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All stability in sixteen-year-old Ridge McCoy’s life crashed and burned in the plane crash that killed his dad. This summer-long basketball camp is his chance to improve his skills and escape his problems back home. But his summer plans take a turn in an unexpected direction when he meets Micah Youngblood, the guy who runs the carousel at the local mall and has a reputation for devouring straight boys’ heterosexuality for breakfast, alongside his chocolate chip pancakes.
Ridge needs a way to avoid the guys at camp, whose only quest for the summer is to drown in beer and hook up with girls. So when Micah offers to explain how the ten unique horses on the carousel are significant to his tribe, Ridge takes him up on it. Still, Ridge can’t decide if this is a bad thing or not. All he knows is that he hasn’t felt this alive since his dad fell from the sky, and as the horse adventures come to an end, Ridge finds himself falling as well – for Micah.
“I need more time than what you have tonight. It’d seriously take all day just to tell you about one horse, much less ten. You know, I could just show you instead. Give me ten days this summer”
Similar to last year’s “New Author Week” event – this year, we were supposed to read books from Debut Authors (in M/M) of 2014 – I found myself again struggling to find which author to read. The debut authors I was interested in, I had read their works. So whom should I pick? I am quite picky these days and I need to feel that ‘connection’ between the blurb and the sub-genre to even be willing to try new-to-me authors.
And again, like last year, I decided to go with a Young Adult book (last year I picked “Haffling” by Caleb James) simply because I thought I needed to use the event to also read more of this sub-genre. Nikki Godwin has written several young adult themed books prior to “Falling from the Sky” and it seems like she won hearts of YA-readers with those. So I thought I’d give this LGBT debut of hers as my choice.
To be honest, I’m having a difficult time describing what the story is all about. I actually had a friend ask me that and I stumbled with my reply. To me, this is a kind of story that just … flows.
Basically, sixteen-year-old Ridge McCoy meets Micah Youngblood when Ridge attends a summer-long baseball camp, and what strikes as tentative friendship at first (at least from Ridge’s side) progresses into a more complex situation as Ridge finds himself falling for the boy. In between those summer days, we have Micah showing Ridge the joys of carousel horses, jumping from a bridge, riding ferris wheel, or simply playing Zombie Raiders xBox game.
Of course we also had inner conflict happening – Ridge never saw himself as liking boys and he currently is with a girlfriend, albeit their relationship is pretty much as dead as the slayed humans on the zombie game.
Writing wise, it felt slightly less sophisticated – especially if I have to compare it with most of the books I read that were published by bigger/mainstream publishers. However, at the same time, it also felt accessible and unpretentious. Characterization wise, I found it quite difficult to connect with Ridge, and often found myself being frustrated by his inability to make a decision when it came to Micah and his current girlfriend. He just took a bit too long to get out from that situation. Even if the girlfriend, later on, was written as one who was not quite sympathetic after all. Then again, I am probably not the most patient reader when dealing with teenage angst, which is why my relationship with the Young Adult genre is lukewarm at most.
Micah, on the other hand, is quite wonderful. Micah’s willingness to open himself to heartbreak, by attaching himself to befriend a white boy who only visits Bear Creek during a summer-camp, and one he knows is in relationship, was both admirable and poignant. I found Micah brave to risk his heart like so.
“Falling from the Sky” might not be a deep life-changing read, and at times it went to a meandering state and slightly pointless repetitiveness … but overall, this falls into an ‘okay’ read for me.
Title: Falling From The Sky
Author: Nikki Godwin
Release Date: February 21, 2014
Purchase Links: Amazon