Book Review: Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly


ashley | Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly by  Stephen Graham Jones and Paul Tremblay sounded strange and quirky and intriguing, so obviously I was attracted to it and wanted to check it out.

I can easily say this is one of the stranger books I’ve read. And not the kind of strange you would be expecting, not the fact that a boy was floating, but more so the interactions between characters and the tone of voice throughout it.  The book is written in a very conversational tone, narrated by the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly, Mary. She’s a teen and her tone is that of a teen, pretty flippant and lots of word fillers that have no real context in conversation. There are a number of modern cultural references, which I mostly get a kick out of, but there are also a lot of text conversations and rambling teenage talk that is just not my thing.

But it’s more than that, too. There’s just such an odd awkwardness between everyone. And I don’t mean the charming awkwardness that’s sort of cool right now, it’s just almost like none of the characters fit together or Mary really doesn’t have any connection or draw to any of them and neither did I. Or maybe it was that it didn’t seem like any of the characters really developed? Nobody seems very expressive about anything. Mary herself seems kind of flat, even her anger, frustration and disappointment didn’t seem to register any deep emotion. Everything she put out there in her conversational narrative was just explanations of what was happening, but nothing about what she was feeling or how this situation was impacting her.

We are supposed to believe she’s developing feelings and a closeness to Floating Boy but it isn’t really explored to the depths that it could have been. I’m hoping that a lot of this is the result of the short read. Maybe if there was more to it, there would be more room to explore these relationships a bit and express some more emotion.

This did introduce me to a whole new publisher, though. ChiZine Publications, though not new, is new to me. “Embrace the Odd” they exclaim and this excites me. I love odd, I love strange, I’m definitely going to have to pay more attention to them.

I’m honestly not too sure what I thought about this book, it seems like there was a lot of potential for it to be something really cute and quirky, but for a book about floating and flying, it never really seemed to lift off.


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November 11, 2014

Net Galley