Tag: elephants

Book Review: When Elephants Fly by Nancy Richardson Fischer

when elephants fly
Image belongs to Harlequin Teen.

Title:   When Elephants Fly
Author:   Nancy Richardson Fischer
Genre:   YA
Rating:   5 out of 5

Lily Decker is a senior with a 12-year-plan that includes college, no caffeine, no stress, and no boys, except her best friend Sawyer. Her plan is geared towards fending off the schizophrenia that runs in her family—and that caused her mother to try to kill her when she was seven years old.

Her dad wants her to sit home and do nothing, but Lily can’t forget that he reached for her mother and not her on that fateful day, so she keeps quiet about her internship with a newspaper. Until Lily’s story about naming the zoo’s elephant calf leads to Lily being present when the calf is born—and also there when the mother rejects the baby and attacks her.

With the baby elephant, Swifty, grieving, Lily is desperate to help in whatever way she can. That turns out to be traveling with Swifty to the circus when the zoo loses custody of her. But everything at the circus is not as perfect as the owners pretend, and Lily will risk everything—including her mental health—to keep Swifty safe.

This well-written novel takes a sensitive subject—mental health—and treats it with respect, dignity, and understanding. Lily is desperate to avoid schizophrenia, but she’s also realistic about her chances and her symptoms. The bond between her and Swifty is sweet and heartbreaking, and I flew through the pages to find out what happens.

Nancy Richardson Fischer graduated from Cornell University and used to work for the circus. When Elephants Fly is her new novel.

(Galley provided by Harlequin Teen in exchange for an honest review.)

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Book Review: The Mourning Parade, by Dawn Reno Langely

the mourning parade

Natalie DeAngelo is grieving the loss of her two sons in a school shooting. Even after a year, she still finds herself the focus of far too much attention, and lives with her memories and her despair. Then she hears about a sanctuary for elephants in Thailand, and decides on a change of scenery for a year to help with her healing.

As soon as she arrives, Natalie is caught between the animosity of a fellow vet and the rampages of an injured elephant named Sophie. Everyone else sees the elephant as a danger, but Natalie knows she’s just hurt and scared. Natalie puts all her effort into healing Sophie’s body and mind—and hopes that she just might do some healing herself.

The Mourning Parade is a fascinating book focused on enigmatic animals. The setting is rich with detail, and so vivid you can almost smell the steamy climate. The elephants are just as much characters in the novel as Natalie is, and the bond between Natalie and Sophie is incredible. I loved this book. It was emotional, but healing and inspirational, too. Highly recommended!

Dawn Reno Langley loves to write novels, essays, poetry…she just loves to write. The Mourning Parade is her newest novel.

(Galley provided by Amberjack Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)