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Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't Fly by P.T. Jones Book Review

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Genre: Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Author: P.T. Jones
Date Published: May 27, 2014
Publisher: ChiTeen
Size: 250
Edition: ebook (ARC via netgalley)
ISBN: 9781771481748

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Synopsis:

Things Mary doesn’t want to fall into: the river, high school, her mother’s life.

Things Mary does kind of want to fall into: love, the sky.
This is the story of a girl who sees a boy float away one fine day. This is the story of the girl who reaches up for that boy with her hand and with her heart. This is the story of a girl who takes on the army to save a town, who goes toe-to-toe with a mad scientist, who has to fight a plague to save her family. This is the story of a girl who would give anything to get to babysit her baby brother one more time. If she could just find him.
It’s all up in the air for now, though, and falling fast. . . .
Fun, breathlessly exciting, and full of heart, Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly is an unforgettable ride.

Review:
Who would have guessed that this book was written as a collaboration of two males? Collaboration is one thing, written by a man (or men for that matter) is quite another. "P.T. Jones" is Stephen Graham Jones and Paul Tremblay. This book is their first novel together.

As to why I'm surprised, I just thought that the narration is the kind which is probably written by a female. I think that it has something to do with the exchange of texts between the female protagonist, Mary and her best friend, Liv. The male authors had this take on the usage of modern language among teens (or preteens) which I find annoying. If only they stick with what I consider is normal, I wouldn't be bothered by what I consider is a trashy communication. Or maybe it's just the way things are there in the States.

But overall, I find the story quite nice.

Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly is a plain story, a journey of a girl who meets a boy who could apparently fly. Well, the synopsis above tells it all.

This month marks the highly anticipated sports event in the world (except perhaps the USA & my country, Philippines), The FIFA World Cup 2014 that I find it hard to read a book. Brazil is geographically the direct opposite of my country so our time's equally opposite with my country 11 hours in advance. I have to watch the games when I'm supposed to be asleep.

I was struggling finishing this book. If I wasn't lucky that the protagonist is a soccer (*ehem* football) player, albeit I never get to witness her play the sports (her being a soccer player was just a background to justify her physical skills and physique), I don't think I'd have this connection with the protagonist with the football season.

So Mary being a member of the soccer varsity does help me connect with her because I really love the sport.

The introduction simply took me. There's this curiosity as to why this stranger of a boy go crashing into a private clan affair. Mary was wondering whether this cute boy was a relative of hers (a Claremont), attending her little cousin's birthday party. And then this boy suddenly went up a tree and just float up and away like a balloon.

I find the depiction of the Claremonts funny and agreeable. The Claremonts are Mary's kin and she'd never associate herself with them. There is just something about a group of people so engrossed in their religious beliefs and superstitions that they don't act rationally anymore.

All of Claremonts were shaken when the boy flew away and turned on their beliefs of "Evil visiting their stead". They became news that very day and the next morning, the affair was called "The Birthday Party Hoax" when an old man selling balloons in human shape appeared on tv for an interview. Days later, Mary's 4-year brother catches a flu and so does the birthday celebrant. More days and the whole town turned sluggish. Adults have gone sick and kids could float, except Mary.

Whether being driven by her curiosity of the boy or just eager to find a solution of her little brother's sickness, that is the ability to float, Mary finds herself slowly falling for the boy that it grew her concern for the welfare of the said boy who was without a name and a normal life.

Well, I know that kind of complex. The "I'm-gonna-fix-you-and-you-will-never-ever-be-lonely-again" kind of complex. Well, the thing is... I love this complex! Fixing-a-bad-boy, Fixing-a-man-with-a-fucked-up-childhood and the variety of Fixing-a-man really appeal to me. I'm all for that kind of complex!

The introduction was promising when it comes to the "feels" of the characters. Unfortunately, the authors focused on the plot that the emotional connection between Mary and Floating Boy to me as a reader was trampled. I love the emotional factor, it was what has driven me to read the book halfway.

And then the story took a turn and just focused on what's going on in Ipswich.

Ipswich by the way is a very curious place. The authors had chosen a perfect spot for shady experiments. Massachusetts is home to MIT (need I say more?) and Ipswich is home to the last withcraft trial in the US.

The setting was perfect and I don't care less of the explanation behind Floating Boy's ability to float. First of all, I only cared of my emotions when I initially read the book. The authors should have focused on that, the emotional connection.

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