In The Path Of Falling Objects by Andrew Smith
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: October 12th 2010
Synopsis: Jonah and his younger brother, Simon, are on their own. They set out to find what’s left of their family, carrying between them ten dollars, a backpack full of dirty clothes, a notebook, and a stack of letters from their brother, who is serving a tour in Vietnam. And soon into their journey, they have a ride. With a man and a beautiful girl who may be in love with Jonah. Or Simon. Or both of them.
The man is crazy. The girl is desperate. This violent ride is only just beginning. And it will leave the brothers taking cover from hard truths about loyalty, love, and survival that crash into their lives.
One more thing: The brothers have a gun. They’re going to need it.
In the Path of Falling Objects made me feel, in a word, dusty. Not the itchy-dust kind of dusty, but the kind of dusty where one feels like they are in a desert, in the presence of miles and miles of sand. With the hot, burning sun on their back. That’s the kind of dusty I felt when I was reading this. The genuine, realistic kind of dusty. Does that make sense? I hope so.
This is a story following the journey of Jonah and his younger brother, Simon. The boys are on their own and had run away from a home they are no longer wanted in. After only a bit of time into their journey they find a car with a man and a beautiful girl driving inside. They are invited to ride with them. And thus began the two brother’s long, hard journey.
Andrew Smith seemed to put his whole heart and soul into writing this story. As I read this book I couldn’t help but marvel the obvious effort the author put into every page of In the Path of Falling Objects. It really shows. The story radiates excellence, rawness, and power.
The characters in In The Path of Falling Objects are very well rendered. I thought that I could feel them at times. It was as if they had their own heartbeats. I could feel the insanity and evil that Mitch contained. I could feel Simon’s anger and his strength. I could feel Jonah’s love for his brother, his determination, and his need to protect Simon. I could feel Lilly’s desperation. I could feel everything about these characters. They were powerful, tangible.
Smith’s prose gets the job done well and I really don’t have anything to complain about it. He writes the point of view of a male character realistically and Jonah never sounded feminine. I really wouldn’t expect Jonah to sound femimine since Andrew Smith is a dude, but I thought I needed to compliment him on writing a good male POV.
The sandy atmosphere is also crafted wonderfully well. I could vividly imagine the sand beneath my feet, finding its way between my toes. I could also vividly imagine the thirst that the dryness of the desert would cause and had to get up and grab a cup of water a couple of times. If that doesn’t convince you that the atmosphere is good then I don’t know what will.
I will also applaud Smith for writing one of the best sibling relationships I have ever read in a YA novel. Jonah and Simon’s sibling relationship isn’t laid back and happy. It is actually filled with angry looks, irritation, punches, and arguments. But these two brothers love each other and when they need to show it they do. They had each other’s backs.
I feel that I should warn readers that this book is considerably violent. There is a lot of death. There will be flying bullets, bloody bullet-holes, and the occasion metallic flash of a knife. If you can’t handle the thought of that than I really can’t recommend this to you as much as I would want to.
I adore In the Path of Falling Objects. It was dusty. Sometimes it felt so dusty that I had to take a break from it every ounce in a while, but that shouldn’t keep you away from this book. This is a great thriller and one of my favorite books that I will definitely keep on my shelf and treasure. I haven’t read any of Smith’s other novels but if the others are as good as this one than I think I might have found a new favorite author. I am now eagerly looking out for Stick which is by him.