Thursday, 10 April 2014

Unaccompanied Minor by Hollis Gillespie

I received this book from Merit Press Books (thank you!) and this doesn't affect my review in any way.

Fourteen-year-old April May Manning spent her life on airplanes with her flight attendant parents. When her father dies in a crash, April's mom marries a pilot who turns out to be an abusive jerk, and gets Mom confined to a psychiatric hospital. So April takes off, literally, living on airplanes, using her mother's flight benefits, relying on the flight crews who know she's been shuttling between divorcing parents for a year. Then, there's a hijacking, but why is April's "dad" on board? April flees to the cargo hold with another unaccompanied minor she's met before, and they fight to thwart the hijackers, faking a fire, making weapons from things they find in luggage. At last, locked in the cockpit with a wounded police officer, the boy, and his service dog, April tries to remember everything her parents said to do in a crisis above the clouds. But she knows it won't be enough.
-From Goodreads

Firstly, the plot of this book is so original! I haven't read anything even remotely like this before, and so this made it automatically more enjoyable. Almost all of the story took place on a plane or in an airport, so as someone who hasn't ever been on a plane, this was great! I never realised how much a setting can change the feel of a book, and this made it fast paced and exciting.
April was a great character with a lot of personality. This book showed April, the unaccompanied minor, who would otherwise be overlooked, to be someone worth listening to. I liked the way that Gillespie showed the stereo-typically weaker people, like young (April) and old (Flo) to be strong and brave. I really like it when writers do things like that.

Weirdly, I learnt a lot from this book too because I've never even been inside an airport, so that was so interesting to read! Although I liked the setting and characters, I didn't find that the plot captured my attention. While I enjoyed what I was reading, I didn't feel like I just had  to carry on reading. After a while I got a bit side tracked with my reading. I think that this might be because this isn't something I'm used to reading, and maybe not my cup of tea. 

I think that a lot of people, however, would enjoy this book a lot. There are some great characters and an unusual plot, which is great.

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