Sunday, July 24, 2011

Book Review: The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow

I was really not impressed by this book (but very happy to have at least added another book to my 2011 Reading List).  The Girl Who Fell from the Sky was like something I could have read in middle school.  The characters seriously lacked depth and the plot, which was really boring and uncomplicated, didn't make up for it. I guessed at the resolution to the main "suspense" early in the book.   It just left me wanting . . . 50 pages left to the  novel and I couldn't wait to get through it in hopes that something, anything would happen.  And it never did.  Also, I found the style of writing to be choppy and all over the place although I can respect that author's attempt at artistry in her writing.  

I wanted to like this book.  It promised to explore issues of race from the perspective of a biracial girl.  I was hoping for a wonderful peek into how a biracial girl, living in an urban (read: predominantly lower-income Black neighborhood) would negotiate her way in this setting.  The main character, Rachel, seems to deal with issues that would not be exclusive to her as a biracial girl.  The teasing is something that anyone who is different (i.e., who doesn't fall into the "normal" category for a particular culture which in this case is low-income, inner-city, Black culture) can expect.  Things like being ridiculed for not being "black" enough or trying to "act white" or being accused of thinking oneself better or smarter or just different.  And the character of Rachel doesn't handle herself in any way that would stand out.  In fact, the main issue Rachel seems to be dealing with is the psychotic behavior of her desperate mom and the repercussions of bad decisions.  And this is heavy stuff but Durrow keeps it at the cotton candy, fluffy sweet level and we never get to delve deeply into theses issues (and, as I was hoping, how they are complicated by the fact that Rachel is half-Black and half-White).  Some real potential there, I thought.  

The book really just fell flat, unfortunately.  Sorry, I can't recommend this one.  

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