Myra's life is dominated by duty and practicality. As the second-oldest child in a large family, someone is always asking her for something. She has to look after the younger kids so her mom can work evenings. She has to keep her pregnant older sister calm so that nothing happens to the baby. Without her, the family would probably implode. After a bad breakup, Myra's even more confused about who she is and what she wants to do with her life. Maybe that's why she's spending so much time researching birds and science and a scholarship opportunity to the Galapagos Islands. The idea of going away to study birds in South America is completely ridiculous...but maybe not completely impossible.
I really enjoyed this book and the way it showed a character becoming interested in science and research. Myra is a main character can easily carry her own story. She's a smart, caring, capable teen who's stuck between keeping her family together and trying to make plans for her own life. This book, though, spins this classic teen dilemma in new and interesting ways. At some parts of the book I was so frustrated by Myra's parents. They were asking so much of Myra that it was coming at the expense of her own future. But they weren't bad people; they just didn't have the financial resources to provide everything they wanted for their children. (Minor spoiler alert) I was really happy to see that at the end there's a moment where, in the midst of blaming Myra for the actions of another person, her parents start to realize what they've been asking of Myra. This is a solid choice for teen readers, especially teen girls who are trying to decide if they have the power to 'fly.'
Check out Kristen Chandler's website for more information on Girls Don't Fly.
I received an advance review copy courtesy of Penguin Canada.
Find it at IndieBound.
Read it with:
Wolves, Boys, and Other Things that Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler
Contents Under Pressure by Lara M. Zeises
Everything I Was by Corinne Demas
Populazzi by Elise Allen