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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic debut, 10 Sep 2010
This review is from: Taking Flight (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this novel. It arrived on a Saturday morning and I finsihed it later that day. I really couldn't put it down. The characters, flawed as they were, were engaging and the plot fast-paced. I would recommend this to both teenagers and adults as it has universal appeal. Altough horse-lovers will love this aspect of the novel, it is equally enjoyable if you have no interest in horses.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 7 Sep 2010
This review is from: Taking Flight (Paperback)
Got this on a recommendation, it was a great read (finished it in 2 days!). Enjoyed the bits about Declan most - he's a character I really believed in, tough but not stereotypical, he just gets on with his life in a quiet way while everything crashes on around him. It manages to deal with serious subjects but always be easy to read and sometimes very funny... I think what I liked most was that it was about real people with real lives and ambitions, and they do change through the book, but they always stay real (no fairytale endings here...). I reckon horsey and non-horsey people would both like this book, I'd definitely recommend it on.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it and so did my younger sister, 6 Sep 2010
This review is from: Taking Flight (Paperback)
Great read - both for adults and children. This author is one to look out for in the future in my opinion. Very talented indeed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant debut, 6 Sep 2010
This review is from: Taking Flight (Paperback)
I got this book on Friday and thought I'd read a few chapters with my dinner, and found that I just couldn't stop reading! It goes at a great pace, and I thought the characters were really well thought out and appealing - especially Declan - I found his bits especially enthralling. I would really recommend this book to any teenager or adult who likes a well-written good read. I can't believe this is her first novel - can't wait for more!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars taking flight- a great read, 13 Sep 2010
This review is from: Taking Flight (Paperback)
This is a gripping read. Well written, exciting and fast paced. I had to read it all in one sitting as i couldn't put it down,so leave plenty of time! The characters are believable and the plot draws you in and flows smoothly right up to the last sentence. I would strongly recommend this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for young adults, 21 Mar 2012
This review is from: Taking Flight (Paperback)
I know many girls who would launch themselves from one end of the library to the other to get their hands on a book with a horse on the cover! This book does have a horse on the cover, but there is much more to it than pony clubs, gymkhanas and rosettes, and it is a book that even boys might enjoy!

Declan lives with his widowed mother in one of the poorer, tougher areas of Belfast. His aunt and cousin live in a more prosperous part of the city and the two families have almost no contact until Declan's mother is taken into hospital, and then rehab, and Declan finds himself living with his Aunt Colette and Cousin Vicky in a world he barely knew existed. Flight is Vicky's much prized horse and Declan finds himself captivated by the horse's power and beauty. Vicky does not want this boy from the wrong side of town in her home, meeting her friends and most of all she doesn't want him anywhere near her horse.

The story is skilfully told, using both Vicky and Declan as alternate narrators. I think is a particularly useful device in this story, as it would be possible to see Vicky merely as a spoilt little madam. Actually she is a spoilt little madam, and her own words confirm that time and time again, but through her own words we do also see that she has her own insecurities, and we can understand, if not forgive, her unfriendly attitude towards Declan. By working at the riding stables Declan begins to realise that he could have a future that does not include poverty, fighting and joy riding. He clearly has great empathy with the horses and therein lies his escape route.

I think is a great first novel and I hope this author continues to write such excellent books for the young adult market.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book, 1 Jan 2014
This review is from: Taking Flight (Paperback)
This book was amazing as it say in the title. I am 12 and i really enjoyed reading it i couldn't put it down. There was sad happy and oh my god moments i would deffiently recomend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a debut!, 19 May 2013
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This review is from: Taking Flight (Paperback)
In all honesty, although horses do form an integral part of the plot, this book is not exclusively a book for horse lovers, but it is a book that all youngsters would benefit from reading.
It covers such a wide base from coping with social deprivation, living with alcoholism, low self esteem and neglect to the social divide between these youngsters living this life and those from the same wider communities who have a far more affluent upbringing and want for nothing. This book covers all of these gritty issues and more with tact and remains true to life and most importantly of all is very believable.

Declan 'The Hood' and 'Princess' Vicky might be cousins but they are worlds apart.

The biggest hardship Vicky has ever dealt with is the breakdown of her parents marriage...however a young stepmother with the same interest in horses and whom Vicky likes very much is not too much a difficulty in her otherwise perfect life. She goes to a good school, has an expensive show jumper (who she has just gotten a place on school SJ team with), has private jumping lessons and her every whim catered for.
Declan on the other hand lives a far less charmed life. Social deprivation is very real in Declans world and with an alcoholic Mother, dead Father and previous conviction for joyriding just for starters I don't need to state the obvious.

Their two worlds collide, quite literally, when Declans Mother takes an overdose and Declan has nowhere to go but his Aunt Collette's (Vicky's mother). Without spoiling it too much, needless to say it's a whirlwind ride of emotions for both the youngsters and as Declan stumbles deeper into 'Vicky's world' emotions certainly ride high with devastating consequences...

Taking Flight is such an absorbing fast pace read that you are quickly drawn into it and I found it very hard to put down indeed.
Declan is an intricate but fascinating character, and a far cry from my own upbringing and experiences (thank goodness if I'm honest) but most of all he's real, sadly very real. There are millions of real Declans out there and Declans story highlights, not only how difficult life can be for these youngsters but also that there can be a different life for them. Anything is possible and life is what you make it regardless of where you come from...this echoes throughout this excellent story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking Flight by Sheena Wilkinson, 30 Nov 2012
This review is from: Taking Flight (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Taking Flight, as did my whole family! It is gripping from beginning to end, a real page turner. Right from the first page the characters are very believable and I found that I could really empathise equally with Declan and Vicky, the main characters in the story as they were so different yet their lives fused together so well. It was fast paced with lots of drama and action. The book had an equally strong beginning, middle and end. I know that horse lovers would love it, but my children aren't horse lovers and they loved it, too!I really believe anyone would enjoy reading it as it is so believable, exciting and inspiring - excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for the kids, 8 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Taking Flight (Paperback)
I loved this - I used to teach teenagers in Northern Ireland, where it is set, so was interested in it because of that, but found it was not just a duty read. Although it would make a great class reader for students from about 13 onwards, it is also just a totally enjoyable proper novel with believable characters, hints of backstory, some humour and plenty going on. Deft, confident, realistic. More a novel with young characters than one limited to young readers. A crossover book, I think. I rushed to buy the next one as soon as it came out because I wnted to find out what came next for Declan.
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Taking Flight
Taking Flight by Sheena Wilkinson (Paperback - 1 Sep 2010)
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