Skip to main content

We'll Fly Away

Review

We'll Fly Away

Author of NO PARKING AT END OF TIMES and MEET ME HERE, Bryan Bliss returns with his newest young adult novel, WE’LL FLY AWAY. This book follows two boys as they attempt to survive the wrath of their abusive families. Luke and Toby are childhood best friends who have promised to leave their small town together after graduating high school. However, things don’t go as planned once things with Toby’s abusive father become more drastic. Luke’s life isn’t so great either. His and Toby’s only chance of escaping this town depends solely on Luke’s chances of getting a scholarship for wrestling. Slowly, Toby and Luke’s plans fall by the wayside, along with their friendship, and things slowly start on a downward spiral from there. This is novel about friendship and the way relationships can change, and also has themes of abuse.

"The unique storytelling Bryan Bliss created in WE’LL FLY AWAY keeps readers engaged and invested in the story in such a way that makes the novel un-put-down-able."

The novel has two points of view. The first of these being letters that Luke is sending to Toby, after the events of their senior year, where Luke is now on death row waiting until it’s his time to die. The second follows both Toby and Luke as the events of their senior year unfold. The unique storytelling Bryan Bliss created in WE’LL FLY AWAY keeps readers engaged and invested in the story in such a way that makes the novel un-put-down-able. The point of view of Luke’s letters stands out, especially since it has a raw and heartbreaking feeling that doesn’t disappear anytime throughout the story. Luke becomes a character that gets personal to the point where it becomes difficult to read about him. This was my favorite aspect of the story since it allowed me to completely understand Luke as a character, and it broke my heart watching him fall apart as the story unfolded.

Like I said before, it was tough at times to read WE’LL FLY AWAY; the moments where Toby’s abusive father was hurting Toby got extremely real and violent, which caught me off guard. This is definitely a not a book for people who have a difficult time with heavy reads but is perfect for those who can handle these types of themes. Luke also faces abuse from his mother’s boyfriend, but it doesn’t get as intense as Toby’s abuse.

Something else that stood out to me was Luke and Toby’s friendship; there was not a moment once where their friendship did not feel authentic. Even as they slowly start to fall apart due to the circumstances around them, there’s always that feeling that they have each other's backs. Bryan Bliss was able to masterfully create a friendship between these two boys. You got to see them from their very beginnings to the very end.

There were, however, a few things that got in the way of my enjoyment of WE’LL FLY AWAY. There are two unnecessary romances in the book that completely got in the way of the story. So much so that the novel could’ve been better if it focused on the themes of abuse and friendship. The other problem was that I found this book to be a bit too predictable. Halfway through reading the book, I made a guess on how the book would end and got it right. While my prediction wasn’t right on the spot, it was close enough that it tainted my experience a bit.

Overall, WE’LL FLY AWAY is a novel I would recommend for those who are looking for a fast-paced read that is filled with heaviness. If you are a fan of Matt De La Pena’s WE WERE HERE or Andrew Smith’s WINGER. Despite its slightly predictable plot twist, it is still a novel worth reading for those who want to pick it up, because it has so much to offer.

Reviewed by Marco M., Teen Board Member on May 29, 2018

We'll Fly Away
by Bryan Bliss