Title: The Paradox of Vertical Flight
Author: Emil Ostrovski (website)
Pub. Date: September 24, 2013
Source: e-ARC via edelweiss (Thank you, Greenwillow Books!)
Summary: What happens when you put a suicidal eighteen-year-old, his ex-girlfriend, his best friend, and his kidnapped newborn baby in a truck and send them to Grandma’s house?
Genre: YA, Contemporary
When I first heard about The Paradox of Vertical Flight I was intrigued: an 18-year old & his 21-year old ex just became parents, the baby is named Socrates, and they take off for Grandma’s house. That’s certainly unlike anything I had ever read before! I allowed curiosity to get the better of me and was horribly let down.
Jack and Jess were a summer fling. Once her college friends came back into the picture, Jack was cast off to the side and it wasn’t until she found out she was pregnant that she got back into contact with him. Now the baby has been born and Jess made the decision to give him up for adoption. Initially Jack was on board. Once he saw his son however, his feelings changed and he jumped out a hospital window with his newborn baby.
Whatever. I can totally get with wacky, slightly unrealistic plots. While Jack’s extreme irresponsibility made me cringe (leaving his HOURS-OLD son in a sink while he uses a public restroom, for instance!), what ultimately made me put this book down 45% of the way through was the writing:
“Overthrowing the patriarchy is not incompatible with romanticism, Jack.”
This gem is taken from a conversation Jack and Socrates have. Socrates the baby, not the Greek philosopher. Also, Socrates is the one who offered up this statement.
Existential angst about the pointlessness of our mundane existences, case in point, the immutability of school schedules.
These are just a few examples of the overly-pretentious writing. At first I thought it was just how the book was written, but after seeing the author’s ‘review’ on goodreads as well as his blog, I’ve realized it wasn’t the book. I also learned the author is only 22. Hopefully he’ll cut the crap soon and simply write. He definitely has potential – this novel could have been so much better! – but for now, I have to walk away.