Monday, February 3, 2014

As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins

The train was moving. Ry could hardly tell at first, but now he knew. It was gaining speed, and he wasn't fast enough to catch it. He had only gotten off for a minute, just to make a phone call—and now it was gone. He was in the middle of nowhere, alone.
Maybe it was the middle of nowhere, but to Ry, it felt like the beginning of something. Something that would take him in cars, planes, boats . . . over an ocean and back. Something like an adventure."

Well... meh. The odyssey-adventure-type stories have their merits, but I honestly just couldn't get into this one. There's nothing really enjoyable about a story that consists of "everything that can possibly go wrong, will." And in the most rambling and irrelevant way. It's pretty frustrating, frankly. Also, speaking of frustrating and irrelevant (spoilers), what teenager in his right mind decides to get in a car with a complete stranger for a cross-country trip? That stranger isn't exactly the picture of sensibility, either. All in all, the author's knack for making sure that every single possible member of the family was out on some tailspin somewhere and unable to be contacted was very creative, but not really in a good way.
And another problem I had was the fact that Ry was basically a blank slate for the entire book, like some darkish boy-shaped blob, because he was never adequately described. I couldn't relate to him or picture him. And, I suppose the author was going for a profound/deep message with the story, but either it was too incredibly deep for me to grasp (it's an honest possibility), or it was just weak and under-developed. I'd lean toward the latter. For example, if you compared the impact, delivery, and coherence of this book's message to that of a John Green book, it would fail miserably and completely. In conclusion, I just don't think I can recommend this book, but if you'd like to decide for yourself there are copies at Kettleson, SHS, and MEHS.

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