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Full Flight by Ashley Schumacher

The Story

Synopsis of FULL FLIGHT from the Publisher:

Everyone else in the tiny town of Enfield, Texas calls fall football season, but for the forty-three members of the Fighting Enfield Marching Band, it’s contest season. And for new saxophonist Anna James, it’s her first chance to prove herself as the great musician she’s trying hard to be.

When she’s assigned a duet with mellophone player Weston Ryan, the boy her small-minded town thinks of as nothing but trouble, she’s equal parts thrilled and intimidated. But as he helps her with the duet, and she sees the smile he seems to save just for her, she can’t help but feel like she’s helping him with something too.

After her strict parents find out she’s been secretly seeing him and keep them apart, together they learn what it truly means to fight for something they love. With the marching contest nearing, and the two falling hard for one another, the unthinkable happens, and Anna is left grappling for a way forward without Weston.

A heartbreaking novel about finding your first love and what happens when it’s over too soon. Ashley Schumacher’s Full Flight is about how first love shapes us—even after it’s gone.


Character driven, Ashley Schumacher’s Full Flight is a love story about two lonely people with their own beautiful melody.  It’s a duet between Anna and Weston, filled with these soft piano notes that turn into a crescendo of want, need, and a knowing of being seen. The elegant rhythm flows in a cadence like mated birds singing back and forth to each other in perfect harmony.

Schumacher artfully crafts into her prose this foreboding.  You can feel it.  This imprint in each chapter. Where you as the reader are waiting for something tragic to happen. It’s etched into the time between Anna and Weston.  Like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, you know, at some point, there will be a loss. Because it’s a tragedy. And we know the Fates well, as they take a shard of glass to the piano strings of a life, leaving those left behind raw and aching for the before.

And even though this love story was only 320 pages, it is the very end that stole my breath.

A Few More Thoughts

I loved how Schumacher knits together the music, the tender love between Anna and Weston, and the story of the Kaua’i ‘o’o.  Remembering the story of the Kaua’i ‘o’o was just as heartbreaking, remembering how the last male bird was recorded, powerful and rhythmic sounds, that will leave listeners haunted by its mournful tune.  Being the last bird of your species is devastating, especially when you’re a species that mates for life.  Calling out, desperate to find another one of its kind, and hoping to hear the melodic sound, the answering call in return.

Ashley Schumacher’s artfully written prose will capture readers completely.  She deftly creates a story of first love, depression, and loneness in a way that feels raw and real in equal measures.  Make sure to have a box of tissues handy.

Happy Reading ~ Cece

RATING: ink blotink blotink blotink blot – Exceptionally Inked

The Kauaʻi ʻōʻō Bird

I first heard about the Kauaʻi ʻōʻō bird on a podcast: The Anthropocene Reviewed hosted by author John Green. After reading Schumacher’s story I remembered Green’s review. The Kauaʻi ʻōʻō birdsong and Green’s piece on the bird flooded my memories and I wanted to experience discovering this rare bird who thrived in Hawaii thousands of years ago. Take a listen and keep that box of tissue nearby.⬇️

The Anthropocene Reviewed Episode 20 QWERTY Keyboard Kaua’i O’o
( Nadim Silverman / WNYC Studios )

Photo Collage By Sheaf & Ink of Full Flight

Publication Details

Pub DateISBNPage CountPublisherAge GroupSource & FormatReview Posted Online
22-Feb-22978-1250779786320Wednesday Books12+NetGalley, Digital ARCFebruary 27, 2022

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Welcome Reader!

I’m Cecelia and I’m so glad you’re here! You’ll find honest reviews, book recommendations, along with other bookish essentials. So happy you stopped by!

– C

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