Howdy, howdy! How’s everyone doing today? Tomorrow is Thanksgiving over here, so happy Turkey Day/Friendsgiving/whatever to those who celebrate and happy Thursday to those who don’t! But today it’s book review time. I wanted to step outside my comfort zone this month, but I wanted something safe. Something that was bound to be decent at least. So, I went with Danielle Steel’s new book, Flying Angels. It was released on November 23rd from Delacorte Press (an imprint of Random House). As usual, I must thank them and NetGalley for allowing me access to an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. So, let’s do the thing.
Flying Angels follows a group of young women who end up becoming nurses in the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron during World War II. They come from all walks of life and have encountered various struggles along the way, but in the war, they’re all the same. They’re just nurses trying to keep the young men from the frontlines and themselves alive. Death doesn’t discriminate. They all have to learn that one way or another.
So, I thought I was safe with a Danielle Steel novel. She’s a prolific writer with fans all over the world. She must be good, right? There must be a reason she’s so popular, right? Even if the genre isn’t my usual cup of tea, at least the writing must be passable, right? Wrong. I was wrong on all counts. And the sad part is, I probably really would’ve liked the book if it didn’t read like an outline of a story. I know it’s hard to balance showing and telling, but this book was ninety percent telling. Personally, I hate that. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, but I’m not a fan. You can tell me a hundred times how selfless and wonderful a person is, but if you don’t show me, I just don’t care.
Speaking of selfless and wonderful, no one in this entire book had flaws except inconsequential rich people. They were just there to show how much better their daughters were than them. I mean, we’re told the characters grow and are changed by the end, but how? They were perfect to begin with, so they had nothing to learn. Even the deaths of family and friends can’t make these people bitter or angry. It’s friggin’ annoying. Like, I know they aren’t real people in the first place, but I at least want characters who have human qualities.
Also, I despise third person omniscient POVs. They’re rarely done well and the narrator hops around people’s thoughts and feelings until everything becomes muddled. It’s especially confusing when most of the characters are she/her. Learn to use names or at least change paragraphs when you’re hopping around people’s heads. I know this is just a pet peeve of mine. Some people really like this POV. I’d rather be closer to the main characters.
Aside from everything else I hated about this book, the writing was repetitive and bland. In the first twenty pages, the same five tidbits were repeated at least fifty times each. It could’ve been edited down to three pages and still conveyed the exact same message. Better yet, there could’ve been a few scenes showing me these things instead of just telling me. But enough ranting.
Ultimately, I hated Flying Angels. I loved the premise, but the execution was horrible. If I never read another Danielle Steel book in my life, I won’t care. Maybe her other books are better. Maybe this was an anomaly. Don’t know and don’t care. People like her. I’m just not one of them.
Overall, I gave it 1 out of 5 stars. Mostly because you can’t give zero star ratings on most websites. If you are a fan, by all means read it. Enjoy what you enjoy. If you’re not already a fan, maybe try something else by her first.
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