Jan 28

Review: Falling From The Sky

Falling From the Sky

By: Nikki Godwin
Release date: February 21st 2014
Genres: YA Gay Contemporary Romance

16 year old Ridge McCoy had a very unusual relationship with his father – They actually enjoyed the others company.  They enjoyed playing Xbox so much that Ridge only played when his father could join in the fun.  His dad came to all of Ridge’s basketball games and was proud of his son’s accomplishments.

They were a team until his father died in a plane crash brought to the ground by a suicidal pilot.  From that day on, Ridge’s life fell from the sky.  His mother wouldn’t go to his basketball games saying it reminded her of the husband she lost.  His five year old brother hated him and wanted nothing to do with him.  His friends at school didn’t know how to treat him.  Even his grief counselor gave up on him, saying it was hopeless to continue the process.

Falling From The Sky by Nikki GodwinA summer basketball camp get away was supposed to take Ridge from his grief, give him something to do, and allow him to find pleasure again.  He felt more alone at the camp then when at home.  He couldn’t relate to the guys at camp, whose only quest for the summer was to drown in beer and hook up with girls.  The bed felt like he was sleeping on a slab of concrete.

The basketball camp was a mistake, but he was stuck.  His choices were stick it out or go home to the world he so waned to escape from.  But his summer plans took a turn in an unexpected direction when he met Micah Youngblood, the guy who runs the carousel at the local mall.  They had nothing in common or so it seemed.  But when Micah offers to explain the meaning of the intricately decorated horses on the carousel, Ridge accepts.

Both boys were hiding feelings and used this uncommon friendship to garner a sense of belonging.  Ridge finds Micah more than mysterious especially when he joins Micah on the reservation.  Their customs and traditions far exceed anything he had ever understood.  Micah was attracted to Ridge in a way that Ridge could not initially accept.  Yet the boys continued to develop a friendship that surpassed the artificial limitations both had placed on the other.

Their relationship morphed into more than friendship.  They needed to be near each other in ways they could not put into words.  Ridge’s slow acceptance of his feelings toward Micah echoed Micah’s frustrations about Ridge.  As summer drew to a close, they realized their time together would soon end.  Neither wanted that, but couldn’t stop the clock.

They find each other to have what they long for even in their differences.

Godwin took a simple theme and built it into an amazing novel.  I must admit the beginning was a bit slow.  At one point I wondered if I would just put it down, but I felt there was a reason to continue.  I’m glad I did. Falling From The Sky was worth the read!  Give it a chance and you will probably find yourself wanting more.

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Jan 28

How Did Harry Potter Singlehandedly Change The World?

How Did Harry Potter Singlehandedly Change The World?

I recently had the occasion to re-read one of the Harry Potter novels and found it even more amazing this time around.  Seeing previews for The Harry Potter theme park at Disney-world was the impetus for my indulgence into past history.  Potter-mania has long waned, but the desire for more Potter has remained high.  The Disney theme park is a good example.

Like many before me, I have visited the theme park, found it interesting and rather exciting.  I have a wand, and other Potter memorabilia, and will visit the theme park again next year.  So what makes this series so important to our culture?  Why did this series become so popular?  How did Harry Potter singlehandedly change the world?  Read on:

The following is from a previous post that I thought relevant again.  Enjoy!

harry potterHarry Potter changed more than most people give him credit for.  True, J.K Rowling created the character called Harry Potter, but it was that character that attracted millions of followers and fans, not Rowling.  The Harry Potter series sold more than 450 million books.  J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series changed the way we look at books.

No one ever thought a young, innocent boy could develop into the world’s most recognized wizard, but indeed that is exactly what happened.  Why?

Rowling’s characters create an instant gravity for the reader.  Most young people relate to Harry in many ways.  For some it is his shy nature.  For others it’s the unbelievable conditions he is forced to live in.  Yet others imagine life as a wizard, battling the evil dark Lord Voldemort. Some all the above combined.

The reader saw Harry as their alter ego – they wanted to be Harry!  That Harry was going through hell in his personal, family and school life only added to his reality.  They associated with him so closely they wanted to be him.

Hermione GrangerMany readers associate with Hermione Granger in similar ways.  She is the ever smart, all knowing genius of the three crusaders.  For many a young girl, being the smart one has been depicted as the nerdy, glasses wearing, ugly girl.  Hermione is none of that. She is rather cute, extremely smart, and amazingly witty.  Those characteristics make her not only different from the stereotypical smart girl, but a role model for what many girls see themselves.

The seven stories were powerful, too.  They took the reader on a roller coaster of emotions, combined with suspense and mystery.  The Harry Potter books allowed the reader to suspend his/her own life and delve into a magical world that only pure imagination could conjure.  It became Okay to dream!

She created a world that, to many, could easily exist today.  Who is to say that we muggles are the only inhabitants of this world?  Could there be a Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?  Why not?  Who’s to say there isn’t such a school right now?

Harry made it okay to read, when reading was becoming passe’.  It was not only okay to read, the Harry Potter culture made it necessary to read or be left behind.  There is nothing like peer pressure to help a cause.   People didn’t clamber for more Rowling, they clambered for more Potter.

Ron WeasleyThe peer pressure became evident not only for young people, but for adults as well.  Many water cooler conversations involved the boy wizard.  If you had not read the books, your co-workers looked at you with  disrespect.  They wondered why you were not in touch with today’s reality – as unreal as it was.

Harry Potter became so real that people around the world were concerned for his well being, his ability to develop his wizardry, and the day he would eventually meet Voldemort in that fateful battle.  Most of the kids in school were reading and discussing the books as if it were real.  Some of them even refused to say Voldemort’s name fearing it would really do them harm.

Harry Potter changed our lives.  He inched his way under our skin and stayed there for the duration of the series.

Harry is the main reason millions of young people, all over the world, began to read again.  Harry created a fantasy that everyone wanted to be involved in.

You can mention the name Harry Potter in just about any country in the world and people will not only recognize the name, they will know more about him then they do the key political officials in their governments.

Ask who he fought against and most will say Voldemort.  They know!  They know because they cared about Harry and wanted to know about his life – everything about his life.

The Dark Lord VoldemortThere are more unofficial fan sites for Harry Potter than you can possibly imagine.  Go to Facebook or Twitter and you can like or follow literally dozens of groups or pages.  The Harry Potter series was more than just another good science fiction fantasy series.   It was more than The Inheritance Cycle, Hunger Games, and the Twilight series too.  They all were good fantasy novels.  But the Potter series did have something special.

What I’m saying, is that Harry Potter has singlehandedly changed the world.  His story has sold more books than any in history.  He has become so real that people refer to him as if he were human.  It’s funny that Potter is better known than Rowling – the person who created him.

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