A Flight Like Icarus’s: Flying by Carrie Jones

New York Times bestselling author Carrie Jones introduces sassy alien-hunting cheerleader Mana in Flying, the launch of a sparkling new YA SF series.

People have always treated seventeen-year-old Mana as someone in need of protection. She’s used to being coddled, being an only child, but it’s hard to imagine anything could ever happen in her small-town, normal life. As her mother’s babying gets more stifling than ever, she’s looking forward to cheering at the big game and getting out of the house for a while.

But that night, Mana’s life goes haywire.

First, the hot guy she’s been crushing on at school randomly flips out and starts spitting acid during the game. Then they get into a knockdown, drag-out fight in the locker room, during which Mana finds herself leaping around like a kangaroo on steroids. As a flyer on the cheerleading squad, she’s always been a good jumper, but this is a bit much. By the time she gets home and finds her house trashed and an alien in the garage, Mana starts to wonder if her mother had her reasons for being overprotective.

It turns out, Mana’s frumpy, timid mom is actually an alien hunter, and now she’s missing–taking a piece of technology with her that everyone wants their hands on, both human and alien. Now her supposed partner, a guy that Mana has never met or heard of (and who seems way too young and way too arrogant to be hunting aliens), has shown up, ordering Mana to come with him. Now, on her own for the first time, Mana will have to find a way to save her mother–and maybe the world–and hope she’s up to the challenge.

Source: GoodReads

Damn it, a cheerleader beating up aliens should be my sort of book especially if there are plenty reviews comparing it to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Flying, however, failed to take off and I DNF’d it.

I will just say right now, I read this book in part to get me out of a YA funk, it didn’t. I sort of have a weird obsession with comical alien books if done right it’s one of my favorite tropes. I like embarrassingly cheesy paranormal books, still do. And a MC fighting aliens should’ve been my sort of book. The problem with Flying was that it had so many stupid moments and it’s written in a style where I just wanted someone to tell Jones to slow down and flesh things out a bit.

Like this Mana chick and this Lyle guy, barely know anything about them. As for Mana’s crush, Dakota, I think I should’ve cared more that he turned out to be Slimer’s long lost twin but I didn’t there was barely any build up to the character or the relationship. Just another embarrassingly bad crush that YA is so famous for. Oh, and the fucking slimmer wannabe is racist so add that little shitty feather to your cap of shittiness book. Seriously, I’m  not joking. I’ll quote the little scene for you:

“I’ve been saved by the Asian cheerleader; how perfect,” Dakota says. “Breaking the stereotypes. How droll.”

Droll?

“Are you pulling the race card on me, Dakota? Seriously? What the hell? You just asked me to help you. Why are you being a dick?” I sputter. “You’re never a dick. You’re sexy and you point your drumstick at me, which could totally be misconstrued, obviously…but um..” I backtrack, because despite this situation, I’m pretty horrified that I just said that out load. “What’s with the race card?

“Of course…” Dakota smirks. “Race card.” (33-34)

Fuck me. Was that really necessary?   I’m mean he already spits up acid, do we really have to make him a racist Slimmer wannabe too? Interesting enough, I think that Jones used this scene to show that are MC was Asian since there was no mention of this earlier in the book. That’s just a…fucking-tastic way to mention that your MC is a POC. Though to be fair, I guess that I have to give Jones credit for having a POC narrator. Though get this, the MIB agent that is fighting with Slimer’s name just happens to be China and I was just like…oO after this scene.

Also, the caffeine allergy was just beyond stupid.   So she gets amped up on caffeine. so do I. My cardiologist snaps at me whenever I drink it, it raises my pulse rate to levels that aren’t considered safe but I don’t like a fucking hyper idiot when I drink a surplus amount of coffee rather I just get jittery and my hands start to shake. Which is why I now have to make do with decaf or half caf which sucks.

So yeah, not impressed by that allergy.

It’s just not lackluster character development and stupid caffeine allergies that ruined my experienced, the pacing in this book like the character development was way off. It’s a short YA book—honestly, it shouldn’t be in hardback it doesn’t even top 300 pages—and the short length doesn’t do it any favors. In some people’s hands (cough, Meg Cabot, cough) I think the length would’ve been fine. Hell, that might’ve been part of my problem with this one I expected it to read like a light and fluffy Meg Cabot book but rather than focusing on character development we just get event tacked on after event with little to no exposition and.

My head just exploded.

Imagine to my surprise when I looked at the author’s bio and realized this wasn’t her first time at the YA rodeo. Because honestly, if it would’ve been a debut novel I could’ve been a little bit more forgiving.

As it stood though, I am just dumbstruck at how ill paced and developed this one was.

Skip it.

Overall Rating: DNF. And I don’t think it’s a subjective DNF. At first I thought it might’ve been, but there’s just too many problems with form and bland characters who make so insensitive comments about race. Because really, was that entire conversation necessary?

 

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