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Flight of a Starling
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Flight of a Starling

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  208 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
Rita and Lo, sisters and best friends, have spent their lives on the wing – flying through the air in their trapeze act, never staying in one place for long. Behind the greasepaint and the glitter, they know that the true magic is the family they travel with.

Until Lo meets a boy. Suddenly, she wants nothing more than to stay still. And as secrets start to tear apart the cl
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 29th 2017 by Electric Monkey
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Dannii Elle
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Lisa Heathfield, and the publisher, Electric Monkey, for this opportunity.

Around this time last year I read, and absolutely adored, Heathfield's Paper Butterflies, (full review can be found here) so was extremely excited to get the chance to read her most recent release! Fortunately, for me, it lived up my highly placed expectations and proved, once again, just how much of a poignant and graceful writer she
ilsa ➹
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it

It's been a while since a contemporary book, or any book, had me really tear up
, invested my emotions and since any book has really connected with me.

Let me just start by saying I didn't know much about the author, premise or book. It had a pretty cover so i borrowed it from the library and realised this was the author of the famous Paper Butterflies.

Onto the actual book, I really enjoyed the circus aspect to this book.
the descriptions were vivid and beautiful and we g
Feb 15, 2017 marked it as wishlist
Thursday 16th February 2017: Reason for adding to wishlist: Have the author's other two books on my wishlist. Intrigued by the trapeze aspect. Somewhat put off by the "heroine rethinks her future because of a guy" aspect, though.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved, sad-reads
What an unbelievably powerful storyteller. What a heart wrenching story. Heathfield makes you stroll through sadness until you realise too late that you're waist deep in pain and then somehow you have to trudge through a crap load of emotions that stick to you long after the book is finished. She did it with a her first book Paper Butterflies and she has done it yet again.

I don't want to give too much away but this is a story of a young female circus traveller who falls in a 'forbidden' love wi
Kirsty Hanson
After reading Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield and absolutely LOVING IT, I was so excited to read more by her, and when I was offered Flight of a Starling from the publisher, I couldn’t wait to get into it. I am literally writing this review 1 hour before it’s meant to be going live because this book… well… it put me in a massive reading slump and it took ages for me to get through it.

Rita and Lo, sisters and best friends, have spent their lives on the wing – flying through the air in their
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just as beautiful and devastating as I expected. I'll need some recovery time, definitely, to sift through my feelings and dust off the magic...
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield last year and it simply blew me away. Given this I couldn't wait to read Flight of a Starling. This author knows how to turn the simple into the extraordinary. The language is engaging, unusual and evocative, you won't find any padding or filler here. I raced through this book and the end came far to quickly. The characters are engaging and real, and the view of circus life was a nice touch. I read the last few chapters of this book in a state of appal ...more
Alessandra Crivelli
trigger warnings: suicidal thoughts.

OH MY GOD, GUYS. I love Lisa Heathfield so much.

This book is about the circus life.
Lo and Rita are two sisters who grew up in a circus and spend their all lives performing and moving between cities but everything will be uncertain when Lo meets Dean and discovers hidden truths.

'Flight of a Starling' is the first book that I read which deals about the after of suicidal thoughts.
If you ever been in that situa
Angela Smith
This is a book that had me thinking for it for quite awhile after I read it. In the first few chapters I thought it was going to be standard Girl meets Boy and he is not part of her world and is forbidden to see him, but it is much deeper than that.

Rita and Lo (Laura) are two sisters and part of a circus. Rita is the slightly older sister and almost 18. She is supposed to end up with Ash, a boy who is also part of the circus, but she has her eyes on someone else. Lo is around 16 years old and o
Mina Cole
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was a little hard for me to decide how many stars I wanted to give this book, simply because it made me feel so many things, and the majority of those feelings weren't happy. That's part of what makes Heathfield such an original YA author though; Her stories aren't "picture perfect"

In the first chapter of this book, you learn what is going to happen to Lo in the end. You go into this book fully knowing the outcome of her story and yet I still found myself wrapped into her life and thinking,
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Lisa Heathfield continues her trend of writing stories that are utterly enchanting and heartbreaking at the same time. Be prepared to find yourself emotionally invested. I was left reeling for a short while after reading this, even though as readers we're told from the beginning what is to come. Less harrowing than Seed or Paper Butterflies, this still deserves a content warning for depression.

