I received this book for free from NetGalley, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
TITLE: Girl on a Plane
AUTHOR: Miriam Moss
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
PUBLICATION DATE: September 13th 2016
Source: NetGalley, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group
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After a summer spent with her family, fifteen-year-old Anna is flying back to boarding school in England when her plane is hijacked by Palestinian terrorists and taken to the Jordanian desert.
Demands are issued. If they are not met, the terrorists will blow up the plane, killing all hostages. The heat becomes unbearable; food and water supplies dwindle. All alone, Anna begins to face the possibility that she may never see her family again.
Inspired by true events in the author’s life, this is a story about ordinary people facing agonizing horror with courage and resilience. Includes Q&A with the author.
Based on the plane hijacking that the author experienced, Girl on a Plane tells the story of Anna, a teenager who’s on the plane to return to her boarding school in the UK.
I thought that Girl on a Plane told a great story, and contained a lot of great messages. Not only does it recount a terrifying plane hijacking, but it also goes over why the plane is being hijacked. I loved how many of the “villains” are humanized, in a way, and that the reader could clearly understand their motives for acting like “monsters”.
The story was intriguing and written in a way that drew me in. But while the book often contains a lot of helpful details, it sometimes fails to accurately convey Anna’s feelings. I felt that Girl on a Plane relied heavily on my own expectations and emotions to garner a feeling of terror, fear, exhaustion, etc.
It is also important to note that Girl on a Plane was pretty simple, in terms of writing. It felt more like a middle grade novel than a YA one. That being said, it was still enjoyable to read. However, there were times when it felt kind of flat.
In fact, many of the characters from Girl on a Plane were hard to connect to because they were a bit flat and didn’t feel particularly well developed. This is definitely more of a plot driven novel, than a character driven one, which is interesting given that most of the story focuses on Anna and what she is going through.
Another problem I had with Girl on a Plane is that when the story doesn’t focus on Anna, it focuses on her mom and what her family is going through for roughly three separate chapters. While I do appreciate the extra little peeks behind the curtain, I felt that the switch in point of view was unnecessary and disrupted the flow of the story a bit.
Still, despite all of the problems I had with it, Girl on a Plane was an interesting story that had me hooked the whole way. I could not bear to put it down until I had finished the whole story and found out what happens to Anna.
Girl on a Plane is more of a middle grade book with writing that sometimes falls flat and characters are a bit difficult to connect to. Still, it is an addicting story to read; one that’ll keep you turning the pages. Girl on a Plane is a story that allows you to fully understand the motives of the villains and shows that there is always more than one side of a story.