Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In the Path of Falling Objects by Andrew Smith

Smith, Andrew. In the Path of Falling Objects, 323 pgs. Feiwel and Friends, 2009. $17.99. Language-PG (5 swears); Sexual Content-PG-13; Violence-PG-13. During the Vietnam War, two teenage boys are abandoned by their mother and leave home in search of their father who is being released from prison. Their horse dies and they start to walk carrying the letters from their brother in Vietnam, a change of clothes, and a gun. Simon, the younger brother, decides to hitchhike and flags down a vehicle before his older brother Jonah can stop them. Mitch and Lily pick them up. Mitch has already murdered two men and is dangerous. Lily is pregnant and on her way to California for an abortion. Lily flirts with all of the guys and sleeps with Jonah in a hotel while Simon and Mitch are drunk and stoned. When Mitch discovers them his anger is uncontrollable. Will the three passengers leave this car ride alive? The novel is predominantly told from Jonah’s perspective; however, other characters narrate different chapters making the plot feel contrived. The characters are static and their motivations not fully explored. The letters from the brother in Vietnam are the best part of this novel. NOT RECOMMENDED. Samantha, Public Librarian.

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