The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar - REVIEW



The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar

Publication Date: July 2nd, 2019

Publisher: Mira Books

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

Synopsis:

A stunning story about the Women Airforce Service Pilots whose courage during World War II turned ordinary women into extraordinary heroes


1941. Audrey Coltrane has always wanted to fly. It's why she implored her father to teach her at the little airfield back home in Texas. It's why she signed up to train military pilots in Hawaii when the war in Europe began. And it's why she insists she is not interested in any dream-derailing romantic involvements, even with the disarming Lieutenant James Hart, who fast becomes a friend as treasured as the women she flies with. Then one fateful day, she gets caught in the air over Pearl Harbor just as the bombs begin to fall, and suddenly, nowhere feels safe.


To make everything she's lost count for something, Audrey joins the Women Airforce Service Pilots program. The bonds she forms with her fellow pilots reignite a spark of hope in the face war, and--when James goes missing in action--give Audrey the strength to cross the front lines and fight not only for her country, but for the love she holds so dear.


Shining a light on a little-known piece of history, The Flight Girls is a sweeping portrayal of women's fearlessness, love, and the power of friendship to make us soar.

 

Thoughts:

This book was such a treat! Considering that this is a debut novel, Salazar was able to give such a heartfelt and unique take on the sub-genre which is World War II Historical Fiction. I can honestly, and somewhat shamefully, say that I had no idea about the female pilots during this time.


I can feel the genuine interest and love that Salazar has for these women and what they went through during WWII and it has opened up my eyes to a whole other part of this time in history and how the genre has surprisingly overlooked it. This book was so fresh and unique in terms of the the overall story, the parts that were focused on for the time and there is no mistaking how meaningful this story was to tell for Salazar.


I could not get enough of these characters and their lives. I laughed, I cried and I NEEDED to know what was coming next. I felt completely engrossed in the setting and really felt like I was living alongside Audrey and her friends. Everything about the story felt so lived in and genuine from the joys to the devastating losses and I want more. This story encompasses so much time and major events but I never felt like it went too slow or too fast as some novels can seem when there are time jumps or, at the very least, need to cover a lot in one book.


The characters were well flushed out and I truly felt for Audrey with what her goals are and what her life gave her or took from her. I think I can safely say that I look up to Audrey for being such a strong and self sufficient woman in a time of strife for women during the backdrop of a world war. Even the other women of the story were perfectly individualistic and leave their mark. The only sort of downside about the character of Audrey is that she is the obsession of any man she seems to come into contact with and conveniently doesn’t notice/realize it. This is somewhat addressed in a playful way by her friends but I don’t think the Mary Sue type of attraction was necessary.


Even the overarching love story had its ebbs and flows which got me from the start. The burgeoning relationship interest was definitely NOT subtle but I will happily overlook it because there was so much time to cover that we really just had to jump into and hold on to the time they have together. I don’t think I’ve been so invested in a relationship in any book I’ve read so far this year as I have with Audrey and James.


I am so happy to have read this novel and cannot wait to see what Noelle Salazar does next and I do hope she keeps up with this genre because I really think she found her place in literature. I also recommend reading her Author’s Note and Questions for Discussion at the end (if your copy includes them) because they just put even more focus on her research and obvious love for these women in history.

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