The setting of this story is the circus, and the author does a wonderful job of weaving in the stunning
Kate Ormand
Sisters, Rita and Lo, perform a trapeze act in a small travelling circus. Their lives seem like magic, a dream – until Lo meets a boy from a town they stop in and doesn’t want to move on. He follows her from site to site before she goes too far. For the first time, Lo questions her place in the circus, her life on the road and the sacrifices she’d have to make to change things.

I am learning what to expect from Lisa Heathfield’s books – warm fuzzies followed by utter heartbreak. This is the third
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another interesting subject tackled by Lisa Heathfield. This felt a little slow to get going with a lot of establishment of characters and the scene. However once it picked up pace it was difficult to put down - and you knew the pace would suddenly pick up from the introductory chapter. Again, I was impressed with strong female leads and difficult topics tackled. Great read!
Megan  (YABookers)
I received this free from the publisher via NetGalley

Rita and Lo are inseparable – sisters and best friends. Always on the move, and always flying through the air, holding on to each other for support for their trapeze act. Fearless and weightless, they find the magic in everything. Behind the act they put on, they know that the true magic in their family, not the circus. However, in one insignificant town, Lo meets a boy and decides she wants to be on the ground and stood still. Rita can’t unde
Suze Lavender
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rita and Lo are sisters. They're traveling around with the circus their family belongs to. Dangerous acts and being the center of attention is what they're used to. They never stay anywhere long, they go from place to place. Lo and Rita have always been close, they tell each other everything, they have fun and they are best friends as well as siblings. However, something suddenly changes. Lo discovers a secret that makes her heart ache. She also meets a boy she likes, someone who isn't part of t ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Received from NetGalley for review.

Flight of a Starling was something vastly different to what I was expecting. I was prepared for circus life, first love, and teenage angst, not so much for the grief, tension, and tragedy that was delivered. I should have known better – Lisa Heathfield’s previous novels have broken my heart and shaken me to the core, and this one was no different. I did feel, however, that the second half of the novel was rushed in comparison to the slow build of the first h
Christina Reid
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Our big top waits for the evening performance. It's empty of strangers now, but the smell of them and their dreams stays locked under the canvas. Even leaving the door rolled open doesn't send it away.
Picked this up from the library as I had heard lots of recommendations for this and previous books by the same author. I also love circus/carnival settings so was drawn in immediately by the blurb.
At first I found it quite hard to keep track of who was talking and who all of the characters are - th
Warning - You will need a box of tissues. This is the only book that had me totally sobbing.
I first fell in love with Lisa's books with Paper Butterflies, and I believe that I've found myself a new favourite author of 2017.

Told in the dual perspective, sisters and kindred spirits, Rita and Lo have been part of the circus all their lives, they were born into it and they will live out their days flying through the air. When Lo and Spider find out 'something', this secret could ruin everything the
Hannah Pike
Aug 24, 2017 rated it liked it
'I want her angel wings to come alive and fold around me until I sleep and sleep and make it all go away.'

I rate this 3.5 stars!

This novel is based around Rita and Lo, sisters and best friends that are both part of a circus.
Then Lo meets a boy and everything changes.


The circus decide to try out a new trick and Rita hurts herself badly and Lo looks after her, teasing her about her crush on a boy in the circus.
Soon the two go exploring and run into a group of boys, Rita soon lea
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I close my eyes and this book is what I see: darkness splattered with bursts of vibrant colour. This book had absolutely beautiful writing and a heart-wrenching ending. I absolutely loved reading about the circus element of Flight of a Starling and not just the performing, but their whole way of life. It was fascinating to peek into their community and to read about the future or the younger generation.

