The Flight Girls: A Novel

The Flight Girls: A Novel

A stunning story about the Women Airforce Service Pilots whose courage during World War II turned ordinary women into extraordinary heroes1941. Audrey Coltrane has always wanted to fly. It's why she implored her father to teach her at the little airfield back home in Texas. It's why she signed up to train military pilots in Hawaii when the war in Europe began. And it's why...

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Title:The Flight Girls: A Novel
Author:Noelle Salazar
Rating:

The Flight Girls: A Novel Reviews

  • Sara Ackerman

    The Flight Girls captivated me from the first page and never let go. Salazar’s writing is lively and fresh, as we ride shotgun with a cast of memorable characters, an epic love story, and a powerful tale of courage and sacrifice by the Women Airforce Service Pilots during

    WWII. A spectacular first novel.

    I was lucky and got an advance copy!

  • Emily

    Easy 5 Stars. I daresay this will be one of my favorite books of the year. This book follows the fictional Audrey Coltrane before, during, and after her time as a WASP during WWII. The WASP program (Women Airforce Service Pilots) did jobs like ferrying military planes between bases, trained the men entering the airforce and tested both new and repaired planes before they were shipped back overseas, all without the protection of military status.

    While the book does have a fair bit of romance, the

    Easy 5 Stars. I daresay this will be one of my favorite books of the year. This book follows the fictional Audrey Coltrane before, during, and after her time as a WASP during WWII. The WASP program (Women Airforce Service Pilots) did jobs like ferrying military planes between bases, trained the men entering the airforce and tested both new and repaired planes before they were shipped back overseas, all without the protection of military status.

    While the book does have a fair bit of romance, the most compelling relationships were the ones Audrey grew with the other women in her program. The portrayal of these women was so well rounded, each one we met had a distinct personality. I loved that the author showed all types of women in the book: ones that were "feminine", ones that were "tomboys", mean girls, engaged girls, and women who never want to be married. A woman who spent hours on her hair and makeup could still fly circles around the men, and a woman who never wanted kids wasn't suddenly swayed from her choice by a pretty face. Overall this was an excellent debut and I can't wait to see what comes next!

  • Katie B

    As soon as I saw the cover, I knew I had to read this book. I keep saying I need to lay off the World War 2 historical fiction for awhile, but the chance to learn a bit about the WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots) was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.

    Audrey Coltrane loves to fly planes and it's her dream to one day own an airfield back home in Texas. It's 1941 and she is saving up money while training military pilots in Hawaii. With that one goal taking up all of her focus, she doesn't care

    As soon as I saw the cover, I knew I had to read this book. I keep saying I need to lay off the World War 2 historical fiction for awhile, but the chance to learn a bit about the WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots) was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.

    Audrey Coltrane loves to fly planes and it's her dream to one day own an airfield back home in Texas. It's 1941 and she is saving up money while training military pilots in Hawaii. With that one goal taking up all of her focus, she doesn't care to be anything more than friends with the handsome and charming Lieutenant James Hart. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Audrey joins the Women Airforce Service Pilots. This is a story about friendship, love, loss, determination, and courage.

    I'm so pleased the author chose to write about the WASPs as it helps with giving the women the recognition they deserve for the contributions to the war effort. While the characters in the book are fictional, I do think the author captured the spirit of the women and what they endured as participants in the program. I thought there was a nice balance of historical facts about the program and a solid fictional story about a woman determined to set her own path in life. I highly recommend reading the Author's Note at the end as it provides good context for her writing process. To me the sign of a good historical fiction book is after I'm done reading I'm motivated to learn even more about the topic which was the case here.

    Audrey was an easy character to root for even though she suffered from Irresistible Woman syndrome. She seemed to cast a spell over men but it didn't annoy me that much because she had a lot of good qualities including intelligence and confidence. I loved the camaraderie among the women and how they did tend to look after one another.

    This is a pretty quick read even though it's 350+ pages. There are some good emotional moments throughout the story and I recommend this one for fans of World War 2 historical fiction and/or books that feature strong female characters. Romance is certainly a part of the story but not the only thing going on so I think this book will appeal to many different readers.

    I received a free advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  • Stephanie (Stephanie's Novel Fiction)

    I knew when I read the synopsis for

    that I would enjoy this book immensely, and I wasn't wrong. My husband is an Air Force veteran with a private pilots license, so it's safe to say that I've spent plenty of my time in and around lots of planes over the past 25 years, either as a passenger or watching them from the ground. There's something magical about flying, and Noelle Salazar manages to perfectly capture that in her debut novel even amidst the most harrowing of times―WWII.

