Flight Season

352p. Wednesday Bks. Feb. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250107015.
Gr 9 Up—Vivi is a rising sophomore at Harvard who has struggled in school (and in life) since the passing of her father. It's summer break and the only way she can keep from being kicked out of the Ivy League is by successfully completing an internship at the hospital in her hometown of St. Augustine, Florida. She is forced to work with TJ, the focused, no-nonsense, and super good-looking nursing student who just so happens to have seen Vivi embarrassingly intoxicated at his family's Brazilian restaurant during Thanksgiving break. Despite their strong desire to keep apart, Vivi and TJ share an undeniable attraction. The two spend most of their time working with Ángel, a young orphaned immigrant from Guatemala who is having major heart issues. All three narrate in alternating chapters as their paths become increasingly interwoven. Each chapter begins with an entry from Vivi's bird journal and is a reflection of sorts of where the story is about to go. Marquart has packed her third YA novel quite full—grief, ornithology, financial issues, the path of a detained immigrant, heart failure in a teenager—but it mostly works. All three main characters are fully drawn and multidimensional. Still, Vivi comes close to being a "manic pixie dream girl" and the story wraps up a little too neatly. TJ and Vivi are oozing with chemistry that is appropriate and satisfying for teens.
VERDICT A solid choice for those seeking a complex romance with lots of other layers.

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