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When Elephants Fly: Book Review

When Elephants Fly: Book Review

TITLE: When Elephants Fly

Published September 4th 2018


3.5 out of 5 stars


There are some battles worth fighting even if it means losing yourself.

T. Lily Decker is a high school senior with a twelve-year plan: avoid stress, drugs, alcohol and boyfriends, and take regular psych quizzes administered by her best friend, Sawyer, to make sure she’s not developing schizophrenia.Genetics are not on Lily’s side.

When she was seven, her mother, who had paranoid schizophrenia, tried to kill her. And a secret has revealed that Lily’s odds are even worse than she thought. Still, there’s a chance to avoid triggering the mental health condition, if Lily can live a careful life from ages eighteen to thirty, when schizophrenia most commonly manifests.

But when a newspaper internship results in Lily witnessing a mother elephant try to kill her three-week-old calf, Swifty, Lily can’t abandon the story or the calf. With Swifty in danger of dying from grief, Lily must choose whether to risk everything, including her sanity and a first love, on a desperate road trip to save the calf’s life, perhaps finding her own version of freedom along the way.


Pages: 400

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Series? No, this is a standalone.

MY REVIEW OF When Elephants Fly:

Thank you to Harlequin Teen for sending me a finished copy of When Elephants Fly in exchange for an honest review.

When Elephants Fly
Young Adult – Contemporary – Mental Health

This book covers schizophrenia, and stigmas about mental health. This book is a lot easier to read than I thought it was going to be. It can be mainly categorized as a young adult contemporary book that also covers mental health as well as animal rights.

This book offers hope and brutal honesty, both of which I found extremely appealing throughout this story.

The characters, especially T. Lillian Decker (Lily) are well written. I think one of the parts that I liked the most about this entire book was Lily’s growth as she comes out of her shell and decides to truly start living. I really enjoyed the differences and the uniqeness of the characters.

I’ve never read this type of book before, so this was sort of like going into unchartered waters. This book is emotional and will really make you think of mental health in a new light. I really enjoyed the fact that elephants are tied into the storyline.

I wasn’t a big fan of the romance that developed, I thought that it was rather quick and sudden. There was also one part that I found rather inappropriate.

In my opinion, the plot dragged for some of the book, but overall, it was enjoyable to read. 

**There are a few potential triggers for anyone tirelessly working through mental health challenges: abuse, suicide, schizophrenia.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the genre young adult contemporary, that is looking for something different than the normal same old same old that generally comes with books in the contemporary genre.

Thanks for stopping by and reading this book review!


Sarah June

Sarah June (7)

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