The Speed of Falling Objects

Inkyard. Oct. 2019. 384p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781335928245.
Gr 8 Up–After a childhood accident that leaves Danger “Danny” Warren with one eye and ultimately an estranged father, she jumps at the chance when her famous survivalist dad, Cougar, invites her to appear on his show for her birthday. Even better, she’ll be filming with heartthrob-of-the-moment Gus Price in the Amazon forest. Disaster strikes when a violent storm throws the crew’s plane into uncharted wilds. Now, Danny has to rely on her instincts, inhibited by a past that made her fearful and indecisive, and a group of perfect strangers to survive the jungle. This is an adventure-survival novel driven by the clear and relevant theme of what happens when children realize their parents are only human. Mature Danny easily finds a home in the hearts of readers as she spends a significant amount of time with her father for the first time. Paired with a unique plot, Danny’s story is a memorable one. Fischer throws an impressive amount of detail and knowledge of the natural and medical worlds into the rich setting while tracing character arcs that are both realistic and riveting. Through Danny, Fischer thoughtfully leads readers through growth and understanding in challenging physical and mental circumstances that are fascinating in their own right. A seemingly extraneous love story muddies an otherwise engrossing personal journey, but does conveniently help to move Danny’s evolution.
VERDICT For fans of Jessi Kirby’s The Other Side of Lost and Danika Stone’s Switchback, this is a shining star among young adult survivalist stories.

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