Book Review: Unaccompanied Minor by Hollis Gillespie

17849185Unaccompanied Minor by Hollis Gillespie

Publisher: Merit Press

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: January 1, 2014

Pages: 256 (Hardcover)

good good

Fourteen-year-old April May Manning spent her life on airplanes with her flight attendant parents. When her father dies in a crash, April’s mom marries a pilot who turns out to be an abusive jerk, and gets Mom confined to a psychiatric hospital. So April takes off, literally, living on airplanes, using her mother’s flight benefits, relying on the flight crews who know she’s been shuttling between divorcing parents for a year. Then, there’s a hijacking, but why is April’s “dad” on board? April flees to the cargo hold with another unaccompanied minor she’s met before, and they fight to thwart the hijackers, faking a fire, making weapons from things they find in luggage. At last, locked in the cockpit with a wounded police officer, the boy, and his service dog, April tries to remember everything her parents said to do in a crisis above the clouds. But she knows it won’t be enough.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Merit Press for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.


This book is just annoying. April Manning is a Nancy Drew like character, only worse because she’s boring and unrealistic. 

You know those kids that you have to babysit, the ones that just never shut up even if they’re right about something? That kid is April, and for the life of me, I could not stop picturing her as a seven year old tugging on my arm. I get it, you have a plan, and you’re smart. Shut up. Like I said above, there is a lot of forced humour. And I’m not over exaggerating. There are a few deaths, and they’re played off as jokes. The bad guys (if they can even be called that) are complete jokes that barely ever make sense. There’s quite a bit of info-dumping, and the story is very disorganized.

Airports are such a fun place, and the idea and the setting for it was what saved Unaccompanied Minor for me. They are very loud and chaotic which is why April got by so easily unnoticed. There are a few surprises though, so that was fun.

Overall, unless you’re looking for a Nancy Drew/Scooby Doo and the Gang kind of story then skip this. I felt as if I were reading about a crazy mystery that had too much forced humour and too little seriousness.

2 Clouds
2 Clouds

5 thoughts on “Book Review: Unaccompanied Minor by Hollis Gillespie

  1. Aww it’s a shame this one wasn’t what you expected. From your review, I’m getting a vibe that says it’s a little middle-grade-esque, and I kind of wouldn’t enjoy it that much. I may stay away from this one, but from the idea it wounded like it had a lot of potential.

    1. It’s very middle grade! I think that’s why I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to. But there’s a lot of information about airports and that’s really well done.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

  2. Scooby gang? A 67-year-old chain-smoking, alcoholic stewardess and a burnt-out police officer and a lesbian ex-gang member don’t exactly add up to a “Scooby gang.” The book is packed with fascinating facts on airline history, how to survive a plane wreck, how to fight a terrorist, how to escape imprisonment, how to avoid getting murdered, etc. You think the main character is like an “Annoying 7-yerar-old”? April makes a thermal lance from a curling iron. She breaks into the cockpit of an L-1011. She throws a dead body off of an aircraft during flight! Regarding your review, you and I definitely “see things differently.”

    1. Hahaha nice way to end that comment! I’m not saying that the novel isn’t interesting. I really loved the idea of the airport as the setting and I learned a lot of it how easy it is to go about unnoticed but I felt that the novel is closer to middle grade than young adult than anything. I’m glad that you liked the novel though!

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