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The Falling Between Us
Contributor(s): Parsons, Ash
ISBN: 0399168486     ISBN-13: 9780399168482
Publisher: Philomel Books
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: March 2018
Annotation: At fifteen, Joshua Blackbird becomes an international singing star but, as his hometown girlfriend relates, after more than a year, the pressures and dangers of fame take a toll and "Shu" disappears.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Fame; Fiction.
Missing persons; Fiction.
Singers; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2017033062
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 9.00" H x 7.00" W x 1.00" (1.00 lbs) 290 pages
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q72796
Reading Level: 5.3   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 15.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Ash Parsons is a graduate of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College as well as other, more traditional schools. She recently taught English to 7th, 8th, and 11th graders and creative writing for Troy University's ACCESS program. Ash has performed at the Wolf Trap Center for Performing Arts, The Sarasota Opera House (Sarasota, FL), and in Auburn University Theater's production of her play, Freakspiel: Nick Dragon's Demented Sideshow. Ash, who can sometimes be found stumbling around as a zombie on The Walking Dead, loves change, challenges, and chopping off her hair. She lives in Alabama with her family. She is also the author of Still Waters. Follow her on Twitter @ashparso.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 January)

Gr 7 Up—Roxy lives on the periphery after her boyfriend's meteoric rise to pop music superstardom. She travels on tour with Joshua Blackbird, "the girl from home" always present in the background. She gives him unconditional support while seething at the demands others place on him: the relentless schedule set by his prescription-pushing manager, a manufactured romance with a female pop star, a distant mother always asking for money, and unceasing frenetic attention from fans. The intense pressure makes Joshua distant and fragile, and Roxy's worry for his well-being increases. When Joshua goes for a midnight swim off a yacht and disappears, the protagonist spirals into profound grief even as she questions what happened to the boy she loves. Roxy is an engaging narrator who offers a perceptive glimpse into the celebrity industry alongside her own emotional landscape. She constantly compares their new reality to a circus and becomes obsessed with 1920s aerialist Lillian Leitzel, whose gravity-defying acrobatics and eventual tragic plummet are one means through which Parsons presents the pervasive theme of falling and losing control. The story moves quickly, its dark intensity crafted from raw emotion delivered in lyrical prose and staccato sentences. The novel includes a biting critique of celebrity culture and a hint of mystery, but the heart of the story is an exploration of grief, depression, and suicide. While the ending may feel too pat for some readers, it subtly delivers a positive message about choosing life over suicide. VERDICT With a shrewd and sympathetic narrator and multiple elements of interest—music, celebrity, grief, mental health—this novel is a recommended first purchase.—Elizabeth Lovsin, Deerfield Public Library, IL

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.