A family vacation to an exotic location just might equal love and an appreciation of the world, something 18-year-old Neely never expected.
Love At First Flight by Beth Shriver
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Length: Full (161 pages)
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Orange Blossom
Neely’s family trip to Mexico starts out as one last hurrah before college. She’s determined to make this her trip, in spite of the fact that her parents are celebrating their twenty-fifth anniversary and that her sister is back from college. But her trip turns into love at first sight with a young man who is attracted to Neely’s old-fashioned sentimentalism and love for the disadvantaged people of his country.
Another guy, desperate for her attention, stalks her. At first it seems innocent, but his stunts become more serious, even dangerous at times. The worst incident changes her fear into courage, and she forced to take action. Now that Neely has had the trip of her life, she must leave the beautiful beaches of Mexico, a guy she’ll never forget, and impoverished people that she’s determined to help. How can she leave this all behind?
Neely, shortly before she's to start college, goes on vacation to Cancun with her parents and older sister Meredith. Neely is the outdoor-loving and outgoing one. Meredith, on the other hand, is more reserved. She likes sedate activities like reading and watching TV.
While on vacation, Neely has a summer romance with a handsome, Hispanic hottie named Angelo; little does she know that he will do more than increase her blood pressure. There is so much good she can do in this world if only she would open her eyes. This was a vacation that would change her life and affect her outlook.
The author really set the stage with a Mexican resort setting. Everything that you would see and do and how things work is described in detail so that you can visually imagine everything taking place. The plot at times, however, was a little slow and plodding, the dialogue lacked snap and the characters were a bit lackluster. I really had a hard time connecting to Neely throughout most of the book. Things did pick up towards the end.
Like a typical Young Adult novel, it is told in 1st person. Personally, I love first person and overall this one did not disappoint. It is a book intended for an older teen audience with an 18-year-old heroine, but a strong enough story for anyone to read.
Love at First Flight is a charming novel of first loves and growing up. The ending is very sweet and made me wonder what will happen next for Neely and Angelo.