Nothing But Sky

300p. Flux. Mar. 2018. pap. $11.99. ISBN 9781635830163.
Gr 7 Up—Grace Lafferty has been performing stunts as a wing walker with her uncle Warren and his barnstorming team since she was 13 years old. She fears that they will soon be forced out of the sky by bigger teams or stricter air regulations. Determined to keep her chosen family together, Grace will do whatever it takes to get to the World Aviation Expo where they can compete to win a lucrative contract with a Hollywood studio. The young woman fights her growing attraction to new mechanic Henry and sabotage attempts from a rival barnstorming team. Haunted by nightmarish memories from the war and a limp from a battle injury, Henry is stoic, professional, and infuriating to Grace who initially distrusts him. Trueblood's historical fiction debut looks at the years immediately following World War I when veterans returning home with flying experience and decommissioned fighter planes gave birth to barnstorming performances. Grace is an ambitious narrator and daredevil with a singular focus—often to the detriment of the team she is supposedly desperate to keep intact. Henry's struggle with shell shock makes him one of the most developed characters, but it is handled poorly and is used repeatedly as a reason for the team to distrust him. Readers looking for a more nuanced story of girls in flight will be better served by Elizabeth Wein's novels.
VERDICT Breakneck stunts and romance lend this novel high action but also detract from the historical setting.

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