Saturday, November 23, 2013

Review: The Paradox of Vertical Flight - Emil Ostrovski

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (Pretty nifty.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Page Count: 256 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Jack has made some mistakes in life, but in his defense he's young and a romantic, so his ideas are little bit off. The morning of his eighteenth birthday he is contemplating suicide, but then his cell phone rings. This call will bring him to the complete opposite side of suicide. His ex-girlfriend's has just given birth to a child, that he helped create and she wants him to come. At the hospital Jack finds out that she's giving the baby up for adoption, but Jack isn't ready for that and ends up kidnapping him. Jack just wants to instill some wisdom to his son before he is no longer "his son". Although Jack might be the one gaining wisdom on this wacky road trip that ends up dragging a few more people along in it's winds. Jack's friend, Tommy and Jack's ex both end up on this strange trip to show Socrates the world and find out what all this means for them.

I wish there were books like this when I was in high school. If there were, I certainly couldn't find them. I loved the philosophical aspect of this novel. The great debates about existence and the meaning of everything. These are the kind of conversation my friends and I would have (not always under the influence of alcohol). Jack's head was a strange place and he just wasn't sure where he was going in life. It's hard to understand that not many people know what they are doing, they just go along for the ride.

This was a short read but chock full of philosophical quandaries like: why? and why? and WHY? This was a story about growing up and what that means. About choosing a path and being okay with the changes you have to make on the way. A story about responsibilities and how they change as your life goes on and how you aren't responsible for the world. It's okay to ask for help and it's okay to not know the answer to everything, as long as you're willing to try. In the end, the main goal for everyone should always be to be happy.

First Line:
"The rain blurs the world outside the diner, turns it into a mirage that shifts in the wind and the water and the lights."

Favorite Lines:
"'Could be a trap,' he says, and even in the dark, I know we're both thinking of the same thing, Admiral Fish-Face in Revenge of the Jedi going, 'IT'S A TRAP.'"

"Our border crossing is pretty anticlimactic, as Vermont looks exactly like New Hampshire."

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