February 5, 2012

book review: thank you for flying air zoe

There is nothing like a near-death experience to send a person into an existential crisis. In Erik Atwell's Thank You For Flying Air Zoe, the heroine questions her life's direction and vows to change it after a brush with death.

When Zoe's airplane nearly crashes, she thinks back 15 years when she and her best friends played in an all-girl garage band. In high school, the Flip-Flops were determined to take over the world with their Go-Gos- and Bangles-inspired group. However, they part ways after graduation and never get to see their dream fulfilled.

In the process of reuniting the band, Zoe must also deal with her fear of love, inability to commit and healing old wounds from her past.

Atwell's story is funny. I fittingly read the book on my flights from Omaha to Denver to Los Angeles, and I probably drove my fellow passengers crazy with my laughter. (And if you think reading a book about an almost plane crash while on board one is a little nuts, you're probably right.)

As a big fan of 80s music (Fact: my parents have video of 3-year-old me dancing and singing to a medley of the latest hits, circa 1989), I adored the music references. Atwell also did a great job depicting L.A. It was a perfect read to properly excite me for my mini-vacation (which I'm still on and it's going fabulously). I loved going to some of the places mentioned in the story.

The characters were also great. Zoe made an exceptional narrator, who I liked from page one. The others — from her band members to her kinda boyfriend — filled out the cast well, making it a great read. (By the way, I'm going to go ahead and add Silas to my list of crushable men.)

I'll admit I had high expectations going into this story.  It's about a woman who wants to reunite her 80s band — of course I wanted to read and love it. The fast-paced story did not disappoint. I was gripped from beginning to end, and would gladly read future offerings from Atwell.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to read my interview with the author.

Rating: 4.5 of 5

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  1. Great review - I can't wait to read the book! Enjoy the rest of your mini-vacation - play some 80's hits to capture the mood.

    P.S. I want to see that video of 3-year-old you dancing your heart out :)

    1. My parents are in the process of digitizing our old home videos. I'll share this one when they get to it. I was so much cooler when I was 3.

    2. Hehh... I can't wait to enjoy (ahem mock) it! "Whip It" out (ha sorry)