    A

    I knew when I read the synopsis for

    that I would enjoy this book immensely, and I wasn't wrong. My husband is an Air Force veteran with a private pilots license, so it's safe to say that I've spent plenty of my time in and around lots of planes over the past 25 years, either as a passenger or watching them from the ground. There's something magical about flying, and Noelle Salazar manages to perfectly capture that in her debut novel even amidst the most harrowing of times―WWII.

    Audrey Coltrane has always known exactly what she wants: to fly planes and eventually own her own air hanger, not be tied down with a husband and children like her mother expects. When the Army begins hiring women pilots to train new male recruits how to fly, she immediately takes the job and heads to Pearl Harbor. There she makes friends, especially with Lt. James Hart, one of the few people to understands her dreams. It's also where she's caught up in the fateful attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, while up in the sky.

    Audrey's brave spirit continues to persevere through the war as she joins the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), women trained by the army to ferry planes from one military base to another and test new and repaired aircraft before it was sent overseas, all without the benefits of militarization.

    Salazar's novel is immediately fascinating, her writing crisp, and the characters unforgettable, some heartbreakingly so. It's particularly apparent when reading the descriptions of the training Audrey and the other women in the program went through, their day to day lives, the hard realities of the program, the male-dominated environment, the accidents, the deaths that Salazar meticulously researched the WASP program and the histories of real-life WASP women because the novel has such a realistic feel within every description.

    What I loved most about this novel is the depictions of the relationships between the women in the program. Except for their love of flying, they couldn't have been any more different, yet they bonded and became such wonderful friends. Salazar captured such distinctive personalities and clearly showed how these women were breaking the glass ceiling for the generations of women to follow them.

    I've read many, many books about WWII but never one about the WASP women. Their courage, sacrifice, and heroism during WWII were spectacular and Salazar has written an excellent first novel depicting those attributes. It's also a love story and an epic one too.

    is an emotionally compelling debut (yes, I cried), and I look forward to Salazar's next novel!

  • Brenda - Traveling Sister

    3.5 Stars

    The Flight Girls makes for an inspiring, lighter historical fiction that explores the dynamics between the characters rather than the historical events to the story. The story focuses on one women’s strength and will to follow her passion here with our well developed main character Audrey Coltrane. Her passion leads her to joining the relatively unknown, Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during WWII.

    Noelle Salazar does a great job here dramatizing the camaraderie as she explores the

    3.5 Stars

    The Flight Girls makes for an inspiring, lighter historical fiction that explores the dynamics between the characters rather than the historical events to the story. The story focuses on one women’s strength and will to follow her passion here with our well developed main character Audrey Coltrane. Her passion leads her to joining the relatively unknown, Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during WWII.

    Noelle Salazar does a great job here dramatizing the camaraderie as she explores the compelling friendships between the women of the WASP. She adds some romance here as well for Audrey that added a bit more drama than I would have liked. I love stories that focus on the strong women of WWII and Noelle Salazar sure delivers here with these women who each have joined the WASP for their own reasons. I enjoyed the dynamics here and the connections formed between the women and was drawn into their world. I could feel the emotional depth of the story here with the women’s strength and fears as a team as well as Audrey’s own emotions. I could visualize what it might have been like for the real strong and courageous pilots. I highly recommend for a lighter historical fiction that is inspired by the real women pilots.

    Thank you so much to Eden at Harlequin Trade Publishing / Mira Books and Noelle Salazar for gifting me a copy of this book.

    This was a Sister read with Norma and Lindsay. For more reviews from us "The Traveling Sisters Three" for this title can be found on our blog

  • Norma * Traveling Sister

    Fascinating, touching & entertaining!

    THE FLIGHT GIRLS by NOELLE SALAZAR is an enlightening, powerful and emotionally compelling historical fiction novel that has us following along fictionalized character, Audrey Coltrane and her involvement in the WASP program (Women Airforce Service Pilots) during World War II.

    NOELLE SALAZAR delivers an excellent, heartfelt, intriguing and well-written read here with wonderful, relatable, and well developed characters. The story is told from the first per

    Fascinating, touching & entertaining!

    THE FLIGHT GIRLS by NOELLE SALAZAR is an enlightening, powerful and emotionally compelling historical fiction novel that has us following along fictionalized character, Audrey Coltrane and her involvement in the WASP program (Women Airforce Service Pilots) during World War II.

    NOELLE SALAZAR delivers an excellent, heartfelt, intriguing and well-written read here with wonderful, relatable, and well developed characters. The story is told from the first person perspective of our main character, Audrey Coltrane and I absolutely loved her voice. She definitely captured my attention and my heart as well as the other WASP women. The bond that these women shared was absolutely beautiful and I absolutely loved and admired how courageous and brave they were.

