Pam's Reviews > As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth

As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins
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's review
Sep 04, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: children-s, fiction

The Newbery Group has been referencing this book for a couple of months now, so I thought I should read it. Since it is a road trip book about a teenage boy I was thinking it would have some Kerouac inspiration/feel to it. To the author's credit, she does know how to create characters that are warm, interesting, and provide depth to make them seem realistic. I wish the same could be said of her plot.
The story as one reviewer described it seems like a Rube Goldberg machine and unfortunately it is just as unbelievable and odd as one of those machines. The chain of events one after another seem so unrealistic I never could get to the point of suspending disbelief.
In brief without spoiling the plot, the main character, Ry, is taking a train to summer camp when the train stops in the middle of nowhere because of a malfunction. He steps off the train and then further away, in order to get better cell phone reception. Then the train leaves without him. His parents are taking a second honeymoon after a stressful move leaving the grandfather at the new house to take care of the dogs (the dogs are important believe it or not). Each character experiences unlikely mishaps that somehow make it impossible for the main character to let his family know he is lost. (Yes Ry has a cell phone for which he can't seem to find a charger, but even with low battery and the text feature enabled he can't seem to contact the friends who text him and get them to help him.) Other people really found this book charming and wonderful. I just couldn't get there.
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