At nearly 17, detail-oriented Danger Danielle Warren (“Danny”) is eager for an opportunity to connect with her celebrity survivalist father, Cougar. So, she ignores her reservations about dangerous conditions and wildlife and joins him on a trip to Peru to record an episode of his popular television show. The episode’s featured guest is teen heartthrob Gus Price, who travels along with Danny, Cougar, three crew members, and a seasoned pilot, but the trip quickly goes wrong when a storm causes the group to veer off course and crash-land in the jungle. The intensity of Danny’s quest to prove herself to her father, her resentment toward her mother, and insecurity about her own self-worth and abilities, in part due to internalized insecurities about the night that she lost the use of one eye, is heightened by the beauty and danger of the Amazon. Readers will be captivated by the ways in which each character’s true self is laid bare as their numbers dwindle, their carefully constructed masks falling aside to reveal their inner natures. Ages 13–up. (Oct.)
"A perfect blend of adventure and romance, set in one of the most dangerous and fascinating places on Earth. In Danny's story, readers will also explore a complex father-daughter relationship and cheer on our heroine as she journeys not only through the Amazon but on a mission that will force her to figure out who she really is and what matters most to her. I inhaled this story!"-Jennifer Mathieu, author of Moxie and The Liars of Mariposa Island
"A thrilling, edge-of-your-seat adventure with characters you'll fall in love with."-Alexandra Monir, bestselling author of The Final Six
"In The Speed of Falling Objects, the Peruvian rainforest comes alive as does a young girl's passionate journey of self discovery. This riveting, moving, and beautifully written tale is packed with excitement - you won't put it down."-Erica Ferencik, author of The River at Night and Into the Jungle
"Nancy Richardson Fischer has pulled off the wondrous feat of writing a story where the characters' emotional journeys are as intensely compelling and deeply gratifying as their harrowing life-or-death adventure. I could not put this book down, and I will be recommending it to every teen I know. Truth."-Misa Sugiura, author of This Time Will Be Different
"Danny is a fierce, yet vulnerable, heroine in a thrilling fight for survival. This gripping page-turner shows that, in the end, the greatest danger of all might lie within our own hearts."-Kelly deVos, author of Fat Girl on a Plane
"This intensely thrilling...novel fizzes with energy from start to finish. [A] joyous and highly satisfying read, and one that deserves acclaim...this novel has the potential to be turned into a movie. Richardson Fischer's...ability to write credible dialogue and describe situations and people is simply incredible...her research, writing ability and creativity has produced a novel that oozes excellence and craftsmanship."-Declan Henry, New York Journal of Books
"Part adventure, part coming-of-age novel, and altogether a page-turner."-Kirkus Reviews
"For fans of Jessi Kirby's The Other Side of Lost and Danika Stone's Switchback, this is a shining star among young adult survivalist stories."-School Library Journal
"Fischer has created a sympathetic, believably flawed, and satisfyingly strong heroine whose emotional journey is as compelling as the physical hardships of the rain forest."-Booklist
"Readers will be captivated by the ways in which each character's true self is laid bare as their numbers dwindle, their carefully constructed masks falling aside to reveal their inner natures."-Publishers Weekly
Gr 8 Up—After a childhood accident that leaves Danger "Danny" Warren with one eye and ultimately an estranged father, she jumps at the chance when her famous survivalist dad, Cougar, invites her to appear on his show for her birthday. Even better, she'll be filming with heartthrob-of-the-moment Gus Price in the Amazon forest. Disaster strikes when a violent storm throws the crew's plane into uncharted wilds. Now, Danny has to rely on her instincts, inhibited by a past that made her fearful and indecisive, and a group of perfect strangers to survive the jungle. This is an adventure-survival novel driven by the clear and relevant theme of what happens when children realize their parents are only human. Mature Danny easily finds a home in the hearts of readers as she spends a significant amount of time with her father for the first time. Paired with a unique plot, Danny's story is a memorable one. Fischer throws an impressive amount of detail and knowledge of the natural and medical worlds into the rich setting while tracing character arcs that are both realistic and riveting. Through Danny, Fischer thoughtfully leads readers through growth and understanding in challenging physical and mental circumstances that are fascinating in their own right. A seemingly extraneous love story muddies an otherwise engrossing personal journey, but does conveniently help to move Danny's evolution. VERDICT For fans of Jessi Kirby's The Other Side of Lost and Danika Stone's Switchback, this is a shining star among young adult survivalist stories.—Abby Hargreaves, District of Columbia Public Library
A timid girl with one eye must survive in the Amazon rainforest.
Ever since losing her left eye at age 7, almost 17-year-old Danger Danielle Warren hasn't fit her first name. Preferring "Danny" but nicknamed "Pigeon" by her classmates for her lack of depth perception, she's collected a plethora of fears, including heights, snakes, blindness, and being a burden or embarrassment—especially to her fearless, estranged father, Cougar, who hosts a survivalist reality show. When he invites her to an episode set in the Peruvian rainforest featuring hot teen actor Gus Price as a guest star, Danny vows to regain Cougar's respect. But when their plane crashes, Danny's life depends on conquering her fears. Vivid descriptions of the rainforest's lush, unforgiving landscape, teeming with oppressive heat, poisonous creatures, and edible grubs, plunge readers into the brutally realistic action. But as Cougar and his crew keep the camera rolling, the exploration of human nature becomes paramount, and Danny learns a harsh truth about her father. Through Danny's reflective narration, the group's expository confessions, and Gus and Danny's lightly described romance, Fischer (When Elephants Fly, 2018, etc.) perceptively examines such issues as divorce, narcissism, parental expectations, and forgiveness. Characters' interactions largely ring true, as does Danny's hard-won metamorphosis from self-conscious to self-confident. Danny, Cougar, and Gus are white; one crew member is Japanese American, and another is cued as black.
Part adventure, part coming-of-age novel, and altogether a page-turner. (Fiction. 13-18)