Ok, let me start off saying that I’m writing this at 4 am in the morning.
Cause. I. Can’t. Sleep.
Let me sum up my schedule yesterday.
I got this book at one pm. Finished writing the review at twelve. I was holding back so much though. Editing and cutting, editing and cutting. If I didn’t, the review would’ve been hella too long. I really wanted to get the review for When Elephants Fly right. I wanted to keep the review sweet and short, but when I finished, it didn’t feel … complete. So I guess this is my second take, where I unleash my fury and undying love for Swifty. It’ll probably be more like me spewing all my thoughts with no filter (other than replacing some words with more appropriate ones). So warning that there might be some spoilers.
Please do not judge the quality of this post. I needed to write this to calm down my four in the morning angst.
Thoughts while writing the review
Thoughts unfiltered: Oh. My. Lord. I have to write a good review. What do I write? What form do I write it in? I first planned on splitting it into its respective characters, plot, and setting, but I felt like it took away from the essence of my message and would give too much of the magic away. If I formatted it to likes and don’t likes, the list would be an unbalanced 100:0. So I stuck to a regular review. I hope it was ok.
Thoughts while reading the book
I knew I would love it after reading the excerpt. THE EXCERPT. What I didn’t know was that at 30%, I would officially label When Elephants Fly as one of my favourites. Hell, it might be my favourite. Fischer’s writing is so easy to get. Where I usually find authors adding too much fluff that doesn’t interest me, I found myself hanging onto every word that Fischer wrote. This was truly a page-turner, and I mean it.
Can we please applaud Fischer for her talent of creating such amazing characters? Like please, my heart can’t take any more.
T. Lily Decker – is such a beautiful character. She’s smart, funny, but fearful for her life because of her risks of getting schizophrenia. But her character development is amazing: it’s real and appreciable. She overcomes her fear of her mental illness condition and bonds with Swifty, who seems to share a story and pain that parallels hers.
Sawyer – why is he sooo amazing? If I had a best friend award, I’d give it to him. Lily is honestly so so lucky. It was sort of frustrating how Lily didn’t see how much he did for her until it all went downhill. It was sad that he disappeared during the middle half of the book, and that their friendship turned sour. Even when he was gone, I kept worrying. Like where the hell is Sawyer? Please don’t be dead, Lily still needs youuuu. You don’t know the relief I felt when he returned. And I was like so happy when he came back in the end to help. Talk about a good friend!
Otis Walker – he was just … sighs. Fine maybe if I was in Lily’s place, I wouldn’t have given him a chance. I mean, he was a total jackass at the start. But Lily was just adamant about finding the light in him. And I’m glad she did. Otis has so many layers to him. He was hurt, just like Lily was, and in a way, they sort of felt for each other.
Ok, all of the characters are wonderful, err except for a select few. But we can just cast them into the dark chasm of our minds 🙂
Lily was taken on an adventure that went from 1 to 100 quickly, and then before I even expected it from 100 to 1000 even quicker. The book was propelled by such an interesting plot that kept me on the edge of my seat. It has so many things that you want in a plot, character development, adventure, and a little bit of everything.
I never expected myself to feel so much concern over the problems that happened in the book. Like Swifty dying of grief, the mistreatment of animals in the circus, and Lily’s inability to do much as a journalist. I found myself just as frustrated and worried as Lily.
I never expected this much adventure. I thought most of it would take place in her small town, but Fischer actually takes Lily on a kickass journey. I loved it.
Omergod. This book BLEW my mind when it came to addressing topics. You’d think that if you tried to cover animal abuse, mental illness, family dynamic, as well as the responsibilities and morals as a journalist, you’d overwhelm the reader. Oh not to mention, familial love, philia love, and even some romance. But no, I felt like reading the book was such an enlightening journey. I learned so so much.
I feel like I learned more about schizophrenia. I know that Fischer constantly reminds us that each mental illness is different, and everyone has a different story to tell, but I believe her ability to portray is to honestly and rawly makes you sympathize for Lily, and in the same way, make you open your eyes to the issue in our own world. Mental illness still holds a stigma around us, but hopefully books like these can change our perspective on mental illness.
This book has been a first for many things. And another includes journalism. I learned so much about what it feels like being a journalist and how they often face so many morality issues like Lily did. It is so interesting how they have a moral code, the on the record and off the record was one of the things I learned.
It gave me so much perspective. And the fact that Fischer has done so much research to make sure she could write this story in an honest and realistic way makes you respect her so much. I think that the themes alone would have made me want to give her a five star. On the hindsight, any of these factors alone would’ve made me give her five stars.
You know, one of my questions is who is Swift Jones? She’s supposed to be this well-known pop star (almost as popular as Katy Perry) that everyone knows. I literally searched her up, but no results. Honestly, I have my suspicions… but anyways.
Also, I love love loved the Peter Pan and Little Prince references. I feel like they are an essential part of childhood and growing up. But they seemed to matter a lot to Lily, in the way that it connected her to Violet, her mother. It always emotional when she brings a quote up:
“I wonder if the stars are lit up so that each of us can find his own, someday.”
My heart is fluttering just by writing it.
Maybe I’m just hopelessly in love with her book. But When Elephants Fly has really found its place among all my reads.
Anyways, When Elephants Fly is coming out September 4th, 2018. I hope you’ll love it just as much as I do.