This is another book I picked up because I had met the author and I was intrigued. I’d read many of Gretchen’s blog posts and found her writing clear, concise, and fluid, so I took a chance on her book without her knowing it. It took me several days to read because of a crazy schedule, but if I’d had the time, this could have easily been one of those all-in-one-sitting books. I couldn’t wait to return to it each evening.
I’m going to cheat a bit and grab the blurb from Amazon, then I’ll add some thoughts at the end.
On beautiful Dalby Island in Washington, Jocelyn Burgowski is turning fourteen and life is starting to suck. Her divorced mom’s an alcoholic. Her beloved dad just re-married—to the town librarian, of all people—and her older brother is a butt. Only Jocelyn’s flying dreams keep her going: they seem so real! Then, on her birthday, those dreams come true. Jocelyn flies. Really. Learning her new powers in secret, Joss revels in the freedom we all long for. But when her brother gets in trouble, he and Jocelyn are abruptly bundled off to live with Mom. Now Jocelyn is faced with a choice: must she sacrifice her powers to save her mom? Does The Flying Burgowski have the strength to heal the damage caused by secrets of the past?
Gretchen has a natural talent—a very distinctive voice, great timing and a good punch, creative imagery, and a super sense of humor. I absolutely loved the story. And I have to admit, I didn’t see the ending coming. I do want to give moms a content advisory: there is quite a bit of mild language and some teen subject matter. The issue of a mother who just doesn’t have her life together is very appropriately handled. The best part, however, aside from some pretty great images—my favorite, you know—is Joss’s discovery of her incredible gift of flying. This is a sensitive and imaginative tale of one girl’s struggle to deal with the junk she’s been handed by life.