Sixteen-year-old Clancy Edwards has always been “the good girl.” Ever since her mother died in a skydiving accident when Clancy was young, Clancy’s father has watched her like a hawk. Between her dad’s rules and her boyfriend’s protectiveness, she’s longing for an escape this summer. Then she meets Denny.
Denny is a new skydiving student and college freshman. Clancy lets Denny think they’re the same age–and that she’s old enough to make decisions for herself. But the lies snowball, relationships are damaged, and suddenly Clancy isn’t the person she wants to be. If only making choices were as simple as taking a leap out of a plane. Before Clancy can make things right, one last act of rebellion threatens her chance to do so–maybe forever.
To begin, I received a copy of this book for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation aside from the enjoyment of reading the story.
I’m not usually a big coming-of-age reader and I personally don’t care for heights, but there was something about the blurb or the cover that pulled me to try this book. I’m glad it did.
Carys Clancy is a teenager who lives with an overprotective father, a careful presence, and the constant reminder of her mother’s death. The constant reminder is that of the DZ, Drop Zone. No, she doesn’t seem haunted by her mother’s death in the sense that she feels guilty, but there is a lingering presence of her mother in the story.
As the blurb states, Clancy meets a young man, Denny, and makes some decisions that may or may not have been the best, but definitely help her grow as a person.
To keep myself from spoiling you, I should say that I definitely relate to Clancy. I’m not the child of overprotective parents (at least, I don’t think I am. Maybe I am. I don’t know), however, I am cautious. Always have been. I like everything so, no surprises, and with just enough control that the world seems right.
But that doesn’t mean that I starve for excitement.
It is the same way for Clancy. She starves for an opinion, excitement, and to break out of her shell in some way. This book is not only about her trying to find herself, but also trying to prove to herself and her father that she isn’t a china doll.
Her character is so relatable that I don’t think any adult has ever lived without these insecurities or desires. She’s also intelligent and snarky. I found her to be an inspirational character.
To top it off, Barrett’s writing style is smooth. You can see the world and the characters and aren’t forced into a cookie cutter narrative. I actually wanted to be there. From the very beginning, I was pulled in.
I don’t think I would be skydiving as my one act of self, but I do see how it could be freeing. This is definitely a good read.
Final Rating: 4/5
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tracy Barrett has written more than twenty books for children and young adults. She’s much too interested in too many things to stick to one genre, and has published nonfiction as well as historical fiction, mysteries, fantasy, time travel, myth and fairy-tale retellings, and contemporary realistic novels. She knows more about ancient Greece and Rome and the European Middle Ages than anyone really needs to know, can read lots of dead languages, and used to jump out of airplanes.
A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study medieval women writers led to the writing of her first novel, the award-winning Anna of Byzantium (Delacorte). Her most recent publications are a contemporary YA novel, Freefall Summer, which draws on her own skydiving adventures; a middle-grade fantasy entitled Marabel and the Book of Fate; The Song of Orpheus: The Greatest Greek Myths You Never Heard, a collection of little-known Greek myths; and the popular middle-grade series The Sherlock Files.
From 1999 to 2009 Tracy Barrett was the Regional Advisor for the Midsouth (Tennessee and Kentucky) with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is now SCBWI’s Regional Advisor Coordinator.
Tracy grew up near New York City, and went to college in New England and graduate school in California. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree with honors in Classics-Archaeology from Brown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Italian Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. She was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study medieval women writers and won the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Work-in-Progress Grant in 2005. She taught Italian and other subjects at Vanderbilt University for almost thirty years. She has two grown children and lives in Tennessee with her husband and two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Casia Pickering is a multi-genre author and has contributed to over ten anthologies. She has maintained her website, Casia's Corner for over ten years and continues to help authors with her reviews. Casia lives in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia with her son.
View all posts by CasiaPickering