Hilarious, deeply moving, mind-bending, original, romantic, and surprising, this debut teen novel by Emil Ostrovski will appeal to fans of John Green, Chris Crutcher, and Andrew Smith. Gary Shteyngart, author of the New York Times bestseller Super Sad True Love Story, says: "Do yourself a favor and get inside a car with Emil Ostrovski immediately The Paradox of Vertical Flight is an amazing road trip.Read more...
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Hilarious, deeply moving, mind-bending, original, romantic, and surprising, this debut teen novel by Emil Ostrovski will appeal to fans of John Green, Chris Crutcher, and Andrew Smith. Gary Shteyngart, author of the New York Times bestseller Super Sad True Love Story, says: "Do yourself a favor and get inside a car with Emil Ostrovski immediately The Paradox of Vertical Flight is an amazing road trip. You're in for one heck of a ride." An Indie Next Pick
On the morning of his eighteenth birthday, Jack Polovsky kidnaps his own baby, names him Socrates, stocks up on baby supplies at Walmart, and hits the road with his best friend, Tommy, and with the baby's mother, Jess. As they head to Grandma's house (eluding the police at every turn), Jack tells baby Socrates the Greek myths because all stories spring from those stories, really. Even this one. By turns funny, heart wrenching, and wholly original, this debut novel by Emil Ostrovski explores the nature of family, love, friendship, fatherhood, and myth.
"Shares a sense of humor and philosophical bent with such YA authors as John Green and Chris Crutcher. But the story and likable characters are Ostrovsky's own, a delightful mix of quirky, intelligent, naive, well-intentioned, and just plain dumb teens. A delightful success." ALA Booklist"
- ISBN-13: 9780062238528
- ISBN-10: 0062238523
- Publisher: Greenwillow Books
- Publish Date: September 2013
- Page Count: 256
- Reading Level: Ages 14-UP
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-09-23
- Reviewer: Staff
An odd combination of navel-gazing, existential pondering, and twee zaniness characterizes Ostrovski’s debut, an entertaining if sometimes muddled story about teen parenting, love, and philosophy. Periodically suicidal student Jack is contemplating swallowing pills on his 18th birthday when his ex-girlfriend, Jess, calls him to say that she’s going into labor. Jack isn’t ready to give the baby up for adoption (Jess’s plan), and his spontaneous decision to leave the hospital with the baby leads to a series of road-trip shenanigans that eventually have the two new parents, Jack’s friend Tommy, and baby Socrates packed into a truck heading toward Jack’s grandmother’s house. Ostrovski has fun casually intermixing flashbacks into the story, as well as not-quite-Socratic monologues from Jack to his son (“What we do, how we act—it’s just a response to how we’ve been shaped throughout our lives. It’s just us responding to momentum”). The occasional serious moments—mostly surrounding Jack’s grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s disease—help anchor the story, but it’s a long, meandering journey for Jack to emerge from his self-involved fog. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laura Langlie. (Oct.)