by Bryan Bliss
I’m broken this book is so heartbreaking but a must read. I knew when I read the description this one going to be an emotional roller coaster ride but sometimes you need to read those hard-hitting books. You learn from them, grow as a reader and those characters are the ones that touch you and stay with you long after you finish the book. The author doesn’t hold back anything in this book. It deals with child abuse, poverty, justice system, friendships and so much more. This isn’t a book that you would say oh my gosh I loved it and will read it again and again. It is a very emotional book one that will never leave you after your finished. Would I recommend this to other readers: Absolutely!!! Do I think it would be a good book to read in a high school English , current events or sociology class: Absolutely!!! We’ll Fly Away needs to be read. It explores so much that goes on in day to day society that is often overlooked because it’s messy and not Instagram perfect. This book is raw and there will be tears shed. I loved reading the letters that Luke writes Toby on death row. Luke and Toby are best friends and they know everything that is going on in each other’s lives. They are there for each other and know what their home lives are really like. These two have each others back through the anger and abuse and neglect they get at home. They depend on each other and then one rash in the moment act can destroy all they are working towards.
I really hope everyone gets a chance to pick this book up and read it. The only things I might change was maybe not make the abuse and neglect in a poverty-stricken household. I really wish that he hadn’t classified it as anything let the reader decide. They are often portrayed as angry and abusive in books. When I was in high school I was friends with a boy who was abused at home till he finally told someone. Guess what: they were one of the richest families at our school. Money doesn’t mean anything people are people and abuse and neglect happens in all income ranges. I think I understand why he did it in that income range to show that they had to struggle and they couldn’t just buy their way out of their situation and life. Either way it didn’t take away from my reading. I would rate this a 5 star book it’s heartbreaking but you will connect with Luke and Toby but don’t forget to grab some Kleenex’s. They should have a deal where you get a box of Kleenex’s free when you buy this book – since your going to need them! I would say this is a YA book there are heavy topics and not for a middle grade reader unless you read it first and decide if it is okay for your middle grade reader.
About the book: Uniquely told through letters from death row and third-person narrative, Bryan Bliss’s hard-hitting third novel expertly unravels the string of events that landed a teenager in jail. Luke feels like he’s been looking after Toby his entire life. He patches Toby up when Toby’s father, a drunk and a petty criminal, beats on him, he gives him a place to stay, and he diffuses the situation at school when wise-cracking Toby inevitably gets into fights. Someday, Luke and Toby will leave this small town, riding the tails of Luke’s wrestling scholarship, and never look back.
But during their senior year, they begin to drift apart. Luke is dealing with his unreliable mother and her new boyfriend. And Toby unwittingly begins to get drawn into his father’s world, and falls for an older woman. All their long-held dreams seem to be unraveling. Tense and emotional, this heartbreaking novel explores family, abuse, sex, love, friendship, and the lengths a person will go to protect the people they love. For fans of NPR’s Serial podcast, Jason Reynolds, and Matt de la Peña.
Thank you so much Greenwillow Books and Harper Collins Children for sending me a copy of We’ll Fly Away. All thoughts and opinions are mine and not influenced by the free book.