Monday, July 31, 2017

"Flight Risk"

Young adult author Jennifer Fenn has been filling notebooks since she was in elementary school. She’s never without a book! Fenn is terrified of corn fields but has jumped out of a plane, eats her cereal without milk, and has run a marathon.

She is a graduate of Lycoming College and Rosemont College’s MFA program, and lives with her husband, daughter and Scottish terrier in Downingtown, PA.

Fenn applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Flight Risk, and reported the following:
Page 69 of Flight Risk delves into the main character Robert’s struggle with ADHD, one of several factors that eventually lead him to steal a small airplane. The text also alludes to Robert’s growing obsession with flight simulators and planes: “With his newfound concentration, could Robert make it in the air force?” Robert notes that while on Adderall, “his knees ceased their hyperactive jig. He could sit still, could read for fifteen minutes at a time.” He stays inside working on his virtual take-offs and landings, returning to school “as pale as the digital clouds he’d spent all summer navigating through.” Robert’s mother, Deb, however, has mixed feelings about Robert being treated with Adderall, and so she takes him off his prescription. This page contains one of my favorite details in the book: when Robert is off Adderall, he eats “a dozen candy canes in one sitting, crunching them between his teeth while his mother cringes.”

Is it representative of the rest of the book? Yes and no. The book is written in a collage style, with several points of view; Robert’s is the most frequent, but there are also TV transcripts, interviews and newspaper articles. A lot of Flight Risk deals with Robert’s plane thefts, his attempts to outrun Yannatok Island’s sheriff and how he becomes both a notorious outlaw and a hero, which this page doesn’t include. Still, I like the writing on this page, and it does provide a valuable insight into the protagonist’s psyche. I hope that would encourage a reader to keep going!
Visit Jennifer Fenn's website.

--Marshal Zeringue