This YA novel is told through dual perspective of sister's Lo and Rita which was amazing, but
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-in-books
Themes: love, secrets, performance, mental health, loss

Like Paper Butterflies before it, Flight of a Starling is a lesson in how to write heartbreak. It didn't grip me at all at first as the story felt very slow moving, but I persevered and I'm so glad I did. The language is imaginative and colourful throughout, resulting in a beautiful story.

Even though I knew what was coming from the first chapter, the sadness still crept up on me and hit when I least expected it. Flight of a Starling is a m
Joséphine (Word Revel)
Initial thoughts: I spent the last quarter of the book crying. Even though the outcome was already clear from the prologue, the details still broke me. No matter how difficult and impossible things seem in the moment, a rash act can end it all. Talking to someone and looking for other anger and grief outlets are a much better solution. Most of all, look for reasons to live, even if all there is are the stars in the sky and birds below.
Karen Barber
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Rita and Lo are close. They rely on each other, in life as well as in their trapeze act. Then Lo meets Dean, a flattie, and the girls start to grow apart.
We watch them in their home environment, getting a feel for life in the circus. It's also a book about choices/dealing with loss.
This was, honestly, slow but it did make you empathise with Lo.
Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy in exchange for my review.
Nikki Sheehan
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lisa Heathfield hits that sad, thoughtful, important spot again, with characters you just want to hug and writing to die for. This will be a top book for 2017! Just amazing!
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lisa Heathfield didn't disappoint. Still gathering my thoughts on this beautifully heartbreaking book. I cried for a good half an hour!!
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am broken. Yet I am still whole.
This book is brilliance.
Sandra "Jeanz"
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
As I had read Seed and Paper Butterflies both by Lisa Heathfield and loved both books this one quickly made it to my "Must Read" List! Also as I had recently read Spectacle by Rachel Vincent which had a "circus theme" to it I fancied reading something else with a similar theme. The blurb also mentioned the trapeze which was always my favourite act to watch at a circus both as a child and as an adult taking my daughter to the circus too.

I love the cover! The stark black background, the type
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-copy
Sometimes, I read a book and I genuinely don't know how I feel about it. This is what has happened here, so I'll try and put it into words as best I can without spoiling anything.

Firstly, I haven't read either of the other two books written by this author, though both have been on my Kindle for ages (Seed & Paper Butterflies) so I wasn't sure what to expect from the writing.

This is the story of Rita and Lo, sisters who have been born and raised in a circus family. They never stay in one pla
Jayne Catherine pinkett
She's done it again. Another brilliant book by Lisa Heathfield. A YA family saga and romance following the lives of a travelling circus and in particular Rita and Lo two inseparable sisters who have been brought up flying high as trapeze artists. As Lo started to question if there was more to life outside of the circus family then the story really starts to develop. She falls for an 'outsider' and you really get a sense of the turbulence she goes through trying to follow her circus culture, whil ...more
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Having read Paper Butterflies I was expecting another good read with this one and I wasn't disappointed. This is another heartbreaking, disturbing book which should go down well with its YA target audience.
Told from two POV, Lo and Rita are sisters who have been brought up in a circus life. Having never questioned this, Lo's world is thrown into turmoil when she discovers a betrayal in her own family and falls in love with a local boy, much to the disapproval of her family. Secrets and deceit h
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Before becoming a mum to her three sons, Lisa Heathfield was a secondary school English teacher and loved inspiring teenagers to read.

Award-winning author Lisa Heathfield launched her career with SEED in 2015. Published by Egmont it is a stunning YA debut about a life in cult. PAPER BUTTERFLIES is her beautiful and heart-breaking second novel. FLIGHT OF A STARLING is another heart-breaking read wi