Title: Taking Flight
Author: Nicky Jayne
Published Date: March 12, 2014
***THIS BOOK WAS GIVEN TO ME IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
Willow works at a business owned by her deceased mother’s family even though she doesn’t seem to be liked much by that family. She is also dating, fellow employee, Duncan until she finds him in bed with another woman. She stays with her father and sister for a couple weeks, but decides to leave town to start a new life. She hits the road on a Greyhound bus instead of her in her new Audi.
She ends up in Jackson Lake, Texas where the owner of the diner, Sharon, convinces her to stay. Duncan finds Willow, but Sharon’s foster son, Parker saves Willow. Parker’s bad attitude gets in the way of their obvious attraction to one another.
The story is well paced and moves along nicely, but the timeline of the story is disjointed and left me confused and flipping pages to piece together the timing. Events are referenced as if they’d occurred in the past, but the stated passage of time would not have allowed for the event to have occurred yet given the prologue. Those disconnects impacted my experience reading this book. I found the addition of plot points that weren’t pursued to be a source of frustration. How could one not investigate the source of a note left under his pillow to find out who left it there and why?
The main characters are somewhat developed but needed something more. I struggled with the dichotomy of the characterization of Sharon and Parker. My first impression of Sharon was of a sweet, older woman who lived by the axiom, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”, however , she seems shrewish in almost every interaction with her foster/adopted son, Parker. Although no character or person is all good or all bad, some characters’ behavior and responses were just too different than how the character was presented to the reader. Perhaps the attempt to show conflicting feelings or attributes was just overdone for me. I found the four or five names thrown into the tale—as if they are secondary characters—to be an unnecessary distraction; I don’t need to know the bartender’s name if the only thing she adds to the story is that she served someone a beer. I also struggled with small disconnects or oddities in physical descriptions of characters. I was surprised by the number if characters with green eyes and that Rebecca is a skin-and-bones drug addict as remembered by Parker but described as eye candy by Duncan. The characters’ back story, conflict and angst are partially developed, but a bit overplayed for me given the limited knowledge presented. Perhaps as the series progresses, all will become clear.
I like the premise for the story: leave town to start over and find a happy, simpler life in a small town, however, the writing and the story disconnects in this series starter impacted my enjoyment of the book.
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