The Paradox of Vertical Flight by Emil Ostrovski

The Paradox of Vertical Flight by Emil Ostrovski

Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

What happens when you put a suicidal eighteen-year-old philosophy student, his ex-girlfriend, his best friend, and his newborn baby in a truck and send them to Grandma's house? This debut novel by Emil Ostrovski will appeal to fans of John Green, Chris Crutcher, and Jay Asher.

On the morning of his eighteenth birthday, philosophy student and high school senior Jack Polovsky is somewhat seriously thinking of suicide when his cell phone rings. Jack's ex-girlfriend, Jess, has given birth, and Jack is the father. Jack hasn't spoken with Jess in about nine months—and she wants him to see the baby before he is adopted. The new teenage father kidnaps the baby, names him Socrates, stocks up on baby supplies at Wal-Mart, and hits the road with his best friend, Tommy, and the ex-girlfriend. As they head to Grandma's house (eluding the police at every turn), Jack tells baby Socrates about Homer, Troy, Aristotle, the real Socrates, and the Greek myths—because all stories spring from those stories, really. Even this one. Funny, heart-wrenching, and wholly original, this debut novel by Emil Ostrovski explores the nature of family, love, friendship, fate, fatherhood, and myth.

The Paradox of Vertical Flight was both a highly entertaining book as well as very philosophical in the most teenage-way possible. I was drawn in by the title of the book and became intrigued by the blurb. A baby named Socrates HAD to be apart of an amazing story, and I'm certainly glad I was right. It really makes you think about life, and in that way, I feel the blurb is absolutely right. This book was very John Green in essence: that crazy story that you'll remember for a while after reading it. Memorable characters and a plot that screams originality. 

Jack was a really great main character. You don't get many guys as main characters in YA literature, so it's always fabulous to have a strong leading male character that takes you on a trip as amazing as this one. I loved his musings and references, and of course, the little side conversations he has with Socrates. The fact that you could relate to him though, is something I feel that will draw in many readers, because his character just appeals to many personalities and emotions, which will earn the trust of his audience.
Of course, no book is complete without the sassy best friend. Tommy was somewhat the equivalent to that, only two times better. Hilarity ensues and in the end you get a bromance that'll make you smile and laugh. Jess was surprisingly a good character. I thought I would end up hating her, but nope, she's totally added to the humour in this book with her snark and sarcasm. 

Just like the title suggests, The Paradox of Vertical Flight was a fun read, a crazy-ass road trip, and a unique story. I couldn't put this one away, because it was just so awesome to dive into. With a mix of Greek myths and ancient philosophers, a tiny spoon of romance (the tiniest helping you can imagine), and a screaming baby, this is one of those road trips that you wish you could go on, as well as a read you definitely don't want to miss.

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