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Velva Jean Learns to Fly (Velva Jean, #2)
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Velva Jean Learns to Fly (Velva Jean #2)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,062 Ratings  ·  194 Reviews
From the author of the New York Times bestselling All the Bright Places, after Pearl Harbor Velva Jean signs up for service and gets her wings, risking her life-and her heart. 

Velva Jean Hart, the fiercely independent heroine of Jennifer Niven's (Becoming Clementine) spectacular debut novel, Velva Jean Learns to Drive, returns in a captivating adventure that literally send
Paperback, 412 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Plume
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Jessica Leigh
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I asked for more after reading "Velva Jean Learns to Drive". I wanted more of Velva Jean, a young, southern girl with a lot of spunk, drive, determination, and love. I got just what I asked for when the story continued in "Velva Jean Learns to Fly". It's obvious that Jennifer Niven has taken her time to research and has created a fabulous historical fiction that I absolutely could not put down. I didn't want the story to end, I wanted to see what Velva Jean Hart would be doing next. I'm hoping f ...more
Every bit as fabulous as Velva Jean Learns to Drive - And then some!

"You've got to make your own way in this world and follow your own heart. You got to not feel bad if you have to leave someone behind, if they're happy where they are . . . You got to just go out there like the Bible says and wander far off. Fly away and be at rest. And don't you let anyone stop you."

From the Appalachain mountains, to the music halls of Nashville, to the arid plains of Texas, to the humid coast of North Carolina
Mary Connolly
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I thought it couldn't get any better than Velva Jean Learns to Drive, but it did. Velva Jean Learns to Fly is a book i read straight through. Supper didn't get cooked and the dogs didn't get walked. Jennifer Niven is a delightful author with an wonderful style. Velva Jean Learns to Fly is a book you want to place in the hands of un-suspecting book shop browsers and library patrons. I'm not much on telling the author's story in my reviews, just if i thought it was a good book or not. This is an e ...more
Apr 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Velva Jean Learns to Drive was alright, but I loved Velva Jean Learns to Fly! This is historical fiction at its most enjoyable; the setting and characters were extremely well-rendered and I found it a compelling read. What I thought was most interesting was that the WASPs greatest enemy were the male pilots who were supposed to be on their side. I found the fact that they would sabotage these poor women unbelievably saddening and frightening!
I hope Jennifer Niven writes another book about Velva
Aug 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, historical, own
After breaking free of her old life in the first book, Velva Jean returns, pursuing her dreams in any way they take her.

This book was okay. It was easier for me to get into because I already knew the characters and situations. But, I didn't like the story in this one as much. I was annoyed as hell that, after Velva Jean spent her whole life dreaming of one thing only, she so easily changes her dream to something else once that first dream doesn't immediately work out. From that point on, the sto
"Maybe that's what mama meant by living out there."

Another Velva Jean book comes to a close, and, damn, was it a good ride.

This book, the second in the series, sees Velva Jean join the WASP, so she can live out her dream, flying planes. Almost everyone she knows has joined the war effort, and she doesn't see why she can't be allowed to do the same thing. Her and Johnny Clay each take flying lessons, and soon enough, Velva Jean is part of the air force. Well, kind of. They wouldn't be considered
Viviane Crystal
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Velva Jean Hart is tired of small town living, including a husband who is part preacher and part moonshiner. She'd been told she had a wonderful voice and a record producer actually made a record of one of her "Yellow Truck..." songs, telling her to look him up if she ever got to Nashville, Tennessee from rural Appalachia in Alluvia, North Carolina. So she sang every song she knew as she left her home all the way to the point in Tennessee where she got a flat tire. But Velva Jean is a spunky gal ...more
Jul 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Nineteen-year-old Velva Jean Hart has had enough of her life in the North Carolina mountains with her husband, Harley Bright. So, like every good 1940s housewife, she sets off on her own - in the truck she learned to drive in the previous book - for Nashville, where she hopes to start her singing career with the Grand Ole Opry. Once in Tennessee, however, she finds that it's full of people wanting record deals and contracts. Losing hope in finding musical opportunities, Velva Jean turns her drea ...more
Tara Chevrestt
First of all, I didn't read the first one, Velva Jean Learns to Drive. There was nothing in a premise about a girl learning to drive a truck and sing in the Grand Ole Opry that appealed to me. However, I must read any women in aviation book I can get my hands on, especially concerning the WASP, the Women Air Service Pilots. So I got my hands on this one thanks to LibraryThing and despite the fact I didn't know much about Johnny Clay, Harley, or the history of Velva Jean, I loved it.

