After reading Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield and absolutely LOVING IT, I was so excited to read more by her, and when I was offered Flight of a Starling from the publisher, I couldn’t wait to get into it. I am literally writing this review 1 hour before it’s meant to be going live because this book… well… it put me in a massive reading slump and it took ages for me to get through it.
Rita and Lo, sisters and best friends, have spent their lives on the wing – flying through the air in their trapeze act, never staying in one place for long. Behind the greasepaint and the glitter, they know that the true magic is the family they travel with.
Until Lo meets a boy. Suddenly, she wants nothing more than to stay still. And as secrets start to tear apart the close-knit circus community, how far will Lo go to keep her feet on the ground?
There are loads of carnival/circus books going around at the moment, and it sucks because I’m really not a fan of circuses and carnivals… The only book with that theme that I thoroughly enjoyed was Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I think that the thing that really let down this book was that it seemed really slow. There seemed to be lack of a story, lack of amazing characters and lack of a pace. I genuinely feel really bad typing this review because words cannot express how much I loved Paper Butterflies, and it kills to write a negative review about another one of Heathfield’s books.
The only part of this book that had my heart racing was the very ending, and that’s just such a shame because I wish that’s how I felt throughout the whole book. Everything just seemed a bit flat. I didn’t really connect with the characters, I thought that Lo was a bit silly for keeping *that secret* from everyone else, especially her sister.
“We’re different, us and them” I tell Lo. I’m glad we’re leaving tomorrow so she never has to see Dean again. “Don’t be stupid, Rita,” she says, her voice a bit adrift.
“How many eyes have you got?” Lo asks, sitting on her bed.
“Two” I say.
“So have they,” Lo says. “They’re not different at all”
“You know what I’m saying.”
“I don’t. Because you’re wrong. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that deep down, we’re all the same.”
– Lisa Heathfield, Flight of a Starling
The ending really is the best part of this book though (in my opinion, of course) and even though it was a really good ending and I closed the book having feels, I just felt like I hadn’t really accomplished anything by reading the rest of it… which as I’ve said before, it’s a real shame. Another thing that I liked about this book was Heathfield’s description about the actual circus environment. Her description of the atmosphere, the different acts, the costumes… It was amazing and I felt engulfed. I was engulfed in the description just not the actual book.
I have heard brilliant things about Lisa Heathfield’s other book, Seed. So I’ll probably give that one a go and see what I think about that. Even though I didn’t enjoy Flight of a Starling, Heathfield is still going to be an auto-buy author for me just because of how good Paper Butterflies was.
Warning: this book contains triggers for depression.
Disclaimer: this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review