Review by Booklist Review
It is October 1941, and Audrey Coltrane is living in paradise. All she ever wanted was to fly planes. The opportunity to train military pilots in Hawaii has brought her one step closer to her dream of owning an airfield back in her home state of Texas. But James Hart has challenged her unwavering determination and softened her stony attitude towards men. The lieutenant only has eyes for her, and try as she might to avoid her feelings for him, the two begin a deep and intimate friendship. But when Pearl Harbor is bombed by the Japanese, their lives are torn apart as both accept posts in different parts of the world. Though they make every effort to stay connected, time and distance take their toll as Audrey joins the Women Airforce Service Pilots and James is reported missing in enemy territory. Salazar's debut novel offers a glimpse into the lives of female WWII pilots, retrieving an underappreciated chapter in U.S. history and providing a unique perspective. A fine suggestion for fans of both sweet romance and romantic historical fiction.--Patricia Smith Copyright 2019 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Salazar gives the history of the relatively unknown Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) during WWII a glossy treatment in her uneven debut. In the days leading up to Pearl Harbor, Audrey Coltrane is a civilian flight instructor for military trainees in Hawaii. While off-duty at the beach, she meets handsome flyboy Lt. James Hart, and due to her personal code of living for flying only, tells him that they can't be more than friends. After December 7, Audrey volunteers to be a WASP, whose job is to ferry planes around the country-thus freeing male pilots for combat-and undergoes rigorous training at Avenger Field in Texas. Through the training and as an active WASP, Audrey corresponds with James, who is based in England. But when he is reported missing in action, Audrey's life goes into a tailspin, and she later ferries a plane to France in hopes of being able to find him. The author does an excellent job of dramatizing the camaraderie among the WASPs. But she doesn't fully address the sexism the female flyers faced, and the central relationship is like something out of a 1940s movie, except that Audrey strikes too contemporary a note. This novel can't quite get itself off the ground. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A spirited woman takes on piloting planes, helping soldiers, and breaking the glass ceiling in Salazar's debut.Audrey Coltrane has been obsessed with flying since she was a little girl. When an opportunity to train new Army recruits to fly begins in Hawaii, she takes the job. Unfortunately, this means Audrey is up in the air on Dec. 7, 1941, and finds herself involved in the attack on Pearl Harbor and its aftermath. Determined to continue flying and helping with the war effort, she becomes part of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, a group of women given the job of ferrying planes to various military bases. As Audrey makes her way through the worst of the war, she makes and loses friends, deals with her feelings for a faraway soldier, and learns what it is she actually wants out of life. Pulling from the real histories of WASP women, the book has an air of authenticity when Salazar describes the everyday ordeals of talented and hardworking women just trying to do their jobs in a harsh environment. The novel is incredibly earnest, and there are big ideas on every page, to the point that it detracts from the power of the book. The plot races along without any time to breathe, so characters appear and are killed without giving the reader any chance to get to know them or mourn them. Instead of focusing on one experience, the author attempts at least a reference to most major World War II events. Despite a section set in Hawaii, there are no major characters of color and only a brief mention of internment camps. There's so much stuffed into the book that it ends up feeling like very little.Though it has a lot of heart, this novel bites off more than it can chew. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.