The book beg
Feb 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not NEARLY as good as the first book in the series Velva Jean Learns to Drive. Still good for the historical interest about the women pilots and the programs coming out of the WWII needs, but I didn't feel the character relation to the previous book and I wasn't nearly as taken with the writing.

I listened to the audiobook version and the difference in narrators between the first book and this one was enough to bump this one down. She did a fine job, but on the heels of the near perfection of the
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, wishlist
Velva Jean Learns to Fly by Jennifer Niven

I feel like I found something incredibly special in Jennifer Niven's books. This is the third book I've read by her and the third book I rated five stars. The Velva Jean series is turning out to be one of my favourite series ever. Velva Jean is such a special character and so dear to my heart. She's independent and fierce. First, she learned herself how to drive and went off to chase her dreams. She also realised that dreams can change and became a female pilot in WWII.

It's insane how historic
Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
This book is the sequel to ‘Velva Jean Loves to Drive’. But it works very well as a standalone. I enjoyed this book but thought it just a tad too long at the beginning.

What I loved the most was the main character, Velva Jean. She grew up in a very isolated area in the North Carolina Mountains. At the beginning of the book, she decides to leave her husband, Harley Bright and go to Nashville, Tennessee to become a Grand Old Opry singer.

Velva Jean is so full of spunk, ambition and heart; it would
McGuffy Morris
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
We first met her in Velva Jean Learns to Drive, where she was searching for her dream. Now Velva Jean is back in a second novel, pursuing her dreams.

It is 1941, and Velva Jean has made it to Nashville. She is struggling to make her way in the music industry. Her heart and soul remain grounded in the mountains of North Carolina, but her dream is still to sing at The Grand Ol' Opry.

To the shock of the world, Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and suddenly everything is changed. Velva Jean sadly watches
Mar 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I didn't read the predecessor of this book, Velva Jean Learns to Drive. But I don't feel like that hindered me too much in following the plot of this one. The characters are interesting and likeable and the pace is good. The information about women pilots in WWII was fascinating. I love WWII era books, movies, anything and this did not disappoint in that respect.
The reason I only gave it three stars (and almost gave it two) is the overall message of the book which is: Don't count on romantic l
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
After reading and loving Velva Jean Learns to Drive, I had to read this book. I would definitely read the first book prior to reading this, just because they are both so good and should be read in order. I loved learning the history of the time, facts about the war, and the role of women pilots. Fascinating. Some readers were critical about how long it took before Velva Jean started flying, but that didn't concern me. I loved her life progression, successes and failures. Niven's over-arching mes ...more
Apr 18, 2014 rated it liked it
One of the problems with this book is that I found it to be a slow starter. Velva Jean doesn’t start to learn how to fly until Chapter 13. People uninterested in country singing, Nashville or Appalachian culture may become restless. Her first solo flight happens on page 109.

