Fly by Night by: Tara O’Connor

Fly by Night is a young adult graphic novel set in a small town. Our main character is a young girl named Dee whose twin sister Beth went missing at some point before the beginning of the story. Her parents are divorced, father remarried and his new wife is pregnant.

Beth’s disappearance is a festering wound for this small family. The dad has friends in the police department who are promising to give the case all the attention they can. Beth’s mom has been living alone for a while now and dealing with the grief of her missing daughter on her own. It shows. Dee is very emotional and her father is in his own way.

He also, at one point, takes his anger out on his wife, calling her a failure as a mother and wife and saying what happened was her fault. Dee steps in and he realizes what he’s saying and eventually gives a real apology for it but it’s apparent that this family is broken. The twins’ parents weren’t good together and now one is missing which has broken their hearts.

While staying with her mom, Dee now sleeps in the same room she shared with her missing sister. There are a lot of tears throughout the book.

Even though Dee doesn’t actually have to go back to school to graduate–she’s got enough credits–she chooses to go back to the school the girls used to be at together. She wants to see if there are any clues and see the friends she herself had.

We’re introduced to her best friend Tobi and another character. Apparently, Beth had started dating a boy named Lucas. After the girls’ family split, they hadn’t talked the way they used to. So she knew he existed but that’s really it.

There’s also a company that wants to build a pipeline through protected pinelands. And with the head of the company looking as much like a greasy business man as anyone I’ve ever seen, it’s looking like it’ll be difficult to protect the lands. Even though there’s a council that’s dedicated to doing just that.

Add in some supernatural elements and things sound like they should be pretty good.

They would, meh, decent. The pacing was off, it was lagging in some places, just awkward really. And it felt like it was trying too hard to give both of the main ideas the exact same amount of time.

Pipeline issue, finding out about Beth but it didn’t really work that way. Because the supernatural elements become bigger and the answer to what happened to Beth felt a little weak. We get to know the full truth, but still. The pacing toward the end felt very fast. Like they knew they needed to wrap it up.

My biggest issue with that was the fact that everyone ends up accepting the existence of some things way too easily. I mean it’s just like “huh, ‘k” and they kept it moving.

The art was interesting. No color, only black and white. It makes certain panels really striking when there’s a lot of black and the white cuts through it but I wonder what it would have looked like with splashes of color to enhance it. It didn’t bother me, life time manga reader, but sometimes a little more would have been nice.

The character designs were interesting but some details got a little difficult to read. And the diversity that I could see, one woman is obviously African-American and I felt she avoided stereotyping. In fact she’s a teacher wearing box braids. That’s something I would have loved to see growing up on my actual teachers that wasn’t an option for them. So for that, I was happy.

All in all, a weak 3. It’s just barely there. But it’s an interesting read. I think it’s sort of bitter sweet with the way it ends.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley. Thank you to them and the publisher.

Author:

Author. Reader. Reviewer. Interested in Sci-fi, Fantasy, and everything in between. Ya, and Adult. Looking for representaion where it matters! BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled, everything! We all deserve stories!

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