    At times I felt that this storyline was simplified and rushed a little bit though because there was this strong romantic theme that I wasn't really expecting and sort of took away from the main historical story for me. In the end though I was able to put all my concerns aside and had me rooting for a happy ending for Audrey and James.

    Norma’s Stats:

    Cover: My ARC didn’t come with the actual cover design so I feel that I am unable to actually voice how I feel about it. Although I think the actual book cover is quite beautiful.

    Title: I absolutely love how intriguing and enticing that title is and think it’s a fantastic representation to storyline.

    Writing/Prose: Well-written, entertaining, engaging, readable, and compelling.

    Plot: Engrossing, heartfelt, interesting, steadily-paced, and entertaining.

    Ending: A touching and happy ending that left me feeling satisfied.

    Overall: 3.5 Stars! The role that these brave female pilots played was absolutely extraordinary and made this quite the captivating and irresistible page-turner. Would recommend!

    Thank you so much to Eden at Harlequin Trade Publishing / Mira Books and Noelle Salazar for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book. It was an absolute pleasure reading this historical fiction novel!

    Review can also be found on our Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee Reading book blog:

  • Lindsay - Traveling Sister

    4 stars!

    Adventurous, heart wrenching and inspiring!

    Audrey Coltrane is a young female pilot whose passion for flying started when she was a child. When the war begins, she signs up to train military pilots knowing she is helping her country prepare for what may come. Facing constant criticism and stereotyping, she is proud of her career and the adventures she gets to take while doing something she loves. This story is inspired by the real team of female pilots who trained soldiers in WWII.

    I lov

    4 stars!

    Adventurous, heart wrenching and inspiring!

    Audrey Coltrane is a young female pilot whose passion for flying started when she was a child. When the war begins, she signs up to train military pilots knowing she is helping her country prepare for what may come. Facing constant criticism and stereotyping, she is proud of her career and the adventures she gets to take while doing something she loves. This story is inspired by the real team of female pilots who trained soldiers in WWII.

    I loved Audrey’s character! She was intriguing and heart warming; her immense bravery was shocking and inspiring. Though I found her journey to be predictable at times, it kept me engrossed and interested throughout. The writing flowed beautifully and was well paced. There is a strong romance theme underlying the main wartime story which I found a tad much at times, but in the end I was rooting for the lovely couple.

    This was an excellent debut from Noelle Salazar and I look forward to what she writes next! This was a Traveling Sister read with Brenda and Norma which we all enjoyed. To find our reviews, please visit our blog at:

    Thank you to HarperCollins for sending me an ARC to read and review!

  • Karren  Sandercock

    Feisty Audrey Coltrane loves to fly planes and she has dreams of one day owning her own air field.

    Audrey's plans for her future don't include her settling down, getting married and having babies!

    The military has started hiring women to train male pilots in Hawaii and her dad encourages her to give it a go.

    Audrey moves to Hawaii and soon she's instructing younger male pilots to fly. She enjoys spending time with her new friends, swimming, going to beach parties and drinking cocktails.

    On the 7th o

    Feisty Audrey Coltrane loves to fly planes and she has dreams of one day owning her own air field.

    Audrey's plans for her future don't include her settling down, getting married and having babies!

    The military has started hiring women to train male pilots in Hawaii and her dad encourages her to give it a go.

    Audrey moves to Hawaii and soon she's instructing younger male pilots to fly. She enjoys spending time with her new friends, swimming, going to beach parties and drinking cocktails.

    On the 7th of December 1941 Pearl Harbor is attacked and bombed by the Japanese forces.

    Audrey at the time is giving a young pilot a flying lesson, she manages to land the plane while under enemy fire and no one is hurt.

    Nothing can prepare Audrey for what happens after she lands her plane, what once was paradise has been destroyed, damaged or on fire. During this time a fellow pilot Lieutenant James Hart keeps her safe, provides her with somewhere to live and they try to find out what happened to her friends?

    In the past, both Audrey and James have avoided romantic relationships, despite the obvious attraction between them they decide to just be good friends. Audrey leaves Hawaii, she returns to Texas, she promises to keep in touch with James and they start writing letters to each other.

    Audrey returns home, after a few months she grows restless, she want's to help her country as it's now involved in WW II, try to get over what happened to her and her friends in Hawaii.

    Audrey decides to join the WASP, women pilots are needed to transport planes to and from different military bases around the US, they also test new planes before there sent to England and used in combat.

