Would you rather live a life full of pain and regret or live the perfect dream life? Of course, everyone would rather live a perfect life. Agnes is no exception. After her parents’ divorce, her best friend’s abandonment, and having to deal with her changing body, Agnes is more than ready to ditch her life and make up a new one. So, that’s exactly what she decides to do. While spending the summer away at her dad’s home, Agnes decides to tell everyone she meets about her life, only it isn’t her life at all. It’s the life of Chloe, a girl with married parents who work amazing jobs, a girl who has an awesome older sister, and a girl who lives in Kansas, not boring old Vermont. At first, pretending to be Chloe seems like the best decision Agnes has ever made. But when the lie turns into a complicated, irreversible web, Agnes must decide whether she should try to continue her fictitious life, or if she should accept and welcome who she is and what her life actually looks like. Follow Agnes along on her journey in the book Fly Back, Agnes by Elizabeth Atkinson.
I found this book to be both delightful and extremely relatable. As a senior in high school, it’s been a bit since middle school, but this book managed to draw me right back into that beautiful mess with no effort at all.
Agnes is a great main character and is really easy to connect with. The readers follow along with her struggles with puberty, friendship, and family drama. Everyone who reads this book will be able to find at least one thing about Agnes that will remind them of themselves.
The trope of making up a fictitious life and lying to everyone about it may not seem like an interesting plotline, but I found that this story was extremely enjoyable and also easy to read. The language was simple but still described scenes in the book with excellence. The emotion that is laced throughout the story is beautiful, powerful, and usually rather rare in other books of this genre, making this story refreshing and engaging.
In conclusion, I highly recommend this book for any up-and-coming middle schoolers, a current middle schooler, or even someone in high school. The story is clean and enjoyable and also holds a valuable lesson: Even if your life is messy and not the way you want it to be, it’s your life and is the way it is for a reason, even if you don’t see it yet.
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