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FULL FLIGHT by Ashley Schumacher Kirkus Star


by Ashley Schumacher

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-250-77978-6
Publisher: Wednesday Books

What happens when you find someone who truly sees you as you are?

In her small Texas town, Anna James wears Christmas socks year-round and secretly worries she’s never going to be good enough. She’s struggling to perform her part of a marching band duet and risks having it assigned to someone else. But Weston Ryan—the other half of the duet and a social outcast accused of destroying the school’s memorial tree—reluctantly agrees to help her practice. Weston excels in music but, distracted and upset by his parents’ recent divorce, has trouble keeping his grades up. As Weston and Anna grow closer and inevitably fall for each other, Anna lies to her parents about where she’s spending time, knowing they wouldn’t approve of her seeing him. Echoing beautifully throughout the novel is Weston’s imagining of the last Kauaʻi ʻōʻō bird, the final survivor of his species who in 1987 flew toward a scientist’s recording of a bird call, searching for family who would never come. Schumacher’s gorgeous writing immerses readers in the aching emotions of close friendship and first love before delivering a gut punch of an ending. Told in alternating first-person perspectives, the narrative memorably portrays anxiety and depression without explicitly naming either, weaving these subjects into well-drawn everyday scenes. Main characters are implied White.

A powerful, unforgettable story of loneliness and belonging.

(Fiction. 12-18)