Mana is not having a good day. Her crush turns out to be an acid-spitting alien, her mom goes missing, her house gets trashed, the Men in Black are after her, oh, and she discovers she can fly. One day she’s a down-to-earth cheerleader with a helicopter mom and two over-achieving best friends and the next she’s being debriefed by an alien and teaming up with China, her mother’s secret government agent partner, on a massive alien hunt. Everything she thought she knew about her life and the world is wrong and about to get worse. Soon she’s caught in the crosshairs between benevolent aliens, malevolent monsters, G-men, and rogue agents, but with the help of her potential new beau, Lyle, and her BFF, Seppie, she just might manage to save the world.
Carrie Jones’ Flying was a light, easy, and pleasant read. Personally I tend to prefer my YA with more meat on the bones, but there’s nothing wrong with a little candy. Think season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossed with the soapy teenage romance of Roswell. And, again, those aren’t cons. I loved the fun, flirty tone of early Buffy and was recently pining over Roswell so much that I started a Netflix rewatch binge. Actually, those retro comparisons are more apt than I initially thought. After spending a good half hour trying to think of contemporary shows, I realized that most teen series now are spicier, darker, and sexier. Even the upcoming Archie show on the CW has gotten on the grimdark wagon. Flying’s tone and style fit perfectly with late 90s/early aughts teen dramas, and that’s a very good thing.