Flying by Carrie Jones
People have always treated seventeen-year-old Mana as someone in need of protection. She’s used to being coddled, being an only child, but it’s hard to imagine anything could ever happen in her small-town, normal life. As her mother’s babying gets more stifling than ever, she’s looking forward to cheering at the big game and getting out of the house for a while.
But that night, Mana’s life goes haywire.
First, the hot guy she’s been crushing on at school randomly flips out and starts spitting acid during the game. Then they get into a knockdown, drag-out fight in the locker room, during which Mana finds herself leaping around like a kangaroo on steroids. As a flyer on the cheerleading squad, she’s always been a good jumper, but this is a bit much. By the time she gets home and finds her house trashed and an alien in the garage, Mana starts to wonder if her mother had her reasons for being overprotective.
It turns out, Mana’s frumpy, timid mom is actually an alien hunter, and now she’s missing–taking a piece of technology with her that everyone wants their hands on, both human and alien. Now her supposed partner, a guy that Mana has never met or heard of (and who seems way too young and way too arrogant to be hunting aliens), has shown up, ordering Mana to come with him. Now, on her own for the first time, Mana will have to find a way to save her mother–and maybe the world–and hope she’s up to the challenge.
Mana is a likable girl, with a crush on her best friend. And it turns out he’s the only one she can trust when Mana comes home to a ransacked house and her mother missing. Mana’s mother has been keeping secrets from her – and a big one about Mana herself.
I had high hopes for this story, thinking it was a young superhero-type book of alien hunting. Instead, we only see Mana use her (never fully explained) ability once in the beginning and a second time further on. This is not an action-packed adventure. But it’s more of a search for a missing item and Mana’s mother, while fending off mysterious aliens and Men in Black. There is plenty of mystery, suspense, and drama. I just wish we could have seen Mana really use her abilities and kick butt. It’s still an engaging and fun story, just not quite what some may expect with the title of the book somewhat misleading.