Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy

Book Review, Young Adult Books
Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy. This young adult novel is a good book to read when you need to feel all the feels.

“I suppose if I thought about it I would have to say that I had premonition when we were down the shore that something bad was going to happen.” – Lucy, Just Fly Away


Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy. This young adult novel is a good book to read when you need to feel all the feels.

Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy

Age range: 14 and up | Hardcover: 272 pages | Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers (March 28, 2017)

(This blog post contains affiliate links.)

About the Book

“Ever wish that you could just fly away?”

When fifteen-year-old Lucy Willows discovers that her father has a child from a brief affair, an eight-year-old boy who lives in her own suburban New Jersey town, she begins to question everything she thinks she knows about her home and her life. How could Lucy’s father have betrayed the entire family? How could her mother forgive him? And why isn’t her sister rocked by the news the way Lucy is?

As her father’s secret becomes her own, Lucy grows more and more isolated from her friends, her family, and even her boyfriend, Simon, the one person she thought understood her. When Lucy escapes to Maine, the home of her mysteriously estranged grandfather, she finally begins to get to the bottom of her family’s secrets and lies.

Just Fly Away is a debut novel about family secrets, first love, the limits of forgiveness, and finding one’s way in the world from an award-winning writer, actor, and director.


About the Author

Andrew McCarthy is the author of the New York Times bestselling travel memoir, The Longest Way Home. He is an editor at large at National Geographic Traveler magazine. He is also an actor and director. He lives in New York City with his wife, three children, two fish, and one dog. Just Fly Away is his first novel. You can find him online at andrewmccarthy.com or on Twitter: @AndrewTMcCarthy.


Find the Book

Amazon | Goodreads | Kobo | Book Depository


My Thoughts on Just Fly Away

Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy. This young adult novel is a good book to read when you need to feel all the feels.I have pretty low expectations for books written by celebrity authors. If I have the choice between a book by an unknown author and a celebrity author, I’ll pick the unknown author every time.

This book got off to a rough start. It felt clunky and forced, like a middle-aged man trying to sound like a teenage girl.

However, after the first couple chapters, the author hit his stride and the rest of the book was wonderful. I ended up loving the story and the journey, both literal and figurative, that Lucy goes on.

It’s a moving, beautiful story about family secrets, silver linings, and the unpredictable nature of life. It left me with that satisfied feeling you get when you read something insightful and full of hope. The story subtly encourages you to take life in stride and to look at the bigger picture.

I’m so glad my expectations were blown away. While I’m still leery of celebrity authors, Andrew McCarthy is squarely in the realm of authors who write good books worth reading. I will gladly pick up his next book.

Content: Language (including a few f-bombs) and drug use. One sexual incident that’s not explicit, but has more details than YA usually does.

Source: The publisher sent me a copy of this book for review consideration.



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  • Reply
    Tressa @ Wishful Endings
    March 29, 2017 at 11:31 am

    I like that you were patient enough to see if it got better after struggling with the beginning. It’s the first I think I’ve seen of this book, but I’m always a little leery of male authors writing YA Contemporary. I think that’s because they have been really hit and miss with me in the past and I don’t know if I want to commit to reading their books when I have so many books to read. That sounds totally bad, but it’s just how it’s been for me.

    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      April 3, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      I know what you mean. They’re pretty hit and miss for me too, unless they’re writing about something completely male-oriented, like sports. But then I’m not very likely to be interested in the book anyway. Ha ha.

      This one surprised me. I’m glad I didn’t quit.

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