As a novel about a woman pilot, it lacked the dramatic intensity of Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith or the unusual perspective of Call Sign: White Lily. I’m interested in the Appalachian aspect, but once she started flying she did
Cara Sexton
Feb 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Having loved 'Velva Jean Learns to Drive,' I was extremely excited to see that there was a sequel. This one, however, didn't win me over nearly as much. It seems to have switched gears--where the first book was character-driven through and through, this book is plot-driven and extremely heavy on technical language. This fits the war-time story about an unlikely heroine learning to fly military bombers and repeatedly crashing them, but I missed the beautiful language and poetic feel that the firs ...more
Book Giveaway and Review!
Giveaway entries accepted thru 9/4/2011 at midnight. Use shortlink below review to enter.
As soon as I learned the main character in Velva Jean Learns to Fly by Jennifer Niven was a North Carolina mountain girl, I knew I had to read this novel since I grew up in those mountains. FYI: This is the second book in this series. The first book was Velva Jean Learns to Drive, which I haven’t read and that didn’t seem to make any difference. Velva Jean Learns to Fly definitely ca
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I recommend readers start with "Velva Jean Learns to Drive" to truly appreciate where the main character is coming from. However, this story can stand alone just as well. I want to be Velva Jean Hart! Ms. Niven has created an endearing character that is determined to live life to the fullest. I was hooked at page one. It is obvious Ms. Niven put a lot of effort into her research. She brings to life a piece of history I did not know existed! Her writng style is easy to read with enough detail I h ...more
Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audiobook and it was fantastic! I am very picky about narrators and I thought the reader did a terrific job. This book was slow moving at first but really picked up once she started to learn how to fly. I didn't even know the WASPs existed before I read this book and I certainly didn't know anything about airplanes before reading this. I want a third novel about Velva Jean! I did not read the first book and not sure if I want to revert and read about Velva Jean when she was you ...more
Valerie Frey
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I definitely enjoyed _Velva Jean Learns to Drive_ and it pulled me into an interesting world full of rich characters. _Velva Jean Learns to Fly_ carries on the tradition and the plot is just as interesting as the prequel, but it also lets the series truly hit its stride as historical fiction. World War II rolls into motion and Velva Jean takes the reader from the homefront and into the skies. This is a great adventure read to sweep you into a tale, but it also gives you a lot to think about. I c ...more
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoyed the first book.
Recommended to Brenda by: Publisher
This A.R.C. book came to the bookstore. I decided to give it a try because I enjoyed this author's first book in the series, "Velva Jean Learns to Drive". This author delivered more interesting characters and twists in the story. I will encourage anyone who enjoyed the first book to give the second book a try. Some of the story was not believable but it was still entertaining.
Oct 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
loved it. strong female character.
Aug 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I'm going to be thinking about this one for a long time! Pretty amazing story! Full review to come.
Briana Harley
Sep 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
So much adventure! And great characters! Velva Jean has amazed me once again! I love it! <3
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Velva Jean sounds like a silly book, but it is about the girls in WWII that learned to fly and all about Velva Jean's life and her family, and the girls she met on her way to becoming a pilot.
Alex (not a dude) Baugh
Nov 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-2
Velva Jean Learns to Fly continues the story of Velva Jean Hart Bright begun in Velva Jean Learns to Drive. In this second novel, Jennifer Niven explores the world of the newly formed WASP,or Women Airforce Service Pilots, in World War II through the experiences of her determined, independent, strong-willed 18 year old protagonist, Velva Jean.

Velva Jean had married her preacher husband Harley Bright when she was 16. She saved as much money as possible and learned to drive, enabling her to leave
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Velva Jean Hart is a girl with a dream. In the year 1941 she sings her heart out all the way to Nashville Tennessee all by herself, leaving behind her family and even her husband. What begins as a journey to chase down her dream of singing at the Grand Ole Opry turns into something else entirely. Making friends along the way and reconnecting with her brother Johnny Clay Hart, Velva Jean discovers she has another dream waiting just around the corner. A dream of flying through the skies, visibilit ...more
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am sorry to see that my library missed purchasing this series. I love it. In this 2nd book, Velva Jean hits Nashville, but all is not what she'd hoped. Then WWII breaks out, all the men from back home are enlisting, her brother talks her into flying lessons, and she trai s as a I have no idea how to rate this book. It's quite different from my usual fare. It brings up many questions and leaves things kind of unresolved in a way that makes you draw your own conclusions. It is well written. The ...more
Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Velva Jean has left her husband and fled to Nashville to pursue her dream of singing at the Grand Ole Opry. In the first book, Velva Jean Learns to Drive, Velva Jean finds her voice. In this one, she finds her way. Velva Jean is determined to make her dreams come true, but as the country finds itself on the brink of war, Velva Jean's dream changes from singing to flying. And so she joins a group of woman that were the first group of women to fly military air craft, Women Air Force Service Pilots ...more
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By the time I was ten, I had already written numerous songs, a poem for Parker Stevenson ("If there were a Miss America for men, You would surely win"), two autobiographies (All About Me and My Life in Indiana: I Will Never Be Happy Again), a Christmas story, several picture books (which I illustrated myself) featuring the Doodle Bugs from Outer Space, a play about Laura Ingalls Wilder's sister en ...more
More about Jennifer Niven

Other books in the series

Velva Jean (4 books)
  • Velva Jean Learns to Drive (Velva Jean, #1)
  • Becoming Clementine (Velva Jean, #3)
  • American Blonde (Velva Jean, #4)

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“When you're looking back, you can't look forward. And sometimes you run smack into something and hit your head.” 11 likes
“I just sat there letting that music cover me like a big, cozy blanket.” 9 likes
More quotes…