Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Book Review: The Speed of Falling Objects

If you do nothing else this year- read this book. That's the preamble I'm giving you. We have to get right into this.
The Speed of Falling Objects - Nancy Richardson Fischer

Danger "Danny" Danielle Warren is no stranger to falling. After losing an eye in a childhood accident, she had to relearn her perception of movement and space. Now Danny keeps her head down, studies hard, and works to fulfill everyone else's needs. She's certain that her mom's bitterness and her TV star father's absence are her fault. If only she were more―more athletic, charismatic, attractive―life would be perfect.

When her dad calls with an offer to join him to film the next episode of his popular survivalist show, Danny jumps at the chance to prove she's not the disappointment he left behind. Being on set with the hottest teen movie idol of the moment, Gus Price, should be the cherry on top. But when their small plane crashes in the Amazon, and a terrible secret is revealed, Danny must face the truth about the parent she worships and falling for Gus, and find her own inner strength and worth to light the way home.

If you are a long time reader of my blog (thanks!) you know I don't mess around with my rating scale. I'm often picky, I've been told I'm too strict with my ratings. I'm totally OK with that because I feel like the human brain is pretty great and I refuse it's limited to just a few tropes we see over and over again, so I'm always looking for something different. Something I can't go and find ten variations of at the book store.

The Speed of Falling Objects is that book, I'm giving it 5 stars, and it will be on my top 10 list of best books this year. No question.

I'm telling you right now that even though this is a YA book- adults will LOVE it. Teenagers are going to love this (my two middle school kids are absolutely glued to this right now) and I feel like this is a story so many are going to relate to. I will warn you: people die in this book and there are a couple of spots that might be icky for delicate kids. Yes, I'm calling some kids delicate. I grew up reading R.L. Stine Fear Street books and I remember there was one where he detailed what a dead body washed up on the beach was like so if you can handle that, you can certainly handle this book.


The story is all about Danger Danny Warren, a girl on the cusp of her seventeenth birthday who after a childhood accident is blind in one eye. The majority of her life has been learning to adapt to the loss of vision and she once was a daring, brave girl and now she (rightfully so) is timid, unsure, and scared of everything. Her mom is a nurse who isn't an effusively loving mom and her dad who is mostly MIA but he happens to be a reality TV star (kind of like Bear Grylls) and she longs for the days of being close to her dad. When he calls and surprises her with a trip to the Amazon to be on his show (which she is a big fan of), she absolutely jumps at the chance but before she leaves she discovers something that puts her relationship with mom into a tailspin.

A doomed trip from the start she quickly realizes that it isn't going to be a father-daughter bonding trip but an episode of his show where she is the star along with... a teen heartthrob. You know this isn't going to end well but the story isn't all about this doomed trip, but the relationships you form in a crisis, being able to dig deep when you feel least capable, surviving incredibly dangerous and terrifying situations, and also learning that the person we remember in our head isn't always who they actually are. Every aspect of a person is seen differently by different people. You see confident, I see cruel and arrogant.

As a parent, it was actually painful for me to read Danny's thoughts as she's trying to understand her dad and his motives, learning some hard truths about the past she thought she understood, and justifying things along the way when you just want to shake her and tell her what the rest of us already know. I can absolutely see many kids identifying with her and that sense of abandonment and always wondering if it was something they did to make that parent stay away and it's handled so well here. 

I have to tell you as well, that even though the Amazon has never been on my bucket list, it for damn sure isn't now. I remember learning about it and how deadly it is but this was terrifying in spots and I'll tell you there isn't a chance I would have made it. NOPE. Hard freaking pass. I don't eat vegetables as it is, not a dang chance you'd catch me nibbling on grubs. GAG. Really, just typing that out made me gag you guys.

I had a hard time putting this one down and got it read in a little over a day and then my kids stole it and are taking turns reading it before bed. This really is an adventurous thriller that will keep you glued to the pages and you'll be so proud of these characters by the end. (Well, most of them. There's one that just... is the most selfish ever and their ending was just such a freaking cop out. One frog wasn't enough. Which makes no sense to you now, but it will when you read it.)
I cannot thank Ink Yard Press and Nancy Richardson Fischer more for my ARC of this. Truly. And you know the drill- this post contains affiliate links and happy shopping!


mypixieblog said...

Woah. Have not heard of this book but will add to my list-read list, always looking for adventure books and doings like there is a bit of mystery involved here as well—score!! Also love that this is a book you loved and your kids are into, too! Here’s to getting lost in a book 📚

Beth (Coffee Until Cocktails) said...

I actually really enjoy reading YA books and this one sounds amazing. It is for sure going on my list especially with such high praise from you!

Anonymous said...

I have very high standards when it comes to books, so I'm also strict with my ratings. I actually trust readers who are over people who rate every book a five star just because. This sounds like an interesting book! I love books that have deep, well-developed characters.

Lorna said...

I rate actual five-star books 10 stars. I'm another adult who reads YA, and this one sounds like it would fit #DisabilityReadathon, too.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Woah, high praise indeed. I'm glad this was a good read for you and that the big kids are enjoying it too.