lovers storyline, and a relationship founded on trust, understanding, and friendship) fits so perfectly into the whole of the story. Ángel, who deserves an entire what-I-loved list all to himself. The birds and Vivi’s bird journal entires, which add another detail that works so well with this story. The characters, who are all so richly detailed that even secondary characters now feel like old friends. And my review copy did not come with illustrations, but I’m guessing they are only going to make this book even more beautiful.
Flight Season is a book I am going to delight in thrusting into everyone’s hands, saying ‘you simply must read this book’. So what are you waiting for? Go forth and find yourself a copy of Flight Season. You won’t regret it.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Friendship, grief, romance, immigrants, college, work, hospitals, heart failure, family, finance, birds.
Reading age guide: Ages 13 and up.
Advisory: Sexual references, implied and briefly detailed sex scenes. Coarse language, f*** (1), sh** (21), as**** (13), bit** (2), pri** (3), pi** (13). Alcohol consumption to excess.
Published: 31 July 2017 by Penguin Random House Australia.
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 336 pages.