High Flying by Kaylin McFarren
Skylar Haines has struggled with personal demons most of her life, going to dark extremes to subdue anxieties rooted in her tragic past. On a perpetual hunt for the next adrenaline hit, she discovers a passion for flying and becomes a hard-edged stunt pilot, verging on obsession. In the sky, following her most daring airshow, she encounters a mysterious storm and almost collides with another aircraft, sending her into a perilous dive. Guided by a mysterious voice, she manages a safe landing but finds herself transported to another time. Eight months before she was born. One week before her father was murdered. Though baffled by her circumstances, Skylar soon arrives at a single certainty: Before her lies a remarkable chance to change her family’s destiny drastically for the better — or possibly even worse — depending on the choices she makes, before her window of opportunity closes.
Starting with a punch we open the first page and meet Skylar Haines, immediately entering into her dark world. Skylar, despite her awful upbringing, is a dynamic young woman who we can instantly root for. What caused her psychological need to hurt herself is unfolded, like layers of an onion, throughout the book.
With an absorbing, fast-paced plot that keeps you turning the pages quickly, and Kaylin McFarren’s strong writing style you will find it hard to put this book down.
Time travel stories can be confusing, but not so with High Flying. The story only covers three time periods, which are clearly defined and easy to follow. As with all great time travel tales we are presented with second chances and an opportunity to right a wrong. What I loved about Skylar’s adventure wasn’t so much the chance to change the past, but an opportunity to accept the present. Will understanding the past help her to embrace herself in the future? Will the pain of the past bring enough healing into the present to allow her to love in the future?
Skylar is such a strong character and seems so self-reliant, and yet the need for affection and a loving touch is always just under the surface making her so endearing. There are other remarkable main characters in the book, like her father Dylan, holding the male-lead. He is a complex person, and I couldn’t make out if he was good or bad… until the end. Very clever writing! There is a good mix of supporting roles, but Skylar is the star who shines brightest.
Most of the book takes place in 1997 in Chino CA and revolves around drug smuggling. Skylar finds herself in-between police and criminals and ends up in some tricky situations. All she really wants to do is save her friend but this seems impossible as she is sucked into an adrenaline packed caper with ruthless killers.
This story is a gripping, page-turning, adventure thriller, holding your attention until the very last page. With outstanding well-developed characters, an exciting storyline and plot and the author’s unique expressive writing style, High Flying by Kaylin McFarren is an absolute must-read novel and highly recommended by Chick Lit Café.
Reviewed by T.N. Traynor for Chick Lit Café
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