Book Review: Like Falling from an Airplane
Reviewed by Jaylynn Korrell
A fast-paced novel of family, betrayal, and undeniable attraction
If you love a bad boy, a shot of tequila, or a forbidden love story, you’ll be more than pleased to read Like Falling from an Airplane. James Antonini has created a swirling storm of events in this quick literary fiction.
Jonathan is a rebel without a cause if there ever was one. He finds joy in spending the majority of his 20s living on the edge, and this is exactly how we’re introduced to him. In just the first chapter he manages to lose his mothers car, get only half of his hair cut, steal a new car, and ultimately get arrested for attempting to score with a stripper.
This is all in attempts to get ready for his brother William’s rehearsal dinner, a man who is the antithesis of Jonathan. While William was busy getting an education, becoming a doctor, and getting engaged to one hell of a woman, Jonathan was busy getting into trouble. But when a girl who truly sees him comes along, he starts to consider the possibility of more for his life.
While Antonini created a character who is undoubtedly a screw up, readers will find that he is also so full of life that you can’t help but want to tag along with him.
Thankfully his new sister-in-law, Katherine, is willing to do just that. After a disastrous first meeting, she decided to meet him outside for a cigarette that sparks a connection between the unlikely pair. While Katherine also appears much different from Jonathan, they soon find that each other’s company is one of the few safe spaces left in their respective worlds. And as their relationship strengthens, William is left wondering why or how such a pairing could be possible.
As you can imagine, betrayal is a major theme in this story, though with a little backstory readers will be forced to jump off their moral high horse and open up to the idea that families at their best are extremely complicated. While on the surface things seem very cut and dry, a little backstory and character development will show you that these characters aren’t exactly who they seem to be. I really enjoyed having my mind changed about a few of them and was intrigued by the pace in which everything plays out.
Though a simple narrative framing, Like Falling From an Airplane hits all the key points for the story it’s trying to tell. At just over 150 pages, there isn’t much room for extra details, which at times can make the story feel glossed over. But Antonini does a good job of developing Jonathan, who transforms into a character that I really ended up enjoying. Some other characters, like Katherine, ended up feeling a little one dimensional.
I had a fun time going on the roller coaster ride that is this book, and I feel confident that most readers will feel the same.
Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Life
Print Length: 160 pages
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