Title: Free Falling
Author: Emery C. Walters
Publisher: JMS Books/Queerteen Press
Pages/Word Count: 41 Pages
At a Glance: Free Falling was all over the place and difficult to sink my teeth into.
Reviewed By: Taz
Blurb: Evan has family problems. He has a special-needs brother whom he adores and clueless parents. His senior class writing assignment is overdue because he ended up in the hospital. The reason why involves his new classmate, Jamison, and the realization that he is almost certainly gay.
Jamison has his own issues. His mom died of cancer and he misses her, but at least his dad is supportive. Things are looking up now that Evan is in the picture.
Christmas is a bust for Evan. Jamison and his dad fly off to see relatives, leaving Evan alone with his dysfunctional parents and ill brother, but at least an intriguing new girl has moved in next door. New Year’s Eve looks promising until Evan’s parents tag him to babysit his brother while they party. When tragedy strikes that night, who will be there for Evan? With family problems keeping him and Jamison apart, can a death bring them back together?
Review: When I read the blurb for Free Falling, I got the sense this would be a book that was deep and complex. Plus, it was categorized as Young Adult, so I felt like all of these issues would be interesting to witness in younger characters.
What I enjoyed about the book was the sense of author throughout. The story is told in the first person from the point of view of Evan, and the writing style is kind of conversational, like Evan is talking to us, the readers. Though while cute, and very funny in one rooftop accident scene, this book left very little to the imagination.
Unfortunately, the style did not serve the book well, in my opinion, nor did the plotline, with so much going on. Perhaps if this had been written as a novel, and perhaps not in first person, each scenario, character, and nuance could have been further developed so that we could really get into the whole of the story. This book did not have enough pages to accomplish that. Instead, we get a small period of time in the life of a high school boy who’s about to be an adult, experiencing a lot of different things in a short amount of pages. The confusion and lack of life-experience within Evan was believable but came through a story which, for me, was too all over the place and difficult to sink my teeth into.
You can buy Free Falling here: