School’s Out – Forever
❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎
Fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride and the other members of the “Flock”–Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel–are just like ordinary kids–only they have wings and can fly. It seems like a dream come true–except that they’re being hunted by half-human, half-wolf “Erasers” who can fly, too.
In Book 2 of the series, the Flock members are taken under the wing of an FBI agent and try to live “normal” lives by going to school, making friends–and continuing their relentless search for their parents. But the Erasers return, forcing the Flock to abandon their search and make their escape once again. The voice inside Max’s head keeps telling her that it’s up to her to save the world, but this is especially challenging to do when she is faced with her ultimate match: a newer and better version of herself, Maximum Ride II.
Yes, yes, I know. Everybody loves Max. I think that phrase is written across all three of the Patterson books I own. I’m still trying to love Max. I still don’t.
The series is not bad. I liked the first book better than I liked School’s Out – Forever. I think that they idea of these kids going to school is a little far-fetched and ridiculous, and as much as the travelling annoyed me before, their goals seemed more realistic to their situation. And I simply couldn’t get past Anne, their caretaker. The lack-of-FBI-esque qualities that abounded in her character made me want to chuck the book across the room, and several times I found myself telling the page “Ha! And FBI agent would NEVER say that.” Obviously later on the lack of traits becomes explained, but the lack of even trying bothered me enough that it distracted me.
I have issues with the characters in general, still. The older children are less frustrating – Fang and Max, namely. Total, the dog, bears a Toto (coincidence? I think not) like resemblance to me but he’s annoying, and Angel is simply too bossy/innocent… she gets away with too much. That leaves “comic relief” to fall to Gasman and Izzy… and thus it makes them seem less vital to the story, other than being part of the flock. I do, however, give kudos to Patterson’s method of handling the situation with Izzy’s parents.
I still believe that for grades 8 through 12, the Maximum Ride series should be a huge hit. The characters are relatable, and there is less need for suspension of disbelief. Patterson’s pacing is amazing, though. As much as I may find the series disappointing (and that, too, is a danger of a series with so much hype), I can move through the books very quickly, making them a good choice for a light read.
I’m trying to love it, but I don’t. I think that middle school and high school readers would enjoy it.
I received a copy of this book as part of a boxed set of the original trilogy.
“Sweeping, swooping, soaring, air-current thrill rides—there’s nothing better.”
Some of My Favorite Quotes
“I can talk to fish!” Angel said happily, water dripping off her long, skinny body. “Ask one over for dinner,” Fang said, joining us.”
“Please, I begged silently, please do not let my last moments on earth be me crammed into a tiny boat in the dark, surrounded by mechanical singing pirates.”
“You have to respect your enemy. Never, ever underestimate them. The second you do, they’ll squash you. Be smart about them. Respect their abilities, even if they don’t respect yours.”