I was super excited when I was given the opportunity to read this LGBT novel in exchange for an honest review—and my excitement was warranted because I enjoyed it from the beginning. Falling from the Sky is a young adult contemporary novel about sixteen-year-old Ridge McCoy and his unforgettable summer trying to live life again after a plane crash kills his father and turns his world upside down.
Nikki Godwin spun an unforgettable story about Ridge’s summer away at basketball camp, and how his life changes after meeting Micah Youngblood, a local boy who lives on the Bear Creek reservation. Through Micah, Ridge learns what it’s like to feel alive again—but more than that—he learns it’s okay to be true to himself and to live his life for himself, the way he wants to.
I’ve always loved young adult novels that explore topics of self-discovery, friendship, and love, and this novel had it all. It’s a refreshing, diverse novel that explores relationships from a same-sex perspective, and is done in such a way that it promotes the idea of loving whoever you want regardless of sex, race, class, and past. I liked Falling from the Sky from page one, and was rooting for Ridge and Micah until the sweet ending that left a smile on my face.
Godwin’s writing is well-crafted, and while the story might not be action-packed, it’s such a heart-warming tale, that you’ll keep turning the pages.
The only downside to the novel was the unnecessary use of profane language. While it doesn’t bother me, it was used liberally, which made it less effective, and it didn’t add anything to the story. Because of the profanity, I’d recommend this novel to mature young adults or older. Apart from that, if you’ve never read an LGBT novel, this is a great find. It’s also perfect for those wanting diverse young adult novels, those who enjoy sweet, clean love stories, and those who want to read something a little different.
Interview with Nikki Godwin
I had the pleasure of interviewing Nikki about Falling from the Sky. Check out her answers about writing, her novels, and characters.
1. What inspired you to write Falling from the Sky?
I’d always attempted to write Contemporary YA but had yet to finish an actual book when I began Falling From the Sky. I’d wanted to write about a summer romance that involved carousel horses. Until I started plotting, I didn’t realize that it was LGBT. The love interest was supposed to be a girl, but Micah happened, and I couldn’t shut him out. He opened up a brand new realm of possibilities for this story.
2. While I loved all the characters, I loved Terrence the most. Was his character based on anyone from real life?
I don’t think I’ve met anyone yet who didn’t love Terrence. (Thank you, btw!) Sadly, there is no real life basis for him. However, my cousin Ben played basketball in high school, and I went to almost all of his home games. Terrence formed in my head during that time, so I guess the HHS Lions were somewhat of his inspiration.
3. Who was your favorite character to write?
My favorite character to write in this book was Micah, hands down. He’s so energetic, happy, hyper, carefree, etc. I’m a more serious person. I relate a lot more to Ridge, so writing a character like Micah was a breath of fresh air and fun to explore a different type of lifestyle/mindset.
4. How did you come up with the idea of the carousel?
I like to find inspiration in odd/random things. One day, I was watching the carousel in our local mall, and the ten outer horses were actually unique compared to the generic ones behind them. I actually took a picture of each horse and decided to build a story around them. So the ten horses that Micah uses for their dates? All ten of them are real.
5. What was your favorite scene in Falling from the Sky to write?
My favorite scene to write was the Pecan Grove Festival and the Ferris wheel. It was back in 2010, and I was awake super early on a Saturday morning with these boys talking in my head faster than I could type. I remember writing 4k in about 2 hours, and it was a record for me. I was just so lost in the moment/scene with them. To this day, FFTS is still my favorite “writing process” that I had. 🙂
About Nikki Godwin
Nikki Godwin is a YA/NA/LGBT author. She can’t live without Mountain Dew, black eyeliner, and music by Hawthorne Heights. When not writing, she internet-stalks her favorite bands and keeps tabs on surf competitions. Her favorite surfer is Gabriel Medina. If you ever get her started on surfing or music, she’ll never shut up. You’ve been warned.