Saturday, July 3, 2010

Falling In by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Falling In is the not so quintessential story of a girl that doesn't fit in. Isabelle Bean ponders the beauty of dirt, doesn't like to shop with her mother, considers spilled jam beauty marks, feels like she is always precariously standing on the edge of something new, and hears a consistent buzzing noise rising from the floor. Isabelle isn't crazy, it turns out she belongs in a different world! It is in this new world where she is able to make friends and understand that her daydreaming can be an asset. But she is soon given the difficult task of helping the people there overcome their fears and push herself to learn new skills to save children.

I think it's fascinating that this is Frances O'Roark Dowell's first foray into fantasy. Her characters grabbed my attention, I loved Isabelle's descriptive inner monologues, and her creative breaks in the action through the use of new chapters. It was all so innovative and fun! Unfortunately somewhere in the middle I think I became a little innovated and funned out, as I found myself skipping ahead. While I appreciated all the pieces that Ms. Dowell brought to the book and how these pieces made an inspired book, it also started to seem a bit same-y. On the bright side I was able to finish the book and was overall pleased with it until I realized there wouldn't be a sequel (weird huh? I've been looking for a great standalone book and once I've got it I'm disappointed that it is. That's another blog entry all together). I was overwhelmed with the thought, "But I still have questions!" Usually I'm OK with questions at the end, but for some reason with this book I really wanted it all wrapped up like a present. I think that this shows that while I might have lost a little faith in the middle, this book comes through in the end. At least it did for me.

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