    The women who join the WASP, start a rigorous training program, they need be physically fit, pass written exams, and while in training they discover how dangerous their job will be!

    I really enjoyed reading about Audrey and her friends experiences during training and the comaraderie between them all.

    Once she graduates Audrey is sent to Fort Sam Huston, here she again experiences prejudice from men as they assume a woman can't fly a big plane and she's working in very a dangerous conditions.

    Audrey continues to write to James, but she's very concerned by his letters, the war has changed him and in his last letter it's almost like he's saying goodbye to her? Will she ever see or hear from James again, she starts to really think about their relationship and are they just friends?

    Audrey and her fellow pilots work long hours, the war takes it's toll, both physically and mentally. I shed quite a few tears, when one of Audrey's friends dies in a tragic flying accident and it's breaks your heart.

    I really enjoyed The Flight Girls, thank you Mira Publishing and Noelle Salazar for giving me the chance to read her first book. I gave The Flight Girls four stars and look forward to reading her next book.

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Have you heard of the Women Airforce Service Pilots from World War II?

    In 1941, Audrey Coltrane loves to fly. Her father taught her back home in Texas. She signs up to train military pilots in Hawaii as the war is starting.

    She’s also not interested in romance because she’s focused on her career, but she forms a stron

    ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

    Have you heard of the Women Airforce Service Pilots from World War II?

    In 1941, Audrey Coltrane loves to fly. Her father taught her back home in Texas. She signs up to train military pilots in Hawaii as the war is starting.

    She’s also not interested in romance because she’s focused on her career, but she forms a strong friendship with Lieutenant James Hart.

    Audrey is in the air when Pearl Harbor is bombed. This spurs her to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots program. When James is missing, Audrey is fighting for her country and also for James.

    Oh my, strong women! I was so inspired by Audrey’s story and that of the women beside her. I adored Audrey, and I loved her relationships with all the other women. The bond was solid, and they looked out for each other as those in the military do.

    I breezed right through The Flight Girls. It’s written smoothly and evokes every emotion. There is a romance here, but at the center of the story is these formidable women and what they did to protect our country. A beautifully written, well-told story.

    I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

    My reviews can also be found on my blog:

  • Jenna Bookish

    My thanks to NetGalley and MIRA for sending me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher.

    I’ll start this out by freely admitting that I seem to be in the minority opinion on this one. I read a lot of rave reviews and went in with super high hopes, ready for a WWII story with a lot of substance and a strong, interesting female protagonist. What I got felt more… fluffy romance set against a dark backdrop.

    The book

    My thanks to NetGalley and MIRA for sending me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher.

    I’ll start this out by freely admitting that I seem to be in the minority opinion on this one. I read a lot of rave reviews and went in with super high hopes, ready for a WWII story with a lot of substance and a strong, interesting female protagonist. What I got felt more… fluffy romance set against a dark backdrop.

    The book definitely plays lip service to the idea of a strong female lead, but it doesn’t really feel like it goes beyond that. Audrey is not like other girls because she likes to fly planes and doesn’t want to get married and have babies. The only reason she doesn’t want to get married and have babies, by the way, seems to be because it’d be nearly impossible to find a husband who would “allow” her to keep flying. I think this really gets at the heart of my issue with Audrey: that her love of flight really felt like her singular defining character trait. She never starting feeling like a person to me. I love that she had an unconventional passion for a woman of the time, but that’s not enough on its own to make her an interesting character.

    Another reviewer on Goodreads also pointed out some anachronisms in the novel. This truly isn’t something that bothers me as a reader (barring something ridiculous like if Audrey were to suddenly pull out a flip phone) but for readers who are super into the accuracy of their history, it’s bound to ruffle some feathers.

    The romance, while it took up a bigger part of the story than I would have liked, was fine. I liked that Audrey found someone who shared her passion and there seemed to be a huge amount of respect between the two of them, especially considering the normal power dynamics of a relationship in the time period. This felt healthy and sweet, if a bit predictable (although what romance isn’t?) My only real qualm with the romance aspect of the book was that I’m not a huge fan of the basic concept of the story, which was: “girl who adamantly never wants to get married discovers she just hasn’t met the right man yet!” I think The Flight Girls will appeal to romance fans far more than historical fiction fans, which seems odd given the premise and marketing of the book.

    The Flight Girls is a story with a lot of potential that, while it missed the mark for me personally, seems to be a huge hit with a lot of readers. Pick this up if you’re in the mood a light read, but don’t expect hard-hitting historical fiction that makes you think. This is Noelle Salazar’s debut novel, and I do think she has tons of potential. I’m excited to see what she writes next!

    You can read all of my reviews on my blog,

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