Falling Through Darkness by Carolyn MacCullough

Falling Through Darkness by Carolyn MacCulloughTitleFalling Through Darkness
Author:  Carolyn MacCullough
Publisher:  Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date:  September 12, 2003
Hardcover: 160 pages

Synopsis (From Goodreads):  Ginny can’t resist daredevil Aidan–until the night he crosses the line between games and reality. She survives, he doesn’t, and everyone thinks it’s an accident. Lost somewhere between past and present, she meets Caleb., a much older man with secrets of his own.

In richly limned scenes, Carolyn MacCullough debuts as a strong new voice in young adult literature.

What I loved about the book:  The voice of the protagonist, Ginny, is a realistic one.  Her issues are the issues that a lot of teenagers face today, and I can respect that.  Aidan’s story, though told indirectly through Ginny, is heart wrenching, and it really makes the reader want to reach out to him and help.  I do very much enjoy the actual writing.  Transitions are smooth, the language is such that teens can easily understand what’s going on, but adults don’t feel as though they are reading something meant for 7th or 8th grade reading level.

What I did not love about the book:  I did not approve of the close relationship of Ginny with her father’s adult tenant, Caleb. The way the author describes Ginny smoking a cigarette, on the very first page, is quite literally apalling.  Sweetness?  Come on now.  Lets not romanticize smoking. It’s a bad, vile habit.  What really got me, though, was lack of closure I felt at the end of the story.  It really seemed to me that there was more of Ginny’s story to tell, and she didn’t get to tell it.

General thoughts:  The author’s way with words made this coming-of-age story about love, death, life, and survival an enjoyable read, even though I did not entirely love the story.  Ginny is easy to relate to, easy to understand, if not completely likeable. Would I recommend this book to my nieces and nephews? Probably not.  Would I get all up in arms if they read it anyway? Definitely not.  There’s nothing essentially wrong with the book, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Rating:  6 of 10

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