June 11, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: When Elephants Fly by Nancy Richardson Fischer

A heartwarming coming-of-age tale about mental illness, tolerance, and the beautiful bonds that can form between animal and human. WHEN ELEPHANTS FLY, at its heart, is about the importance of fighting for what you believe in, living in the moment, and never giving up hope. 

When Elephants Fly by Nancy Richardson Fischer Book Cover

Lily Decker has spent most of her life fearing the day she becomes her schizophrenic mother. The same mother who attempted to kill her when she was 11-years-old. 

Because schizophrenia is largely genetic and deeply ingrained in her family's lineage, Lily lives life by a specific code of conduct. It's what she refers to as her "12-Year Plan". The plan consists of living life by logic rather than emotion and adhering to a clean living lifestyle, to avoid the well-known triggers of schizophrenia -- stress, lack of sleep, hormonal changes, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, alcohol and drug use. To implement her plan, Lily runs three miles every day, meditates, and avoids parties and high-stress situations. The only problem with Lily's plan -- it's BORING.

Lily is nothing if not apathetic about life. That is, until an internship at her local newspaper brings her to the zoo, where she bears witness to an elephant trying to kill its three-week-old calf, Swifty. (Ya know, like Lily's mother once tried to do to her.) She can't bear to turn her back on the news story, or the baby calf, but Lily knows she'll need to abandon her "12-Year Plan" if she wants to help. So, when she learns that Swifty is dying from grief, Lily makes a life-altering decision that could not only break her sanity, but also, her heart.

Life may not always be a fairy tale, but there are many forms of happily-ever-after. This story was inspiring, heartfelt, and adorable.


*A big thanks to both Netgalley and the publisher for granting me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book. The thoughts expressed in this review are my own personal opinions and have been written in my own words.

Publish Date: September 4, 2018

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

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