Title: Unaccompanied Minor (#1)
Author: Hollis Gillespie
Published by: Merit Press
Synopsis: Fourteen-year-old April May Manning spent her life on airplanes with her flight attendant parents. When her father dies in a crash, April's mom marries a pilot who turns out to be an abusive jerk, and gets Mom confined to a psychiatric hospital. So April takes off, literally, living on airplanes, using her mother's flight benefits, relying on the flight crews who know she's been shuttling between divorcing parents for a year. Then, there's a hijacking, but why is April's "dad" on board? April flees to the cargo hold with another unaccompanied minor she's met before, and they fight to thwart the hijackers, faking a fire, making weapons from things they find in luggage. At last, locked in the cockpit with a wounded police officer, the boy, and his service dog, April tries to remember everything her parents said to do in a crisis above the clouds. But she knows it won't be enough. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
My Thoughts: This was a fun little surprise. I had never heard of Unaccompanied Minor before. I just happened to come across it while browsing my library shelves and decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did because this was a lot of fun.
April Mae Manning is a trip. I guess you'd call her a precocious teen. She's independent, resourceful, a survivalist, and just a tad bit crazy. She never shuts up, can talk a mile a minute. I was very entertained by her.
When the book first starts, she's giving an interview to the authorities. They'd ask her a simple question, like When did you first notice the hijackers? And April proceeds to go on an hours long spiel about her mother, best friend, Officer Ned, her adopted father (who she hates), her long lineage of family airline employees, everything you did and did not want to know about airplanes, and on, and on, and on. If I had been the investigator, I would have been so pulling my hair out in annoyance. April's ability to ramble on is really unparalleled to any other character I've read. So what should be a rather short story, becomes one epic tale. She was very entertaining.
I loved the cast of characters. I very much felt their pain when it came to dealing with some of April's shenanigans. Officer Ned had to put up with a lot from April. I loved her older flight attendant friend (Flo??) who looked out for her. It was just a very zany ride that I really enjoyed.
Near the end, I won't say I understood all the motivations for everything. After all that rambling, the reveals were very fast and sometimes not the most explained. I also do wonder what's going to happen with April after all that she has discovered.
I'd definitely recommend this for people who are looking for a fun read. It is very entertaining. I enjoyed it. It does feel a little like a hidden gem when it comes to a YA book that is a little different from all the other things being published. I'm definitely getting my hands on the second book because I want to see what April has in store for me next. Unaccompanied Minor was a fun time! And I now know more about aircraft crashes than I ever wanted to. My fear of flying might just be a little more heightened after this.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 4/5
One high flying plane adventure!