Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Urban Falcon by Jennifer Caloyeras Diversion Press Blog Tour
It really was a great surprise. It's written from Evan Falcon's point of view, a sixteen year old without a care in the world until his parents uproot him in the middle of the year and take him from his almost rural suburban home where he roamed the forest and creeks with his best friend to the city where he catches the city bus for school and attends a huge high school. He also has to adjust to his father's hard ass attitude which he's been showing more and more lately despite the fact that Evan hasn't done anything wrong. Plus, he's sure he's the only kid that's sixteen and doesn't have his driver's license.
The novel is all about Evan's adjustment from suburbia to urban life and about growing up in many different ways as he navigates life in the city. The move happens so dad can take a job with a bigger practice as a prosthodontist. He's "following his dream." Evan is not impressed. But their new house is nicer and they might let /Evan get his driver's license if he earns good grades.
School is different, too. Going from a small school where everyone knows everyone to a huge high school where you can be invisible, Evan is in kind of a culture shock. Due to lack of space, one of his classes is held in a house across the street from school. And there is a photography class that he loves which his old school never had the funds for. But, his first friend, Roger, isn't exactly from the sort of crowd I'd want my child hanging around with. Evan realizes this early on, but it's better than being alone. A couple of run ins with the Queen Bitch, I mean Bee and with a sweet girl named Maya and Evan starts settling in.
Maya is into almost every cause there is and when Evan makes a stupid mistake and is grounded, she ropes him into helping her so they can see each other. Evan's mistake is more fueled by anger than by stupidity, anger that his mother isn't who he thought she was that his parents aren't infallible. There comes a time when we all have to accept that, but Evan is sort of slapped in the face with his mother's flaws. You might think he's a little old at sixteen to just be discovering that, but remember he came from a small suburban town where he could explore anywhere, where they probably left the doors unlocked. He never had any reason to suspect otherwise.
Maya is his first girlfriend and first sexual experience. They get along well, but it's funny to hear his insecurities about should he do this or that from the guy's point of view. To me the boys always seemed so sure of themselves like they had some innate sense of what to do on a date, when to kiss, when to call, what to do during sex and I was the one with the insecurities. It was nice to see it the other way around with the girl taking the lead. The two have a mutual dislike of the Queen Bee and her hatred from others is well deserved. And in an act of retribution Evan chooses a childish way to get back at her, one that could bite him in the backside.
This is definitely a character driven novel with a slow and steady pace. The climax between Evan and his parents is as unexpected to the reader as it is to Evan. I breathed a sigh of relief once he let it all out. Evan's character grew considerably from a naive immature young boy just easing through life to a harder edged more wordly, but still enjoyable character. I think this is an easy to read and understand book about choices and parents and teenage boys should be able to relate to it easily. Jennifer Caloyeras does a great job of getting into the head of a sixteen year old boy. I can't wait to see what else she has in store for us.